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Creating a .NET Windows Installer Part 1

In this article, Matthew MacDonald considers how to use VS.NET to build a simple setup program for a .NET desktop application.

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By: Wrox Team
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 118
March 06, 2003
  1. · Creating a .NET Windows Installer Part 1
  2. · Article
  3. · Introducing the Windows Installer Service
  4. · The Sample Project
  5. · Creating the Windows Installer Project
  6. · The Setup Designers
  7. · Adding Files, Project Outputs, and Shortcuts
  8. · Support Files and Project Outputs
  9. · Shortcuts
  10. · Customizing the User Interface
  11. · Abstract
  12. · Article
  13. · Introducing the Windows Installer Service
  14. · The Sample Project

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Creating a .NET Windows Installer Part 1 - Abstract
(Page 11 of 14 )

You can add one of several pre-defined windows to the setup wizard. Each window can also only be added once, and then it disappears from the list of choices. Each window is designed for a single purpose, and provides very few configurable options. Almost all windows provide a BannerBitmap property that allows you to specify a graphic file that will be shown in the white banner area at the top of the window (the default graphic is a computer). Some of the options for other window types are shown below.

Window Type Description/Properties
Splash Used at the beginning of an install to display a company or product graphic. Provides a boolean Sunken property and a picture through the SplashBitmap property.
Welcome An introductory window. Can display text information from the CopyrightWarning and WelcomeText properties.
License Agreement Used to provide a license information window that requires the user to select " I agree " before continuing. The license information is drawn from the .rtf file specified by the LicenseFile property, and displayed in a window that can be Sunken.
Customer Information Provides a window that requires a customer name. You can also require additional information by using the boolean ShowOrganization and ShowSerialNumber properties. You can perform simple validation of the serial number using the SerialNumberTemplate , which is described in a section below.
Progress Displays a progress bar, provided the ShowProgressBar setting is True.
Register User Allows a user to register through a separate program. It provides a " Register Now " button that launches an executable or navigates to a web site. You specify the application through the Executable and Arguments properties.
Read Me Displays information from the .rtf file specified by the LicenseFile property, in a window that can be Sunken.

The User Interface designer may come as a disappointment to most developers, because it allows relatively limited customization. You can add and rearrange pre-built window types, but you cannot design an entirely new window or add in a custom block of code. In this case, Microsoft places a greater premium on consistency and enforced simplicity than on flexibility.
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