Deploying the IDE and Runtime
Visual Studio Tools for Applications includes a Microsoft Windows Installer package that installs design-time and run-time components, such as the integrated development environment (IDE). You can deploy this package with the host application Setup program to install Visual Studio Tools for Applications with the host application. For more information about Windows Installer files, see Creating a Setup Program and Windows Installer Deployment.
There are considerations for uninstalling your host application, because there can be multiple applications or add-ins that depend on the Visual Studio Tools for Applications IDE and runtime. For more information, see Uninstalling Your Application and Visual Studio Tools for Applications.
There are a few considerations that are specific to Visual Studio Tools for Applications projects. When you create the Setup program to install the host application, perform the following tasks:
Include the Visual Studio Tools for Applications project templates that you created. For more information, see Creating Project Templates (Visual Studio Tools for Applications).
The project template that Projectgen.exe generates contains paths to files based on the file locations on your computer. If end-user computers might have different file locations, you must modify the project template so that it uses correct paths. For example, you can replace paths with variables. For more information about variables, see Project Template Generation Tool (Projectgen.exe).
Add the proxy assembly to the global assembly cache on the target computer. For more information, see How to: Install an Assembly into the Global Assembly Cache.
If you create Visual Basic project templates for add-in developers to use, you must also install the proxy assembly to the add-in pipeline directory for Visual Studio Tools for Applications, and then you must update the pipeline. If you do not perform these steps, the host application cannot load add-ins that are created by using Visual Basic project templates. For more information, see Creating Proxies.
Call the Visual Studio Tools for Applications IDE installer file (vsta20.exe) to install the design-time and run-time components. By default, this file is in the following directory:
%ProgramFiles%\Visual Studio Tools for Applications 2.0 SDK\build number\Visual Studio Tools For Applications\SetupPackage
Verify the digital signature of the installer file before you run it. It is possible that a malicious file could be substituted for the Visual Studio Tools for Applications file. Verifying the digital signature will help prevent potentially harmful code from running.
In the uninstaller code, do not uninstall Visual Studio Tools for Applications. Other programs might use it.
The following components must be installed on the target computer before the Visual Studio Tools for Applications installer package is started:
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.
MSXML6. You can download the installation package from Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0.
HOSTID Input Property
When you deploy the installation package, you must supply properties to control how Visual Studio Tools for Applications is installed. The way you pass these properties into the package depends on how you are starting the installation package. The HOSTID property specifies the host ID of the host application. The Visual Studio Tools for Applications installation package uses it to create a registry hive for the host application's instance of the IDE. For information about how to create a host ID, see How to: Register the Host Application. When you pass this property into the installer package, use the following format:
Your application's Setup program should start the Visual Studio Tools for Applications Setup package during installation. However, during the uninstall process, your Setup program should not uninstall Visual Studio Tools for Applications. There may be other Visual Studio Tools for Applications add-ins installed on the computer that depend on Visual Studio Tools for Applications being present. If end users want to uninstall Visual Studio Tools for Applications, they can use the list of installed programs in Windows.