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How to create a Client application automatic upgrade in vb.net??

Posted on 2006-11-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello experts, I have built a windows application using visual studio.net 2003.  Everytime I make a new version I need to install the new version on the clients computer, how do I create an automatic upgrade that checks for new versions and upgrades when the user logs in?  I was thinking the easiest way would be to  have a database table contain the version number and check that agaisnt its existing number, but how do i perform the upgrade automatically when the versions are different?
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Question by:tentavarious
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7 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:snow_moon
ID: 17940758
Try ClickOnce Deployment of VB.Net 2005 Express, which is free.
Have a look at
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/142dbbz4.aspx
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Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 17940783
Well I am currently coding in 2003 and thats all I have available, I would like to learn how to do it in 2003.  I know you can do it in vb6 so I was thinking vb.net 2003 would be capable.
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Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 17940906
I found this web site that explains how you can load in a form, from a virtual directory using IIS.  This looks to be the correct way, but I would have to compile all my forms as dlls and load them independently.  Is there another way?  The author of the web page explains on how to load a form from a virtual directory on a menu click.  I am wondering if this is how automatic updates need to be done?  Or is there a different way?  

Here is the site i found:http://www.developer.com/lang/other/article.php/929071
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:newyuppie
ID: 17940979
i think what you are looking for is called a Smart Client. Microsoft offers the Smart Client Factory which is supposed to help you out building applications that receive automatic updates from the Internet. i haven't tried this, and looks rather complicated, but you should check it out anyway maybe it gives you ideas.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=2B6A10F9-8410-4F13-AD53-05A202FBDB63&displaylang=en
http://www.gotdotnet.com/codegallery/codegallery.aspx?id=941d2228-3bb5-42fd-8004-c08595821170
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

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melmers earned 1050 total points
ID: 17940999
Seperate your software into seperate projects/assemblys so you can update every pice of your software at your changes.
The negative aspect of this soloutin is that you have on exe file and some dll's but you can update them independetly.

Your main form will load the other assemblys and then you can view the other forms or run calculations with them.
the next stage can be that you implement a microkernel where you load your assembly dynamical and you can expand
your software by changing  a configuration file.
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Author Comment

by:tentavarious
ID: 17941078
How do I handle special dll files, for example on one of my forms i added a reference to a new grid control that I found on-line.  The dll file is gridms.dll, how do I get the application to download this file as well?  Basically is there a way I can run a brand new install automatically? Or do i have to seperate assemblys like melmers said?
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:melmers
ID: 17941679
you can create for the update little setups or zip files which you extract in your application path and then load the assembly dynamical
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