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How to: Use a Visual Studio .NET 2003 Add-in Deployment Package to Register an Add-in with Visual Studio 2005 (Managed and Unmanaged) 

Visual Studio 2005

Deployment packages maintain dependencies and utilize the Windows installer for easy installation and removal. This method of deployment works well when an add-in has many satellite assemblies and no references to command bars. If the deployment project contains references to command bars in the Office library, the add-in will not load.

If there are references to command bars, the only option is to migrate the add-in to Visual Studio 2005. See How to: Migrate Visual Studio .NET 2003 Add-ins to Visual Studio 2005 for more information.


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

To install an unmanaged Visual Studio .NET 2003 C++ add-in by using a deployment package

  1. Install a Visual Studio .NET 2003 deployment package on a computer that has Visual Studio 2005 installed.

    It adds a key to the registry at: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\AddIns\youraddinname.yourclassname. Export this registry key for modification.

  2. Open the exported key for editing and change the path to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\AddIns\youraddinname.yourclassname.

  3. Save this file and double-click it to add the key to the registry under the VisualStudio 8.0 hive.

To install a managed Visual Studio 2003 add-in by using a deployment package

  • Install the deployment package on a computer that has Visual Studio 2005 installed.

    Because you are using a deployment project to deploy your add-in, there is no need to add a .Addin XML file.

Optional Procedure

The deployment project can be built in Visual Studio .NET 2003 so it deploys with the correct registry key. This removes steps 1 through 3 of the first procedure.

To prepare the deployment project to register the correct key

  1. Select the deployment project for your solution in Visual Studio .NET 2003 and then select the Registry Editor.

    The registry icon is on a toolbar at the top of Solution Explorer. This opens the associated registry key for the setup project.

  2. Open the registry key entry at the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\Addins\yourAddinName.yourclassname.

  3. Rename this entry to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\Addins\ yourAddinName.yourclassname.

    This updates the deployment project to register the add-in in the 8.0 hive.

See Also

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