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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
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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 - The Setup Designers
(Page 6 of 14 )

When you create a setup project, Visual Studio .NET provides you with several different designers, each of which can be used to configure one aspect of your setup program. To see all the designers that you can use, right click on the solution item in the Solution Explorer, and select View.

  • The File System designer allows you to copy files to the destination computer. You can use a pre-defined directory, or one of several "recognized" directory options.
  • The Registry designer allows you to add new keys and values to the destination computer's registry.
  • The File Types designer allows you to register a document extension with your application (so that double-clicking the document launches the program automatically). These settings could be set through the Registry designer, but it would involve more work.
  • The User Interface designer allows you to tweak the default user interface (which is provided automatically) or add your own custom dialogs.
  • The Custom Actions designer allows you to link to another program, which will launch at the end of the setup to perform extra configuration.
  • The Launch Conditions designer allows you to specify special conditions that must be met in order for a setup to run.

You can also set some basic options like Author, Manufacturer, ManufacturerURL, Title, ProductName, and Version from the project properties window. Most of these are descriptive settings used in the setup wizard or other Windows dialogs, like the Support Info window (which can be launched from the Add/Remove Programs window). You can also set the icon that represents your program in the list of currently installed applications (AddRemoveProgramsIcon).

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