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How to: Publish a ClickOnce Application using the Publish Wizard

To make a ClickOnce application available to users, you must publish it to a Web server, file share, or removable media. You can publish the application by using the Publish Wizard; additional properties related to publishing are available on the Publish page of the Project Designer. For more information, see Publishing ClickOnce Applications.

Before you run the Publish Wizard, you should set the publishing properties appropriately. For example, if you want to designate a key to sign your ClickOnce application, you can do so on the Signing page of the Project Designer. For more information, see Securing ClickOnce Applications.

Note Note

When you install more than one version of an application by using ClickOnce, the installation moves earlier versions of the application into a folder named Archive, in the publish location that you specify. Archiving earlier versions in this manner keeps the installation directory clear of folders from the earlier version.

Note Note

The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help, depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, click Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Customizing Development Settings in Visual Studio.

To publish to the Web

  1. In Solution Explorer, select the application project.

  2. On the Build menu, click Publish Projectname.

    The Publish Wizard appears.

  3. On the Where do you want to publish the application? page, enter a valid URL using the format http://www.microsoft.com/foldername, and then click Next.

  4. In the Will the application be available offline? page, click the appropriate option:

    • If you want to enable the application to be run when the user is disconnected from the network, click Yes, this application will be available online or offline. A shortcut on the Start menu will be created for the application.

    • If you want to run the application directly from the publish location, click No, this application is only available online. A shortcut on the Start menu will not be created.

    Click Next to continue.

  5. Click Finish to publish the application.

    Publishing status is displayed in the status notification area.

To publish to a file share

  1. In Solution Explorer, select the application project.

  2. On the Build menu, click Publish Projectname.

    The Publish Wizard appears.

  3. In the Where do you want to publish the application? page, enter a valid file path using the format \\computername\applicationname, and then click Next.

    Note Note

    If users will install the application from the Web, this file path must correspond to the URL that the users will access. For example, if the users will install from http://www.microsoft.com/myapplication/publish.htm, you would enter the path c:\inetpub\wwwroot\myapplication.

  4. In the How will users install the application? page, select the location where users will go to install the application:

    • If users will install from a Web site, click From a Web site and enter a URL that corresponds to the file path entered in the previous step. Click Next. (This option is typically used when you specify an FTP address as the publishing location. Direct download from FTP is not supported. Therefore, you have to enter a URL here.)

    • If users will install the application directly from the file share, click From a UNC path or file share, and then click Next. (This is for publishing locations of the form c:\deploy\myapp or \\server\myapp.)

    • If users will install from removable media, click From a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, and then click Next.

    Note Note

    This page does not appear if you enter a URL (HTTP address) in the Where do you want to publish the application? page.

  5. On the Will the application be available offline? page, click the appropriate option:

    • If you want to enable the application to be run when the user is disconnected from the network, click Yes, this application will be available online or offline. A shortcut on the Start menu will be created for the application.

    • If you want to run the application directly from the publish location, click No, this application is only available online. A shortcut on the Start menu will not be created.

    Click Next to continue.

  6. Click Finish to publish the application.

    Publishing status is displayed in the status notification area.

To publish to a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the application project and click Properties.

    The Project Designer appears.

  2. Click the Publish tab to open the Publish page in the Project Designer, and click the Publish Wizard button.

    The Publish Wizard appears.

  3. In the Where do you want to publish the application? page, enter the file path or FTP location where the application will be published, for example d:\deploy. Then click Next to continue.

  4. On the How will users install the application? page, click From a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, and then click Next.

    Note Note

    If you want the installation to run automatically when the CD-ROM is inserted into the drive, open the Publish page in the Project Designer and click the Options button, and then, in the Publish Options wizard, select For CD installations, automatically start Setup when CD is inserted.

  5. If you distribute your application on CD-ROM, you might want to provide updates from a Web site. In the Where will the application check for updates? page, choose an update option:

    • If the application will check for updates, click The application will check for updates from the following location and enter the location where updates will be posted. This can be a file location, Web site, or FTP server.

    • If the application will not check for updates, click The application will not check for updates.

    Click Next to continue.

  6. Click Finish to publish the application.

    Publishing status is displayed in the status notification area.

    Note Note

    After publishing is complete, you will have to use a CD-Rewriter or DVD-Rewriter to copy the files from the location specified in step 3 to the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM media.

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