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Premier Partner Edition Setup Guide 

Requirements for deploying your VSPackage in the Visual Studio Premier Partner Edition (PPE) help developers to create functioning installation packages for customers. For more information about how to create and deploy VSPackages, see Visual Studio Development Environment SDK.

A deployment in PPE requires that you write a Microsoft Installer (MSI) package for your application. Besides installing the required components, your installer lets you show your own installation user interface (UI), gather user options, present your end-user license agreement (EULA), and perform other installation tasks.

A VSPackage that is deployed in PPE must also meet Microsoft serviceability requirements. These requirements enable the efficient redistribution of Microsoft service and security updates that you can post for download. For more information, see Visual Studio Serviceability Guidelines.

Setup Components

Your installation program must install the following redistributable components:

  • PPE MSI redistributable (PPE Disk 1)

    Includes bits for Visual Studio PPE plus supported features.

  • .NET Framework redistributable (VSTS Disk 1, located at [disk]:\vs\wcu\dotNetFramework).

    For important information about redistributing the .NET Framework, see .NET Framework Deployment Basics.


    If you are shipping an add-in with your deployment, the add-in will not load. By default PPE does not install MSXML6. Instead, MSXML6 is an option. To resolve this issue, make sure that the installer that you create installs MSXML6 with your deployment.

Setup Checklist

Following is a checklist of VSPackage installer requirements.


Following are prerequisites for an installer for a VSPackage setup:

  • Microsoft Installer (MSI) version 3.1 or later versions

  • .NET Framework 2.0 (include language packs on localized systems and use the 64-bit framework if deploying under Windows-on-Windows [WoW])

  • MSXML version 6.0 or later versions

  • MDAC 2.8 (Windows 2000, Service Pack 4 only)

  • The following operating systems support the Visual Studio SDK:

    • Windows XP, Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later versions

    • Windows 2000, Service Pack 4 (SP4) or later versions

    • Windows Server 2003, Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later versions

Installer Best Practices

Developers who create setups must follow best practices for Microsoft installations. Best practice for computers that run Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows XP include the following three criteria:

  • Use the Local Administrator account.

    By using the Local Administrator account you prevent problems with both permissions and user rights. The Local Administrator account is the maintenance account. Use this account when you install and remove programs.

  • Stop all required services and programs before you install your VSPackage.

    Many programs, especially antivirus and other monitoring programs, can interrupt the installation process. Therefore, stop them before you start the installation.

  • Clear the System\Temp folder before you install your VSPackage.

    The installation wizards use the System\Temp folder. If an installation leaves corrupted files or folders in the Temp folder, the installation reapplies the corrupted versions instead of returning to the installation source for fresh copies.

Setup Instructions

The default installation should provide an experience that does not require intervention from a user.

However, if you want to provide more than the basic installation components, you can optionally provide installation UI that prompts the user appropriately.

For more information, see Windows Installer Basics and How to troubleshoot Visual Studio .NET installation.

Additional Deployment Issues

You can take advantage of the following additional options in your deployment.

Unattended Install of Chained Components

All components have an unattended install option. Only the .NET Framework installation will potentially display installation UI. For more information about how to use unattended installation options for the .NET Framework installation, see Setup.exe Bootstrapper Sample Operations.

Setup.exe uses the following command to start an unattended installation of the .NET Framework (Dotnetfx.exe):

dotnetfx.exe /q:a /c:"install /l /q"

MDAC Components

MDAC components are optionally provided with the PPE redistributable for partners who want to include them in their setup. When you install MDAC, setup programs should provide logic to detect whether MDAC is already installed.


PPE is localized for all languages for which Visual Studio is localized, as are IDE elements.

See Also