Visual Basic Concepts

Visual Studio 6.0

Distributing Your Applications

After you create a Visual Basic application, you may want to distribute it to others. You can freely distribute any application you create with Visual Basic to anyone who uses Microsoft Windows. You can distribute your applications on disk, on CDs, across networks, or over an intranet or the Internet.

When you distribute an application, there are two steps you must go through:

  • Packaging — you must package your application files into one or more .cab files that can be deployed to the location you choose, and you must create setup programs for certain types of packages. A .cab file is a compressed file that is well suited to distribution on either disks or the Internet.

  • Deployment — you must move your packaged application to the location users can install it from. This may mean copying the package to floppy disks or to a local or network drive, or deploying the package to a Web site.

You can use two tools to package and distribute your applications: the Package and Deployment Wizard (formerly the Setup Wizard), or the Setup Toolkit provided with your Visual Basic installation. The Package and Deployment Wizard automates many of the steps involved in distributing applications by presenting you with choices about how you want to configure your .cab files. The Setup Toolkit lets you customize some of what happens during the installation process.


The Package and Deployment Wizard

Introduces the Package and Deployment Wizard and explains the three main tasks you can perform using it. Also compares the wizard to the Setup Toolkit project.

Application Packaging with the Wizard

Explains the process of packaging your applications in preparation for deployment. Describes the three types of packages: standard packages, Internet packages, and dependency files.

Application Deployment with the Wizard

Explains the process of deploying your packaged applications to floppy disks, a location on a local or network drive, or to a site on the Internet or an intranet.

Managing Wizard Scripts

Explains packaging and deployment scripts and how they are used. Includes information on how to rename, copy, and delete the scripts you have created in previous sessions in the Package and Deployment Wizard.

The Setup Toolkit

Describes the Setup Toolkit project and how you can use it to add functionality and customization to the setup programs for your packages.

Manually Editing a Setup.lst File

Explains the function of a Setup.lst file, the sections that occur in it, and the proper format for each section of the file.

Creating Distribution Media

Explains the process of manually creating your distribution media if you are not using the Package and Deployment Wizard to deploy your application.

Using the Package and Deployment Wizard with the Setup Toolkit

Explains how to modify the Setup Toolkit project and still use the Package and Deployment Wizard to create your setup program.

Testing Your Setup Program

Describes simple techniques for testing your application's installation.

Allowing the User to Remove Your Application

Describes how your application can be uninstalled from the user's machine and lists common problems that may be encountered.

Deploying Localized ActiveX Controls

Presents information on how to troubleshoot a problem you may encounter when deploying internationalized ActiveX controls with the Package and Deployment Wizard.