What's New in Deployment
Deployment in Visual Studio 2010 has changed with the enhancement of ClickOnce deployment and Windows Installer deployment. For a discussion of the options available for deployment, see Choosing a Deployment Strategy.
Windows Installer deployment enables you to create installer packages to distribute to users. For more information, see Visual Studio Installer Deployment.
Windows Installer deployment is updated in Visual Studio 2010 Professional for the latest .NET Framework versions. You can target the .NET Framework 4 or ASP.NET 4 versions in your applications and Web applications. Additionally, you can check that any version of the .NET Framework is installed on the end-user computer, rather than checking for a specific version of the .NET Framework. For more information, see How to: Use Windows Installer to Deploy Applications That Can Run on Multiple Versions of the .NET Framework.
InstallShield 2010 Limited Edition
Starting in Visual Studio 2010, you can deploy applications by using the free InstallShield 2010 Limited Edition, which replaces functionality in the Visual Studio setup and deployment project templates. If your deployment requires more advanced customization, you can upgrade to the full version of InstallShield.
ClickOnce deployment enables you to deploy self-updating Windows and console applications that can be installed, updated, and run from a Web site. For more information, see ClickOnce Security and Deployment.
Starting in Visual Studio 2010, you can target .NET Framework 4 or multiple versions of the .NET Framework in your ClickOnce deployment. You can also troubleshoot installation issues by using enhanced logging and you can create a custom installer.
For Office solution developers, there are additional ClickOnce enhancements, such as deploying multiple Office solutions in a single ClickOnce installer and performing additional actions after the ClickOnce installer is finished. For more information, see What's New in Office Development.
For WPF XAML browser applications (XBAPs), you can request elevation of privileges with ClickOnce. For more information, see WPF XAML Browser Applications Overview.
Support for .NET Framework 4
Applications created by using Visual Studio 2010 can target .NET Framework 4 and its new features. For more information, see What's New in the .NET Framework 4.
Support for Multiple Versions of the .NET Framework
You can manually configure applications to be compatible with multiple versions of the .NET Framework. For example, you can specify that an application can run with .NET Framework 3.5 or .NET Framework 4. For more information, see How to: Use ClickOnce to Deploy Applications That Can Run on Multiple Versions of the .NET Framework.
You can help troubleshoot problems during ClickOnce installation by using the enhanced logging feature in Visual Studio 2010. The enhanced logging feature stores information such as the parameters passed to the ClickOnce runtime, the browser settings, and ClickOnce security options. For more information, How to: Specify Verbose Log Files for ClickOnce Deployments.
Custom Installer and User Interface
If you deploy your .exe application by using ClickOnce, you can create a custom graphical user interface to silently install and update the application. The installer can have custom dialog boxes for security and maintenance operations. For more information, see Walkthrough: Creating a Custom Installer for a ClickOnce Application.