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InfoQ Homepage Presentations Deploying & Maintaining Smart Client Apps using ClickOnce

Deploying & Maintaining Smart Client Apps using ClickOnce



ClickOnce, part of version .NET 2.0, allows the deployment of Windows-based rich client apps by placing the app files on a Web or file server and providing the user with a link. This session covers VS 2005 deployment capabilities for online and offline support, rolling back to previous versions of an app, listing an app in the Start Menu and control panel, and zone-based debugging.


Cathi Gero, C.P.A., is founder and development director of Prenia Corporation, providing custom software applications, training, and architectural designing to businesses and developers. Cathi is a Microsoft C# MVP and is an active member of the .NET community. cgero[at]

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JAOO is the premier European developer conference on software technology, methods and best practices. The conference presents in-depth presentations and tutorials by researchers, engineers and trend-setters in software engineering and technology.

Recorded at:

Mar 21, 2007

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Community comments

  • is silent mass installation supported?

    by Alex Zakharov,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    With a good number of customers the first install is done by the customer's system admin who rolls out an app to all the users in one shot (typically via group policy based msi deployments). Then as time goes on the updates are distributed either by providing a newer msi or by a separate "is update available" functionality typically comes with installshield, installaware, wise etc.

    Click-once seems well-equipped to handle updates, by notifying the end user upon app startup if a new version is available. But what about the initial rollout - can it be done silently to a large number of users without requiring any end user interaction?

  • Re: is silent mass installation supported?

    by Justin Kwak,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    ClickOnce is design on different paradigm then traditional app model.
    ClickOnce is per-user base app deployment, manifest based deployment, support full isolations of apps and support cache and run if I mention few. So ClickOnce may not work like “traditional” way to IT pro / admin but there is a way (maybe better for some case) to achieve IT pro / admin activities

    If I understand correctly many IT pro / admin rollout first deployment for number of reasons from using bandwidth during night to setup ready to go machine that doesn’t need network connection and more.
    But when you use ClickOnce you should remember that those issues may no longer apply hence reduce reason to do the massive first time rollout.

    ClickOnce suggestions are make people to Visit centralized branded website (like ITweb) when they want to use the application
    You can still deploy shortcuts in the desktop using SMS or other management tools if visiting Webpage is not desirable
    And let user to trigger the first time install

    If you know for sure that users will go offline when they are ready to use the app then copy distribution to the local store (any place) and let shortcut to point that – still can get update from server when connected.

    ClickOnce may not work for every situation but for many future environment it should delivers a lot.


    PS. This is my personal opinion

  • web start

    by Thom Nichols,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Isn't clickOnce basically a Microsoft-ized version of Java Web Start? Granted, Sun did a horrible job of promoting desktop Java, but still... Rich Client app that is downloaded from a server... Sounds very familiar.

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