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Walkthrough: Deploying a Visual C++ Application By Using a Setup Project

Describes how to use a setup project to deploy a Visual C++ application.

You need the following components to complete this walkthrough:

  • A computer with Visual Studio 2010 installed.

  • An additional computer that does not have the Visual C++ libraries.

To deploy an application by using a setup project

  1. Use the MFC Application Wizard to create a new Visual Studio solution. To find the wizard, from the New Project dialog box, expand the Visual C++ node, select MFC, select MFC Application, enter a name for the project, and then click OK.

  2. Change the active solution configuration to Release. From the Build menu, select Configuration Manger. From the Configuration Manager dialog box, select Release from the Active solution configuration drop-down box.

  3. Press F7 to build the application. Or, on the Build menu, click Build Solution. This enables the setup project to use the output of the MFC Application project.

  4. Use the Setup Project template to add a new setup project that is called Setup1 to the solution. To find the template, from the New Project dialog box expand the Other Project Types node, expand Setup and Deployment, select the Visual Studio Installer node, and click Setup Project. From the Solution drop-down box, select Add to solution, and then click OK.

  5. Add the output of the MFC application project to the setup project. To do so, right-click on Setup1 in Solution Explorer, point to Add, and then click Project Output.

    1. In the Add Project Output Group dialog box, select Primary Output.

    2. Select Release Win32 from the Configuration drop-down box, and then click OK.

  6. Expand the Setup1 node in Solution Explorer and right-click on the Detected Dependencies node. Then click Refresh Dependencies.

    Visual Studio adds the dependent merge module (.msm) files for the Visual C++ libraries to the setup project.

  7. Build the setup project to create the installer files (Setup1.msi and setup.exe). To do so, right click the Setup1 project node in Solution Explorer and select Build.

    Visual Studio creates the installer files in the Release folder of your setup project.

  8. Run the installer on a second computer that does not have the Visual C++ libraries.

    1. Copy Setup1.msi and setup.exe to the second computer.

    2. Run setup.exe on the second computer. Follow the steps that are provided by the setup wizard to complete the installation.

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