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Walkthrough: Using a Custom Action to Create a Database at Installation

The following walkthrough demonstrates the use of a custom action and the CustomActionData property to create a database and database table during installation.

NoteNote:

This walkthrough requires SQL Server on the computer where you will deploy the application.

NoteNote:

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 Visual Studio Settings.

NoteNote:

The following instructions demonstrate how to create a deployment project by using a Visual Basic project; the general principles apply to all Visual Studio language projects that support deploying Windows-based applications.

To create an installer class

  1. On the File menu, click New Project.

  2. In the New Project dialog box, select Visual Basic Projects in the Project Type pane, and then select Class Library in the Templates pane. In the Name box, type DBCustomAction.

  3. On the Project menu, click Add New Item.

  4. In the Add New Item dialog box, select Installer Class. In the Name box, type VbDeployInstaller.vb.

To create a data connection object

  1. In Server Explorer, select Data Connections. Right-click and click Add Connection.

  2. In the Choose Data Source dialog box, select Microsoft SQL Server.

  3. In the Add Connection dialog box, do the following:

    1. In the Server name list, type or select a server name.

    2. Select Use Windows Authentication.

    3. In the database box, type master.

    4. Click OK to close the dialog box.

  4. From the Data menu, click Add New Data Source, and then use the wizard to add the connection that you established in the previous steps. To verify that the data source is in the project, click Show Data Sources on the Data menu.

To create a text file that contains a SQL statement to create a database

  1. In Solution Explorer, select the DBCustomAction project. On the Project menu, click Add New Item.

  2. In the Add New Item dialog box, click Text File. In the Name box, type sql.txt (must be in lowercase).

  3. Add the following to the sql.txt file:

    CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Employees] (
    [Name] [char] (30) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NOT NULL ,
    [Rsvp] [int] NULL ,
    [Requests] [nvarchar] (4000) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL 
    ) ON [PRIMARY];
    
    ALTER TABLE [dbo].[Employees] WITH NOCHECK ADD 
    CONSTRAINT [PK_Employees] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED 
    (
    [Name]
    ) ON [PRIMARY];
    
  4. In Solution Explorer, select sql.txt. In the Properties window, set the BuildAction property to Embedded Resource.

To add code to the installer class to read the text file

  1. In Solution Explorer, select VbDeployInstaller.vb. On the View menu, click Code.

  2. Add the following Imports statement at the top of the module:

    Imports System.IO
    Imports System.Reflection
    Imports System.Data.SqlClient
    
    
    
  3. Add the following code to the VbDeployInstaller class, after the declaration of MyBase.New:

    Public Class VbDeployInstaller
    
        Dim masterConnection As New System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection
    
        Public Sub New()
            MyBase.New()
    
            'This call is required by the Component Designer.
            InitializeComponent()
    
            'Add initialization code after the call to InitializeComponent
    
        End Sub
    
        Private Function GetSql(ByVal Name As String) As String
            Try
    
                ' Gets the current assembly.
                Dim Asm As [Assembly] = [Assembly].GetExecutingAssembly()
    
                ' Resources are named using a fully qualified name.
                Dim strm As Stream = Asm.GetManifestResourceStream( _
                  Asm.GetName().Name + "." + Name)
    
                ' Reads the contents of the embedded file.
                Dim reader As StreamReader = New StreamReader(strm)
                Return reader.ReadToEnd()
    
            Catch ex As Exception
                MsgBox("In GetSQL: " & ex.Message)
                Throw ex
            End Try
        End Function
    
        Private Sub ExecuteSql(ByVal DatabaseName As String, ByVal Sql As String)
            Dim Command As New SqlClient.SqlCommand(Sql, masterConnection)
    
            ' Initialize the connection, open it, and set it to the "master" database
            masterConnection.ConnectionString = My.Settings.masterConnectionString
            Command.Connection.Open()
            Command.Connection.ChangeDatabase(DatabaseName)
            Try
                Command.ExecuteNonQuery()
            Finally
                ' Closing the connection should be done in a Finally block
                Command.Connection.Close()
            End Try
        End Sub
    
        Protected Sub AddDBTable(ByVal strDBName As String)
            Try
                ' Creates the database.
                ExecuteSql("master", "CREATE DATABASE " + strDBName)
    
                ' Creates the tables.
                ExecuteSql(strDBName, GetSql("sql.txt"))
    
            Catch ex As Exception
                ' Reports any errors and abort.
                MsgBox("In exception handler: " & ex.Message)
                Throw ex
            End Try
        End Sub
    
        Public Overrides Sub Install(ByVal stateSaver As _
          System.Collections.IDictionary)
    
            MyBase.Install(stateSaver)
            AddDBTable(Me.Context.Parameters.Item("dbname"))
        End Sub
    
    End Class
    
    
    
  4. On the Build menu, click Build DBCustomAction.

To create a deployment project

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

  2. In the Add New Project dialog box, open the Other Project Types node and select Setup and Deployment Projects in the Project Type pane. Then select Setup Project in the Templates pane. In the Name box, type DBCustomAction_Setup.

  3. In the Properties window, select the ProductName property and type DB Installer.

  4. In the File System Editor, select the Application Folder. On the Action menu, click Add, and then click Project Output.

  5. In the Add Project Output Group dialog box, select Primary output for the DBCustomAction project.

To create a custom installation dialog box

  1. Select the DBCustomAction_Setup project in Solution Explorer. On the View menu, point to Editor, and click User Interface.

  2. In the User Interface Editor, select the Start node under Install. On the Action menu, click Add Dialog.

  3. In the Add Dialog dialog box, select the Textboxes (A) dialog box, and then click OK.

  4. On the Action menu, click Move Up. Repeat until the Textboxes (A) dialog box is above the Installation Folder node.

  5. In the Properties window, select the BannerText property and type Specify Database Name.

  6. Select the BodyText property and type This dialog box enables you to specify the name of the database to be created on the database server.

  7. Select the Edit1Label property and type Name of database:.

  8. Select the Edit1Property property and type CUSTOMTEXTA1.

  9. Select the Edit2Visible, Edit3Visible, and Edit4Visible properties and set them to False.

To create a custom action

  1. Select the DBCustomAction_Setup project in Solution Explorer. On the View menu, point to Editor, and then click Custom Actions.

  2. In the Custom Actions Editor, select the Install node. On the Action menu, click Add Custom Action.

  3. In the Select item in project dialog box, double-click the Application Folder.

  4. Select Primary output from DBCustomAction (Active), then click OK to close the dialog box.

  5. Make sure that Primary output from DBCustomAction (Active) item is selected in the Custom Actions Editor. In the Properties window, select the CustomActionData property and type /dbname=[CUSTOMTEXTA1]. This data is passed to the custom action that is run at the end of the installation. For more information, see CustomActionData Property.

  6. On the Build menu, click Build DBCustomAction_Setup.

To install the application on your development computer

  • Select the DBCustomAction_Setup project in Solution Explorer. On the Project menu, click Install.

    This will run the installer on your development computer.

    NoteNote:

    You must have install permissions on the computer in order to run the installer.

To deploy the application to another computer

  1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to your project directory and find the built installer. The default path will be \documents and settings\yourloginname\DBCustomAction_Setup\project configuration\ DBCustomAction_Setup.msi. The default project configuration is Debug.

  2. Copy DBCustomAction_Setup.msi and all other files and subdirectories in the directory to another computer.

    NoteNote:

    To install the application on a computer that is not on a network, copy the files to traditional media such as CD-ROM.

    On the target computer, double-click the Setup.exe file to run the installer.

    NoteNote:

    You must have install permissions on the computer in order to run the installer.

To uninstall the application

  1. In Windows Control Panel, double-click Add or Remove Programs.

  2. In the Add or Remove Programs dialog box, select DBCustomAction_Setup, click Remove, and then click OK to close the dialog box.

    TipTip:

    To uninstall the application from your development computer, on the Project menu, click Uninstall.

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