Software deployment is the last phase in SDLC. In this tutorial we will learn about the installer for deployment. There are three methods which are provide by Microsoft. I’m talking about the windows applications only, here is a referral Deploying a WPF Application.
.NET Deployment Methods
- XCopy deployment
- Windows Installer deployment.
- ClickOnce deployment.
These deployment methods are quite good but simple too. If you are looking forward some good GUI for deployment or want to distribute your software in open market, you need a attractive installer. There are many installer plugins for .NET but only few have good documentation and support, rest have just name.
Windows Installer Plugins for Visual Studio
- Advanced Installer (Paid)
- Wix Toolset (Freeware)
- InstallAware (Paid)
- Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects (Freeware)
We are going to used the last option because of Microsoft support & on other hand Wix Toolset also have a great documentation. Visual Studio Installer Projects are simple and easy to use if you have required a quick deployment exe.
You can easily manipulate,
- Startup Icon
- Toolbar Icon
- Manufacturing Company
and much more. I’m just letting you know the basics which are used commonly.
Create Windows Installer for WPF
- First of all you need to install the Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects. Then open your solution for which you want to create installer EXE.
- Right click on your solution, click add new project.
- Then under Other Project Types > Visual Studio Installer > Setup Project.
- A new window appears, where you have to define the project for which you want to create the installer.
- Select Application Folder from the left panel.
- The right panel become empty.
- Just right click on right panel, then select Project Output.
- Then new window appears in which you have define the project.
- As you can see in the drop down my current project is selected for which I want to create EXE installer & Primary output was highlighted (selected).
- Primary output means, all the dll & exe available in main folder (bin) will become part of installer.
- All the included files will shows right after when you click OK like below image.
- Now if you are wanted to manipulate the basic information, you can do that from settings.
- Just select your installer project and click F4 to open properties.
- Change the relative information as you are required.
- Like author and so forth.
- Then build this individual project (named Setup).
- Then Open Folder in File Explorer.
- Then you will found the final exe (Installer).
- We are done here.
We have learned to create installer for WPF application. Now you can create installer for any windows application easily. Just follow the above steps and enjoy your journey. You can also use other plugins for the same purpose. Paid plugins give you more advantages over freeware plugins. Now it’s your turn what you will use?