Using ClickOnce to Deploy .NET Apps - Page 1
       by kirupa  |  23 September 2006

In the previous page, you created your application. In this page, I will start to explain how to get the application into your users' hands.

Using ClickOnce - The Publish Wizard
Now, we have our simple application setup, let's work on deploying it. From the top menu, go to Build | Publish ClickOnceDemo. The Publish Wizard will appear:

[ the Publish Wizard window ]

Specifying Publish Location
From the first screen, you can specify the location your application will be published to. The example locations they provide indicate that you can publish your application to a location on a disk, on a remote file share, to an ftp server, or to a web site.

Depending on what location you input here, the choices you see in subsequent screens of this wizard will vary. I will be publishing to a web site, and I'm sure you all would be interested in web-based deployment also. Note that you may be prompted for your web server's username and password.

Note - Deploying Locally

You can specify a folder or location on your hard drive if you do not have access to a web-based server. Many of the instructions in the rest of the tutorial may not directly apply to you, but hopefully the process is similar enough where you can still follow along.

Press Next after you specified a web-based location.

Offline or Online Application?
The next screen will ask you whether you want your application to run both offline/online or just online:

[ select the option for making the application available both offline and online ]

Select the "Yes, this application is available online or offline". This is the option that automatically sets up the Start Menu folder/icon as well as the Uninstall option. Press Next to proceed to the next screen.

It's Show Time!
The next screen simply provides a summary of the options you have selected in the previous screens:

[ one step closer to deploying ]

Click the Finish Button to publish your application. After you have published your application, your browser will automatically load with the URL of the install page. In my case, this is the link to the application I published:

That's all there is to publishing a .NET application to the web using the wizard! As is true with most wizards, many details have been hidden from us. That is a good thing if your not a deployment expert, but it may be limiting if you want to beyond the basic functionality afforded by a wizard.

Luckily, there is a more hands-on approach to using ClickOnce also where you can modify many settings that were glossed over in the wizard approach I covered. In the next few pages, I will go through and explain how to manually configure ClickOnce settings for your application.

Onwards to the next page!

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