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Windows Installer Deployment Tasks 

Deployment is the process by which you distribute a finished application or component to be installed on other computers.

Before you can deploy a solution, you need to tell Visual Studio what to deploy, where to deploy it, and how to deploy it. You do this by adding one or more deployment projects to your solution; each deployment project specifies instructions for installing files and components on a target computer.

For distributed applications, you usually create a separate deployment project for each tier in your application. For example, an application with three tiers would require three deployment projects, one each for the data, business logic, and client tiers.

In addition, you should create a separate deployment project to create a merge module for any component in your solution that may potentially be shared between multiple solutions.

In This Section

How to: Install Prerequisites in Windows Installer Deployment

Describes how to enable and disable the installation of prerequisites, and how to specify the download location for prerequisites.

How to: Create or Add Deployment Projects

Describes how to create a new deployment project or add an existing deployment project to a solution.

How to: Create or Add a Setup Project

Explains how to create a new setup project or add an existing setup project to a solution.

How to: Create or Add a Merge Module Project

Gives directions for creating a new merge module project or adding an existing merge module project to a solution.

How to: Create or Add a Cab Project

Describes how to create a new Cab project or add an existing Cab project to a solution.

How to: Set Deployment Project Properties

Explains how to set the properties for a deployment project.

How to: Add Items to a Deployment Project

Discusses how to add files, outputs, or other items to a deployment project.

How to: Add Merge Modules to a Deployment Project

Explains how to add a merge module to a deployment project.

How to: Add and Remove Icons

Describes how to install and associate icons with your application during installation on a target computer.

How to: Exclude Items from a Deployment Project

Describes how to prevent project items from being included in an installer.

Troubleshooting Windows Installer Deployment

Presents some common errors that can occur with deployment and how to prevent them.

Editors Used in Deployment

Introduces the different editors that can be used to customize a deployment project.

How to: Set Conditional Installation Based on Operating System Versions

Demonstrates conditional installation based on a Windows Installer value.

How to: Set Conditional Installation Based on User Choices

Demonstrates conditional installation based on a value entered by a user during installation.

How to: Create a Windows Installer for a 64-bit Platform

Describes how to create 64-bit MSI package.

Related Sections

File Installation Management in Deployment

Describes the File System Editor, which allows you to add project outputs, files, and other items to a deployment project and specify where they will be installed on the target computer.

Registry Settings Management in Deployment

Describes the Registry Editor, which allows you to specify registry keys and values to be added to the registry of the target computer.

File Types Management in Deployment

Describes the File Types Editor, which is used to establish file associations on the target computer.

User Interface Management in Deployment

Describes the User Interface Editor, which can be used to specify and set properties for predefined dialog boxes that are displayed during installation on the target computer.

Custom Actions Management in Deployment

Describes the Custom Actions Editor, which allows you to specify additional actions to be performed on the target computer at the end of an installation.

Launch Condition Management in Deployment

Describes the Launch Conditions Editor, which allows you to specify conditions that must be met in order to successfully run an installation.

What's New in Deployment

Describes new features related to setup and deployment.

Redistributing Visual C++ Files

Discusses how you can determine the dependencies of a native, or unmanaged, Visual C++ application and redistribute all of the files needed to support the application on the target system.

Windows Installer Deployment

Discusses how you create installer packages to be distributed to users.

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