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Configuring a ClickOnce Deployment

  • March 17, 2009
  • By Matt Goebel, Rachel Baker
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Configuring a ClickOnce Deployment

You can perform many of the common activities needed to properly install your Windows desktop application to users' machines via the built-in configuration menus in Visual Studio 2008. These menus expose properties that allow you to add description information, configure deployment and manifest-related settings, and control file associations. We will discuss all of these options. We will be using Visual Studio 2008 with SP1, which introduce a few important features, including the ability to create desktop shortcuts and file associations.

If you wish to follow along with the demonstration below, you will need to make sure you have Visual Studio 2008 with SP1 installed. First, open VS 2008 SP1 and create a new Windows Forms project. Right click on the project file in Solution Explorer, choose Properties, and navigate to the Publish tab. Now, let's look at the different option menus and configurations ClickOnce offers. Click the "Options…" button on the Publish tab. The Publish Options dialog contains four sections (Description, Deployment, Manifests, File Associations), each described below.

Publish Options: Description

In the Deployment section, you'll find the following dialog that allows you to enter general information about the application. This information is used during deployment, updates and uninstalls.



Click here for larger image


Listing 1.1 The Description screen of the Publish dialog

The following table illustrates where each property is used:



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Listing 1.2 A table describing where the Description properties are used

Publish Language was excluded from this list as it has to do with multi-lingual/multi-cultural applications. It controls the language setting in the application's deployment manifest. For example, the following entry is from a manifest with German set as the Publish Language. Note this does not override the cultural settings of your application. It also does not necessarily control the language in which the installation dialogs will be presented; this is determined by the OS settings and the language packs for .NET that are installed on the user's machine. Setting the Publish Language will ensure that the localized files in your application that pertain the language you selected will be included by default in the list of application files to be deployed.

<asmv1:assemblyIdentity version="1.0.0.3" name="ClickOnce Demo.exe" 
publicKeyToken="056bfb40ce3cb353" language="de" 
processorArchitecture="msil" type="win32" />





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