Distributing .NET Framework with Install (All in one .exe file)

Is there a way to distribute the .NET framework (or at least a an .exe that will download it) and the installer created by Visual Studio all in one program?  

Zipping the setup.exe bootstrapper, .ini and msi files is too confusing for some people.  If there isn't an easy way to do this, what is a good solution for those so that people can download one .exe and everything installs?

I'm thinking I could just write a C++ app to check if .NET 1.1 is installed, go get it and install it if not, supressing the restart, go get my program and then install my program, and then restart.  


Are there any good websites that talk about this?
LVL 5
jjacksnAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

townsmaCommented:
Because the installer files created by Visual Studio use the .Net Framework, you are quite right that the framework must be installed first.  There is a single file version of the framework that can be distributed, this can be downloaded from the Microsoft Website.

Once you have this you could create a simple batch file that checks for the exisitance of the Framework, and if not installed, install it. Then run your application installer.  But this would be pretty messy, again requiring you to distribute three files, or a zipped version of these files.

A better solution is to do what I do, which is buy a copy of Installshield, this has it's own runtime program, that can install the Framework and you application from a single file.  You can also use it to customise you installation process, as well as installing, any dependencies or runtimes, like Crystal Reports etc.

Hope this helps, good luck.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
jjacksnAuthor Commented:
Took your advice, went and downloaded it.  Now, I can't figure out how to

1.  Exclude files that it is automatically includeing when I bulid the install.

2.  Install the .NET Framework with the installer.

Could you assist me?
0
townsmaCommented:
Sorry, can you confirm what you downloaded, the .Net Framework, of the Installshield?
0
Get your problem seen by more experts

Be seen. Boost your question’s priority for more expert views and faster solutions

jjacksnAuthor Commented:
I found the solution to both of those questions.  However, I am having the following problem

In the installShield program, I select to download the framework from a website.  (our company website).  During the install, when the dotnetfx.exe file is downloaded, the windows installer starts, and asks if you want to install .NET 1.1.  Upon clicking yes, the installer almost immediatley returns to the installer for my .NET application, which then installs.  However, the .NET framework never gets installed.  Have you ever had this problem?  I am not specifying any command line arguemnts for the dotnetfx.exe file.
0
townsmaCommented:
Sorry, haven't had this problem. I always include the framework in my build, and this has always installed ok.
0
jjacksnAuthor Commented:
townsma, no problem.

Do you deploy over the web?  that is our big problem, we don't want to have to force our users to download the extra 24 megs if they already have 1.1 installed.
0
townsmaCommented:
Deploying over the web is something we will be moving into early next year.  When we get to this stage I will certainly pass on any tips we learn.

0
kkondapalliCommented:
If the users are on a local network and If you use active directory, then you can create a group policy and add .Net framework (got to extract the exe to create an MSI file) and the application to the policy to be installed on the machines that you want to. Thats the way I distribute my windows apps.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
C#

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.