Building setup and deployment packages in VS 2010
Developing and refining your code is an important part of building your application. Once it’s built, you need to deploy that before your customers can start seeing the benefits of using the application. For many applications, the most reliable way to deploy is to build a setup project that packages your application’s components into an easily installable package with a familiar interface for your customers.
Today you can use the Visual Studio Installer project template to create a setup project; however, we have heard from our customers that they need more. They need capabilities such as the ability to build using Team Foundation Server, a simpler, more modern developer experience and most importantly a runway to advanced deployment capabilities that scale along with their applications.
To address this feedback, we have partnered with Flexera, makers of InstallShield to create, just for Visual Studio 2010 customers, InstallShield Limited Edition 2010. This is a Visual Studio extension you can download and use today to build Windows installer-based deployment packages for your application that can be deployed on the Windows platform. It provides comparable functionality to the Visual Studio Installer project but in addition, you get the easy to use, modern, graphical development environment of InstallShield, as well as the ability to build your deployment projects using Team Foundation Server. When your application grows beyond InstallShield Limited Edition 2010 you can preserve the investment you have made by importing it into more advanced versions of InstallShield.
How to Get It
To download a copy of the InstallShield Limited Edition, click on the File | New | Project… menu within Visual Studio 2010, browse to the Other Project Types | Setup and Deployment node, and select the InstallShield 2010 node that contains a project template called “Enable InstallShield Limited Edition”.
After creating the project, the template will direct you to the InstallShield registration page in order to continue. When you have registered, the page will direct you to download the product from the partner website.
How to Use It
Once you have installed the product, the New Project dialog will provide an option to create an InstallShield Limited Edition Project. Create a new project using the File | New | Project… menu to bring up the New Project dialog and select “InstallShield Limited Edition Project” template under the Other Project Types | Setup and Deployment | InstallShield 2010 node.
Visual Studio 2010 with InstallShield Limited Edition 2010 offers new options for deployment that can ease the effort of building deployment solutions for your applications, integrate deployment into your automated build process, and provide an upgrade path to bigger and better solutions as your application grows.