Deployment of a Web Setup Project 

This topic has been updated for Visual Studio 2005 SP1.


When you create a Web Setup deployment project in Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Vista, you have to turn on the Windows IIS Metabase and IIS 6 configuration compatibility feature. You also have to be logged on as an Administrator; otherwise you will be unable to run setup.exe to install the project.

In addition to creating Windows Installers for distribution by means of traditional media, the deployment tools in Visual Studio also support deployment to a Web server. Using deployment to install files on a Web server provides an advantage over simply copying files, in that deployment automatically handles any issues with registration and configuration.

In addition, installers for Windows-based applications can be deployed to a Web server so that users can later download and run them from a Web site.

To deploy a Web application to a Web server, create a Web Setup project, build it, copy it to the Web server computer, and run the installer to install the application on the server using the settings defined in the Web Setup project.


To deploy to a Web server, you must have administrative permissions for that computer. For more information, see Web Pages and Projects.

The behavior of some administrative settings with regard to deployment may not be obvious. If the Internet Information Services (IIS) Write property for a virtual directory is disabled, files will still be deployed to that directory. The Write property controls only the ability for users to upload files.

To deploy an application for download from a Web server, you create a Web Setup project and add the project output group for the application to the Web Setup project in the File System Editor. After building the installer, you copy it to the Web server computer, where it can then be downloaded by way of a Web browser.


When an installer is made available for download, there is no guarantee that the Windows Installer run-time files will be available on the user's computer. You should always make sure that the run-time files are also available for download by specifying a location in the Web Bootstrapper Settings dialog box. For more information, see Web Bootstrapper Settings Dialog Box.

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