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Windows Installer Deployment

Updated: August 2008

Windows Installer deployment enables you to create installer packages to be distributed to users; the user runs the setup file and steps through a wizard to install the application. This is accomplished by adding a Setup project to your solution. When built, the project creates a setup file that you distribute to users; the user runs the setup file and steps through a wizard to install the application.


The Express Editions do not include Windows Installer technology. For information about the deployment technology used in the Express Editions, see ClickOnce Deployment.

The following topics will help you learn more about Windows Installer deployment.

Windows Installer Deployment Overview

Discusses deployment alternatives, deployment through distributable media, setup projects, Web setup projects, CAB file projects, and so on.

Windows Installer Deployment Concepts

Discusses merge modules, deployment files and folders, and how to associate file name extensions with an application.

Windows Installer Deployment Tasks

Describes how to use the Visual Studio features to create a Windows Installer package.

Windows Installer Deployment Walkthroughs

Provides walkthroughs of various deployment tasks using Windows Installer.

Windows Installer Deployment User Interface Elements

Describes the Visual Studio wizards and other user interface elements pertaining to Windows Installer.

Windows Installer Examples

Provides Windows Installer examples for installation, upgrade, patching, localization, and more.

.NET Framework Deployment Features

Describes the features of .NET Framework deployment.

.NET Framework Deployment Basics

Describes the packaging and distributing of .NET Framework applications.

ClickOnce Deployment for Windows Forms Applications

Describes ClickOnce deployment, which enables you to publish self-updating Windows-based applications to a Web server or network file share for simplified installation.

Deployment Scenarios for .NET Framework Applications

Describes various deployment scenarios.

How the Runtime Locates Assemblies

Describes how the common language runtime locates and binds to the assemblies that make up your application.

Redistributing the .NET Framework

Describes how to use the redistributable installer, Dotnetfx.exe, that contains the common language runtime and .NET Framework components that are required to run .NET Framework applications.

Choosing a Deployment Strategy

Compares ClickOnce and Windows Installer deployment.




August 2008

Added information for Express Edition developers.

Customer feedback.

Added links to Windows Installer examples.

Customer feedback.