Chapter 2. Deployment Options

In This Chapter

  • Deploying Windows and Web applications using ClickOnce

  • Digitally signing your code and strong naming assemblies

  • Creating an installer

  • Precompiling Web sites

Deploying an application can be as simple as copying a single file or as complex as installing multiple components with dependencies on each other. Deployment can be complex at times, involving multiple directories and registry entries. Deploying needs to be done not just once, but throughout the life of your application. For example, you often need to deploy the following:

  • Prerelease versions of your application for testing

  • Major releases

  • Updates to your application

Even though this deployment chapter comes near the end of the book, deploying is one of the first things you start thinking about for your application. You should test your deployment strategy with your daily build.

Understanding Deployment Basics

For too many clients, deployment consists of 25 steps that require you to do the following (not necessarily in this order):

  • Copy file X from this server.

  • Copy file Y from that server.

  • Execute file X on the client's computer.

  • Create six ODBC connections.

  • Register component Z on the client's computer.

  • Create shortcuts on the desktop and on the Start menu.

Requiring your customers or internal IT staff to jump through these hoops every time a client installation is required isn't only brutal — it's unprofessional. People will invariably make mistakes when they dread installing your application. ...

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