Distribute .NET Components

Visual Studio .NET uses Setup and Deployment projects to create the installation applications you use to distribute .NET components or any other type of application. These tools are greatly improved over the Visual Basic 6.0 setup wizards and there are a number of paths you can take to create an installation program for your .NET components.


.NET Setup and Deployment projects create Windows installer files (.msi) that can be installed as standalone components or made part of a chained installation involving other applications— including installations created using the Office Custom Installation Wizard (CIW).

How to do it

The following steps outline one of the possible paths:

  1. From Visual Studio .NET, choose File Add Project New Project. Visual Studio .NET displays the Add New Project dialog box.

  2. Select the Setup and Deployment project type, then select the Setup Wizard from the Templates list. Name the setup project descriptively and click OK. Visual Studio .NET starts the Setup Wizard to walk you through creating the project.

  3. Follow the steps in the Setup Wizard to install a Windows application and select the Primary output for NetForExcel project group in Step 3 of the Wizard as shown in Figure 5-8.

    Select the primary output for the project to install

    Figure 5-8. Select the primary output for the project to install

  4. When you click Finish in the Setup Wizard, Visual Studio .NET creates a ...

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