Product Release Essentials


A pleasant and robust setup experience forms a lasting impression in your users’ minds about your Visual Studio integration product. An unpleasant setup experience also forms a lasting impression, so following best practices in setup development and testing is worth the investment.

Windows Installer is the recommended installation and configuration service for Windows and for Visual Studio integration products.


The Visual Studio SDK documentation on installing Visual Studio integration products builds on Windows Installer concepts, but it does not cover Windows Installer itself. For links to relevant sections of the Windows Installer documentation, refer to the table below.

In the context of setup, component refers to a Windows Installer component. Components contain resources like files and registry entries, and are installed and removed as a unit.


For more information, see

Learn more about Windows Installer.

Windows Installer

Determine your VSPackage's system requirements.

Learn how to register a VSPackage in a setup package.

See a sample installation package.

  • IronPython Integration Setup Sample

Side-by-side (sometimes shortened to SxS) refers to the ability to have multiple versions of the same product installed, and even running, simultaneously. For Visual Studio integration products, it also refers to the fact that Visual Studio itself supports side-by-side execution.


For more information, see

Learn about supporting multiple versions of Visual Studio in your Visual Studio integration product.

Learn about supporting multiple versions of your Visual Studio integration product.

The Visual Studio Integration Test (VSIT) suite is a series of tests that verifies that a VSPackage correctly integrates into Visual Studio. VSIT does not test a VSPackage’s functionality, but helps ensure that a VSPackage does not adversely affect other Visual Studio functionality. For more information, see Visual Studio Integration Tests.