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Deploying Applications in VB.NET: Part 1/2


Ever wondered how to deploy your own VB.NET applications? In this 2 part article, Jayesh runs you through everything you need to know to get started ASAP!

Author Info:
By: Jayesh Jain
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 300
November 03, 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Deploying Applications in VB.NET: Part 1/2
  2. · What is Microsoft Windows Installer?
  3. · Modifying Properties (contd.)
  4. · Conclusion

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Deploying Applications in VB.NET: Part 1/2 - Modifying Properties (contd.)
(Page 3 of 4 )

Open the Solution Explorer, right click on the MyClockSetup project, click View and select File System to open the File System window.

From the File System on the Target Machine, right click the Application Folder, click Add and select Project Output... . In the Add Project Output Group, select Primary output from the list of options available and finally, click OK.

Adding a project output group

To run the application on the target machine, we need to create a shortcut for the application on the user's desktop. To do this, right click on the Primary Output from MyClock (Active) and select Create ShortCut to Primary Output from MyClock (Active). Rename this newly created entry to MyClock and drag this entry (MyClock) to the user's Desktop in the File System on Target Machine Window.

The screenshot below shows you what everything should look like:

Setting our deployment project options

Building the Deployment Project
Open the Solution Explorer and select the MyClockSetup project. From the Build menu, select Build MyClockSetup to build our deployment project. This procedure may take a few minutes, depending upon your machine and will create a Debug folder under the MyClockSetup folder.

Looking at Installer Files
After the Setup Project is built without any errors, the following files will be created:
  • InstMsiA.exe
  • InstMsiW.exe
  • MyClockSetup.msi
  • Setup.exe
  • Setup.Ini
MyClockSetup.msi is the Windows Installer file for our application. Setup.exe is the wrapper for the MyClockSetup.msi, which checks if the correct version of Windows installer is available before the application is installed.

InstMsiA.exe and InstMsiW.exe are the Windows Installer application file(s), which are used to support different Windows platforms, such as Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT and Windows 2000.

Make sure you distribute all of these files when you deploy your application and always run Setup.exe to install the application

Guess what? You've finished creating your deployment application! Pat yourself on the back, and let's install our application.

Installing the Application
To test and run our installer, click Install from the Project menu. Alternatively, you could also start the installation by running setup.exe from the installation folder.



Click on the Next button to continue.



Click next and follow the Screens to install the application. Once the installation is complete, make sure that a shortcut is created on the desktop and that it correctly launches our MyClock application.

Uninstalling the Application
Once you have successfully installed the application, you can also uninstall it by selecting Uninstall from the Project menu. You could also uninstall the application from the Add/Remove Programs list in control panel.
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