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Setup Projects for Application-Level Add-ins

When you create an application-level add-in project by using Visual Studio Tools for Office, a Setup project is automatically added to the solution. The Setup project for add-ins generates a Microsoft Windows Installer (.msi) file that configures the target computer and installs the add-in. For more information about Setup projects, see Setup and Deployment Projects.

Setup Project Overview

By default, when you build the Setup project, Visual Studio creates a Windows Installer file that performs the following steps:

  1. Verifies that the .NET Framework 2.0 is installed on the client computer.


    By default, the Setup project does not check for other prerequisites, including the Visual Studio Tools for Office runtime and the primary interop assembly (PIA) for the Microsoft Office application. For more information about the prerequisites, see How to: Prepare End User Computers to Run Office Solutions.


    By default, the Setup program will not run if the .NET Framework 2.0 is not installed, even if a later or earlier version of the Framework is installed. The installer will not run because the AllowLaterVersions launch condition property for the .NET Framework in the Setup project is set to false. For more information about launch conditions in Setup projects, see Launch Conditions Editor and Properties for the Launch Conditions Editor.

  2. Creates the required registry keys on the client computer. For more information about these registry keys, see Deploying Application-Level Add-ins.

  3. Copies the files generated by the build process, including the add-in assembly and the application manifest, to a user-specified directory on the target computer.

The add-in assembly and any referenced assemblies must also be granted full trust in the security policy of each end user. The Setup project does not set the security policy by default. You can add a step to the Setup project to configure the security policy, or the appropriate security policy can be set by an administrator. For more information, see Security Requirements to Run Office Solutions.


For articles that describe how to modify the Setup project to set the security policy and install prerequisites, see "Deploying Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Solutions Using Windows Installer (Part 1 of 2)" ( and "Deploying Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Solutions Using Windows Installer: Walkthroughs (Part 2 of 2)" (

See Also