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Installing VSPackages By Using Windows Installer

Integrating your VSPackage into Visual Studio requires more than just copying files to a user's computer. Your VSPackage must include a VSPackage load key (PLK). Your VSPackage's installer must install the VSPackage and its dependent files, and register and integrate them into Visual Studio. Your VSPackage can take advantage of integration features such as displaying an icon on the Visual Studio splash screen and About dialog box.

Microsoft Windows Installer files are the recommended way to distribute your VSPackages. Easy-to-use Windows Installer packages can run on any Windows operating system supported by Visual Studio. For more information, see Windows Installer.

Windows Installer Basics

Provides an overview of the Windows Installer.

VSPackage Setup Scenarios

Discusses different ways you can support side-by-side installations of both your VSPackages and Visual Studio.

Authoring a Windows Installer Package

Provides an overview of the typical steps installers follow to correctly install and integrate VSPackages into Visual Studio.

Detecting System Requirements

Describes how an installer can detect Visual Studio and its components and cancel setup if VSPackage requirements are not met.

Component Management

Discusses how to develop an installer that will maintain the integrity of previous product versions.

Choosing the Installation Directory for a VSPackage

Summarizes the options for locating VSPackages.

VSPackage Registration

Discusses how VSPackages are registered at installation time and why self-registration is a bad idea.

Deploying Managed-Code Project Types

Discusses how to use the new project-type aggregator for managed-code project types.

How to: Generate Registry Information for an Installer (C#)

Explains how to use RegPkg.exe to generate a registration manifest for a managed VSPackage.

Commands That Must Be Run After Installation

Explains how to run post-installation commands to integrate VSPackages into Visual Studio.

Uninstalling a VSPackage

Describes the steps your installer must perform when users uninstall your VSPackage.

Deploying Project and Project Item Templates

Discusses how to install template files by using Windows Installer.

VSPackage Load Keys

Describes the Developer License Key (DLK), which is used during the development of your VSPackage, and PLKs, which are used to deploy VSPackages.

Visual Studio Integration Samples

Describes the integration samples that target the integrated development environment (IDE) in Visual Studio.

VSPackage Load Keys

Explains how to obtain and install a PLK.

Installing VSPackages

Discusses how to build and install VSPackages and how to support users who are running multiple versions of Visual Studio at the same time.