Distribute Excel .NET Applications

One of the big advantages of Excel .NET applications is that they can be easily distributed through a network. Just set the project Assembly Link Location property to a network address and distribute the Excel workbook that uses the assembly. Whenever anyone uses the workbook, the assembly will then be loaded from that network location.

How to do it

Before you can distribute applications in this way, however, you need to make sure your users meet the following requirements:

  • They must be using Excel 2003. Prior versions of Excel are not supported for Excel .NET applications.

  • The Office 2003 PIAs must be installed on the user’s machine.

  • The .NET Framework Version 1.1 runtime must be installed.

  • The user’s .NET security policy must specify Full Trust for the network address from which the assembly is distributed.

The first two requirements are best handled using the Office Resource Kit’s Custom Installation Wizard or Custom Maintenance Wizard. See Chapter 4 for information on obtaining and using those tools. You can use those tools to create a chained installation that calls subsequent installation programs, such as the setup for Excel .NET application prerequisites and security policy settings.

The .NET Setup and Deployment projects detect the Office PIAs and .NET Framework as dependencies of the Excel application. According to the Visual Studio .NET Tools for Office documentation, you shouldn’t distribute the PIAs through your setup ...

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