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Important This document may not represent best practices for current development, links to downloads and other resources may no longer be valid. Current recommended version can be found here.

Redistributing Using Merge Modules 

Visual Studio installs several merge modules for each Visual C++ component that may be redistributed with your application. They may be found in the Program Files\Common Files\Merge Modules folder. Each of these merge modules may be used to deploy Visual C++ DLLs to the target system. However only non-debug versions of Visual C++ DLLs are allowed to be redistributed. For a complete list of merge modules that are allowed to be used redistributed, please see Redist.txt.

Using Visual C++ redistributable merge modules, you can install Visual C++ assemblies as shared side-by-side assemblies into the native assembly cache (WinSxS folder). Visual Studio itself uses this technique to install these DLLs. Installation of the WinSxS folder requires administrative user rights. If an installation is run by a user who does not have administrative rights, the Visual C++ assemblies cannot be installed, and applications that depend on those DLLs cannot run.

The alternative redistribution approach is to install private side-by-side assemblies of a particular user application. For more information on deploying Visual C++ files as private assemblies see Redistributing Visual C++ Files.

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