We recommend using Visual Studio 2017

Deploying Native Desktop Applications (Visual C++)


The latest version of this topic can be found at Deploying Native Desktop Applications (Visual C++).

Deployment is the process by which you distribute a finished application or component to be installed on other computers. Deployment planning starts when an application is created on a developer's computer. Deployment ends when the application is installed and ready to run on a user's computer.

Visual Studio provides different technologies for deploying Windows applications. These include ClickOnce deployment and Windows Installer deployment.

  • ClickOnce can be used to deploy C++ applications that target the common language runtime (CLR)—mixed, pure, and verifiable assemblies. Although you can use Windows Installer to deploy a managed application, we recommend that you use ClickOnce because it takes advantage of .NET Framework security features such as manifest signing. ClickOnce does not support deployment of native C++ applications. For more information, see ClickOnce Deployment for Visual C++ Applications.

  • Windows Installer technology can be used to deploy either native C++ applications or C++ applications that target the CLR.

The articles in this section of the documentation discuss how to ensure that a native Visual C++ application runs on any computer that provides a supported target platform, which files you must include in an installation package, and the recommended ways to redistribute the components that your application depends on.

Deployment in Visual C++

Deployment Concepts

Understanding the Dependencies of a Visual C++ Application

Determining Which DLLs to Redistribute

Choosing a Deployment Method

Redistributing Visual C++ Files

Deployment Examples

Redistributing Web Client Applications

ClickOnce Deployment for Visual C++ Applications

Running a C++ /clr Application on a Previous Runtime Version

Building C/C++ Isolated Applications and Side-by-side Assemblies


Troubleshooting C/C++ Isolated Applications and Side-by-side Assemblies