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In Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training, author Walt Ritscher demonstrates how to use Visual Studio 2010 Professional to develop full-featured applications targeting a variety of platforms. Starting with an overview of the integrated developer environment, the course covers working with code editors, navigating and formatting code, and deploying applications. Also included are tutorials on running performance and load tests, and debugging code. Exercise files accompany the course.
You have made it to the last step in creating the simple RSS application. You built and tested info reader, and are ready to deploy it to your customer's computer. I'll show you two techniques to deploy your application. Before we ship our application, we want to switch from Debug build to Release build. This will ensure that our code is optimized. To do that, I need to be inside Visual Studio. So, I have opened the Visual Studio and have opened the solution called Info Reader, which has a project called InfoReaderVFinished. To Release mode, I go to this dropdown here and choose Release.
Now when I click Build, it's going to take and compile the application and put it in a Release-specific folder. I can see that folder by going out to my hard drive, right-click, choose Open Folder in Windows Explorer, and all of my compiled code lives in this folder here, the bin folder, which stands for binary. And down here, of course, is where my Release build is. There is my exe, the most important file for this application, and this is my database file.
So what I am going to do is I am going to copy this Release folder and put it somewhere my hard drive. This is what your user would do. They would take this folder, put it somewhere on their computer--let's say their desktop--and then they will double- click on this InfoReaderFinished.exe, and there's our application. Let's see if works. I will type in "RIA" and choose to Search RSS, check the blog section to see if it's working correctly--it looks like it is--and look at my history. Excellent! It's working. So, really, it's that simple to deploy.
The user can change the name of the folder, they can move it to a new location. It just works. Of course, there are some drawbacks to this simple matter of deployment. If you upgrade the application, you would have to make sure that each user gets the newer copy. Also, the simple copy doesn't add any desktop icons or shortcuts to the Start menu. Visual Studio provides a normal Windows installer and a Click once installer that address these issues. I'd like to show you how to create a Clickonce installer. I am going to switch back to Visual Studio, and then I am going to double-click on this Properties node in the Solution Explorer.
Next, I'm going to go down to the Publish section, and then I'm going to click on the Publish Wizard. I have many more details about how to create Clickonce applications in another section of this title. For now though, I am just going to click the Publish Wizard. This is the location on my hard drive where the files will be published, a folder underneath my project. I will click Next. I will choose to install from a CD-ROM, and that my application will not check for updates, and then I am finished. I click the Finish button, wait about two seconds, and then Visual Studio compiles my application, publishes the application, and then opens up Windows Explorer and shows me the files.
Here is the file I would give my user, and then they would double-click on the setup.exe. And Clickonce sees that I have not digitally signed my executable, so it's telling the user, "I can't verify this publisher. Are you sure you want to install this application?" They're going to click on Install. Now, here's the application. This application has a shortcut in the Start menu. Now before I compiled this, I should've added our company name and our publisher information or web site. I didn't do that, so I got the default values.
But let's go find out where it's stored. If I look into Start menu, here is my Info Reader. I can click on this link to run it. It's also stored in All Programs. Because I used the default, it's currently stored in the Microsoft folder. There it is again. Since it was a regular install, it also is un-installable by the user if they go to Features and click Programs and Features, and this shows all the installed applications, and my Info Reader application is down here.
It shows the date it was installed and who the publisher is. Now the user can go and can use Uninstall or Change, choose to remove the application, and now all traces of this application are gone from their computer. That's the last topic in his chapter on building a simple WPF application. We created a user interface, wrote some C# code, and determined how to use data within the database, and read RSS feeds from the Internet. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, we had the big finale. We created a simple Clickonce deployment application. Here's a tidbit for you before I go: you will find a lot of details about each of these phases elsewhere in this course.
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