.net qr code library free The ClickOnce Data Directory and Deploying Prerequisites in VB.NET

Creating QR Code JIS X 0510 in VB.NET The ClickOnce Data Directory and Deploying Prerequisites

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The ClickOnce Data Directory and Deploying Prerequisites
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ll applications need at least one assembly. Most have some support assemblies, and some even have data files (such as additional configuration files, text files, and so on). How does ClickOnce deal with data files Is there any special treatment of these files What about a filebased database, for example For smart client applications, it s not rare to implement offline support in, say, an XML-based database or a Microsoft Access database. And what about migrating this type of database from one version of an application to the next ClickOnce treats data files differently, and rightfully so. We ll spend the first half of this chapter talking about deploying data files with ClickOnce. The second half of this chapter continues the discussion of prerequisites from the previous chapter. This chapter dives into the prerequisites and talks about what makes up a prerequisite. We ll talk about two manifest files that define a prerequisite and discuss how you can write a custom prerequisite. We ll also show you how you can get your prerequisite to appear in the Prerequisites dialog box in Visual Studio 2005 so you can just click a checkbox to include it as part of your ClickOnce deployments.
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Working with Application Files
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Thus far you have learned how to deploy simple applications that have only a single executable. Most applications, however, will also have one or more supporting assemblies, along with various resources (for example, an XML document). In this section, and the next, we will discuss how ClickOnce allows you to deploy these files with your applications.
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CHAPTER 8 THE CLICKONCE DATA DIRECTORY AND DEPLOYING PREREQUISITES
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ClickOnce-deployed applications can have dependencies of all types. You can view the dependencies of your deployment by clicking the Application Files button on the Publish tab in the Project Designer (also referred to as the Project Properties page). Clicking this button displays the Application Files dialog box, which lists all the files that will be deployed with your application (see Figure 8-1).
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Figure 8-1. Application Files dialog box
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Note that you can also view the dependencies of your application by looking at the application manifest file. For simple applications, you don t have to worry about what files are downloaded; Visual Studio and ClickOnce take care of everything for you. Other applications will require special attention, though. For example, consider a large application that is deployed under various licenses: Enterprise, Professional, and Standard. Users of the system can download the application and then enter a license key to activate a particular version. In this scenario, it does not make sense for the user to download the entire application all at once if they need only a subset of the system. It may make more sense for you to partition the application so a user can download each partition on demand. This particular scenario becomes more serious when you consider the options for protecting against software piracy. For example, if you deploy the entire code base of your application to all of your users and rely on a license to determine what modules to enable, hackers can find ways to get around the licensing issues and enable other modules. A better solution is to not deploy the unnecessary modules. ClickOnce offers a facility that can assist with these types of scenarios called on-demand download. The idea behind on-demand download is that you create groups of files and then use the ClickOnce APIs to download each group at runtime. This approach offers the benefit of reducing the overall download the initial download is reduced to what needs to be downloaded to run the application, and if a piece of functionality is not needed, it is not downloaded.
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CHAPTER 8 THE CLICKONCE DATA DIRECTORY AND DEPLOYING PREREQUISITES
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You configure which files get downloaded using the Application Files dialog box. As shown in Figure 8-1, the dialog box displays a grid with three columns: File Name, Publish Status, and Download Group. The File Name column contains the names of the files (with their extensions) on which your application depends. The Publish Status column defines how ClickOnce treats each file during publishing. Valid values for this column are Include (Auto), Include, Prerequisite, Data File, and Exclude. This column works in tandem with the Download Group column. By default, you ll see the values (Required) and (New . . .) in this column. When you deploy a ClickOnce application, you can control which files get deployed with your application. You can use the publish status of a file in combination with its file group to control if and when the file gets downloaded. By default, application files (assemblies and noncode files with the Build Action option set to Content) are assigned the Include (Auto) publish status and get assigned to the (Required) file group. This indicates that the file is required for the application to run, and thus the file is deployed automatically with the application. You can prevent a file from being downloaded, if your application does not need it, by assigning the Exclude status to the file. If you exclude a file, then it cannot be downloaded (even at runtime). You can assign the Data File status to noncode files. Data files are copied to the ClickOnce data directory, which we ll talk about in the next section. You can include a file for deployment yet prevent its deployment initially by creating a new file group and assigning the Include status to it. This tells ClickOnce that the file should be downloaded with the file group at runtime using the ClickOnce APIs. You can also assign the Prerequisite publish status to files. Files assigned to this value are not deployed and are assumed to be on the client in the GAC. Note that you can assign only assemblies to the Prerequisite status. Application dependencies are stored in the application manifest when you publish your application. Code dependencies are listed with a dependency element, and noncode dependencies are listed with the file element. The following listing shows several dependency entries from an application manifest file: <dependency> <dependentAssembly dependencyType="preRequisite" allowDelayedBinding="true"> <assemblyIdentity name="Microsoft.Windows.CommonLanguageRuntime" version="2.0.50727.0" /> </dependentAssembly> </dependency> <dependency> <dependentAssembly dependencyType="preRequisite" allowDelayedBinding="true"> <assemblyIdentity name="One" version="1.0.0.0" publicKeyToken="0A1915B84E9CE3C8" language="neutral" processorArchitecture="msil" /> </dependentAssembly> </dependency> <dependency>
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