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Advanced Office Solution Deployment

Visual Studio 2010

You can customize your Office solution installer for the following advanced deployment scenarios:

  • Automatically install Office solutions with a batch file or at login.

  • Bundle and deploy multiple Office solutions into a single ClickOnce installer.

  • Perform additional installation actions after the ClickOnce installer is complete, such as copying documents to the end user computer.

Applies to: The information in this topic applies to document-level projects and application-level projects for Microsoft Office 2010 and the 2007 Microsoft Office system. For more information, see Features Available by Office Application and Project Type.

You can create a custom installer program for your Office solution, instead of using the default installer that is created by the Office development tools in Visual Studio. For example, you may want to use a login script to start the installation for Office solutions, or use a batch file to install the Office solution without user interaction. These scenarios are ideal if the prerequisites are already installed on end user computers. For more information, see Customizing Office Solution Installation.

You can bundle and deploy multiple application-level or document-level Office solutions into a single ClickOnce installer, known as a multi-project deployment. This simplifies deployment because only one installer needs to run in order to install many Office solutions.

Updating an application also becomes simpler. To update multiple solutions, you only update a single location. The updated files are detected and then downloaded, so the network usage remains low. A multi-project deployment has a single entry in the Add/Remove Programs in Windows XP or Programs and Features in Windows Vista.

To get started, see Walkthrough: Deploying Multiple Office Solutions in a Single ClickOnce Installer for the .NET Framework 4.

You can run additional installation steps as the final step of the ClickOnce installer by configuring a post-deployment action. For example, if you created a customized document for your end users, you can configure a post-deployment action to copy the document to the users' Documents folder. If you created a customized template, you can copy the template to the Office template directory. This makes the template easy to find by end users. For more information about how to copy a file to the end user's computer, see Walkthrough: Copying a Document to the End User Computer after a ClickOnce Installation.

When you create a post-deployment action, you must manually edit the application manifest to add the install dependency for the assembly of the post-deployment action. When you create the XML for the application manifest, use the name of the DLL as the assembly identity name. Additionally, use the syntax NamespaceName.ClassName for the class attribute of the entrypoint. For more information, see <postActions> Element (Office Development in Visual Studio)