Looking for Setup and Deployment Project Templates? (Mary Lee)

Looking for Setup and Deployment Project Templates? (Mary Lee)

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Let's say that you've developed an application using the free Visual Studio Express Edition. Now, you want to deploy your application to the masses, and you read documentation about How to: Create or Add Deployment Projects.

Here's how the topic starts:

To create a new deployment project

  1. On the File menu, point to Add, then click New Project.

  2. In the resulting Add New Project dialog box, in the Project Types pane, open the Other Project Types node and select Setup and Deployment Projects.

  3. In the Templates pane, choose the type of deployment project you want to create. For more information, see Setup and Deployment Projects.

In this example, I'm using Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition.  However, when I open the New Project dialog box, there isn't an Other Project Types node.


The Other Projects Types node is only available in Standard Edition or higher (such as Professional Edition and Team System Edition).  Also, you cannot download the Setup Project templates and add them to Visual Studio Express Edition.

Here, you discover that Visual Studio Express Edition is free, but limited.  All of the following versions of the Express Editions have the same limited functionality: Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition,Visual C# 2005 Express Edition, Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition, Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition,Visual C# 2008 Express Edition, and Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition.

All hope is not lost!  You can use ClickOnce Deployment to easily share your application with the masses. The ClickOnce Publish Wizard can easily generate a setup.exe to check for and install prerequisites such as the .NET Framework or SQL Server Express Edition.  The published files can be copied to a CD, Web site, or network file share where users can download and install your application.  ClickOnce can also easily update your application as you incorporate customer feedback and add features.

I created a Web browser based on Creating Your First Visual Basic Program and Video How to: Creating Your First Visual Basic Program.  Now, I'll show you how to use the Publish Wizard in Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition to deploy this application to a network file share. 

1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the solution name and click Publish.


You'll see the Publish Wizard open.

2. Type the location where you want Visual Studio to copy the files, and click Next. This location is called the Publish Location.


3. Type the location where your end users will install your application from, and click Next.  This location is called the Install Location. These two locations are separate in case you do not have write access to the network file share.  In that case, you would copy the files to your local computer, and an administrator would copy the files to the network file share.


4. Choose where the application is going to be run from, and click Next. If you select "available online or offline," the application is installed onto the end user computer.  If you select "only available online only," the application is run from the Install Location.


5. In the final screen of the Publish Wizard, click Finish.


6. Open the network file folder, and verify that all the files are copied there.  End users can open the Browser.application, publish.htm, or setup.exe files to start the installation.


For step-by-step instructions about how to publish to a Web site or CD, see How to: Publish a ClickOnce Application

OK, let's test the installation. 

7. Open file location where the application installer is located. 


8. In the publish.htm file, click launch or Install.


You'll see the Launching Application dialog box appear momentarily.


9. In the ClickOnce Trust Prompt, click Install.  If you don't want your users to see this prompt, you can sign your solution with a code-signing certificate.


10. Test your application.

In the Visual Basic Browser application that I created, I entered http://www.microsoft.com and clicked Go!!!!!! to see my application work successfully on my test computer.


These instructions apply to the Visual Basic and Visual C# Express Editions.  The Visual C++ Express Edition development environment doesn't have the ClickOnce Publish Wizard, but you can perform the steps in the Visual Studio command prompt. For more information, see ClickOnce Deployment for Visual C++ Applications.

Enjoy deploying your applications!

Mary Lee, Programming Writer.

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  • Please add 3 and 7 and type the answer here:
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  • PingBack from http://www.easycoded.com/looking-for-setup-and-deployment-project-templates-mary-lee/

  • I found CyberInstaller and it's much easier to use. I'm using ClickOnce lesser and lesser. I found it here: http://www.silvercybertech.com

    Keep up the good job Microsoft VB Team guys! Your blog is great!

  • can any one help me develop a program i am trying to do  if any one is intrested email me at dscottish@yhoo.com thanks

  • I can create a setup OK. The problem that I have is that when it is installed on the target machine, it is only available to the installing user.

    There are multiple users using the machine, and I want them to share the program, rather than having 16 different versions--that are all the same! Can you offer any info on how to do this? It used to be easy to check the "Available to all users" box, but I don't see this anymode.



  • I think I've discovered how to do it, although somewhat surprised and concerned that this is a determination that is made by the developer and not the installer!


  • Well WIX would be a better and cost effective option to create a setup package with or without the Visual Studio since it can be run from the cmd line and the Setup projects created are equally impressive (or in some cases better than the regula setup)

  • Thanks for the tip, Dinesh. I'm getting into WiX, which looks like what should have been in VS2008. I wish just once there would be a development environment that didn't require a boatload of add-ons just to work properly.

  • Thank so much for the article.

    I went through the documentation and spent a lot of time searching for  Other Project Types!

    I'm using Visual C++ 2008 Express, and I cannot find a Publish option. What should I do? Could you please explain the above procedure in the context of Visual C++ express edition project?

  • hi VC Beginner,

    please see the last paragraph of this article for a link to the ClickOnce and C++ guide.  there isn't a UI for ClickOnce and C++, but you can generate the ClickOnce manifests in the Visual Studio 2008 command prompt that is included with Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition.


  • WGVoight, you indicated that you might have a solution for installing the application for ALL users, rather than the user who's logged in. Can you publish that information?

  • I too can only use this if I can install a program for all users on a machine.  Please publish any available information.

  • I want to use it in Windows Application . Can You say How can I publish a windows application ?

  • i have an aplication on vb net been published to work online or ofline but the publish setup file only create a regenrece to the project on the local user computer but i also want to install a folder on the user local computer under same root (sample c:\\\\aplication\ where should be the executable and a fodler named reports to be used with this code \\\app.path\reports )

    can this be posible?


  • hai,i created a project in vb.net 2008,and i made a set up of it also..

    when i tried to install the project on other system,

    after,security warning comes,their comes one more window,,,,like the set up cant be published,

    do anyone know about this?????????????/

    please answer me.

  • The WiX-Plugin "Votive" for Visual Studio will NOT work with the Express Editions...so far, this again an example for MS License Policy (*committing*)

    see here:


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