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Programming Visual Basic 2008 by Tim Patrick

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Deployment Methods Within Visual Studio

With the early releases of Visual Basic, if you wanted to install your custom software using a setup program, you had to either write it yourself or use a purchased tool. Deployment tools did eventually appear in Visual Basic, especially the infamous "Package and Deployment Wizard." This canned setup program was written in Visual Basic, and you could enhance it to meet your own custom deployment needs. But it wasn't easy. And the rest of the world was already adopting the new "Windows Installer" platform for standardized deployment via .msi files. The Package and Deployment Wizard used the older .cab file format. Even for someone like me who actually enjoyed programming, the need to write effective installation programs sometimes made life ugly.

When Visual Basic .NET 2002 came out, life became beautiful again. Visual Studio included tools that let you target the Windows Installer technology, just like the big boys used. Sure, it was a stripped-down version that let you release only the simplest of applications, but third-party vendors have to have some fun.

These days, Visual Studio includes several deployment methods, a tribute to the different types of applications, the different types of users, and the different types of secure environments that a programmer may need to target. Read through each of the available methods to see which one best meets the needs of your program. I've already made my selection for the Library Project, which I'll ...

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