Deploying an Add-In

Windows Server 2008

This last section of the Windows Home Server programming tutorial walks through the steps to create an MSI package and deploy a Windows Home Server add-in. For your add-in to work, you must copy the application files for your add-in to the %systemdrive%\Program Files\Windows Home Server\ directory on the server. The sample Windows Home Server application that you create in this programming tutorial consists of a single .dll file that contains a Windows Home Server Console tab and an associated Windows Home Server Settings tab. To make your add-in available for installation, you must deploy it to a computer that is running Windows Home Server.

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Express Editions of Visual Studio are not capable of creating deployment projects. For testing purposes and for limited deployment, you can compile your project and copy the output .dll file to the C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\ directory on the server and then restart the Windows Home Server console. Note that a directory by this name exists on both the client and the server. The add-in will only be visible if the .dll file is copied to the server directory.

Creating an MSI package

The recommended method for deploying your add-in is to create an MSI package. This tutorial discusses two popular methods for creating an MSI package: an MSI that is created using a Visual Studio Setup project, and one that is based on Windows Installer XML (WiX) and that uses the Visual Studio development system.

Using a Visual Studio Setup project

You can create an MSI package by using a Visual Studio Setup project and then using ORCA to edit the properties of your MSI package. You need to edit the MSI package properties so that you can add the WHSLogo property. Adding this property and setting it to a value of 1 enables Windows Home Server to recognize the MSI package as a Windows Home Server add-in.

Using Windows Installer XML (WiX)

To create an MSI package based on WiX using Visual Studio, you can download Votive. You can use Votive to create WiX-based MSI packages through the Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Deploying the Add-in MSI

To deploy the SDKSample add-in, you must copy the MSI file, InstallSDKSample.msi, from your development computer to the \\ServerName\Software\Add-ins\ folder on the computer that is running Windows Home Server. MSI packages that conform to the Windows Home Server MSI requirements and that are placed in this folder are visible in the Windows Home Server Settings dialog on the Add-ins tab, in the Available section.

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