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ClickOnce or Upater Application block - which is best for deploying small changes?

Posted on 2007-10-12
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I would like to deploy updates to a .Net 2.0 winforms VB application invisibly, easily, reliably and efficiently.  Our application is fairly large with alot of minor changes going out to the field on a regular basis.  Frequently we will need to replace several assemblies to react to compliance issues/modifications/new features, etc.  Very infrequently will we need to redeploy the entire application.

Which technology is most efficient for patching in this way?  ClickOnce or the Updater Application BlockVersion 2.0?   Which technology will be most supported by MS?  It looks like ClickOnce is the wave of the future....

My concerns are twofold --

1) Can ClickOnce be configured for a partial release of a large application (e.g. replace one assembly)?  

2) If there are siginificant advantages to using the updater block... How difficult is it to setup and maintain the build code for the updater  (e.g. we are a small shop and need to minimize time spent preping a release)?  Can you give me a feel for the difference in labor involved for building a clickonce release vs an auto-updater release?

Thanks!
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Question by:Autoeforms
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by:surajguptha
ID: 20066082
I would prefer Click once in this situation. How big is your application? Why are you looking at replacing just once assembly?
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by:Autoeforms
ID: 20066437
The application is 11MB for a full install and usually 5 MB on an update.  We could get the update down even further if we break up some of the larger base dlls.  There are 18 dlls in our deployment.
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by:surajguptha
ID: 20066469
ok for the whole 11 MB to install how long does it take over the network?
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by:Autoeforms
ID: 20067310
I'm afraid it doesn't matter how long the entire install takes to download.  In practice over 50% of almost any upgrade would be a waste of bandwidth and frustrating for the client if the entire package was re-installed.  My question was Can ClickOnce be configured for a partial release of a large application (e.g. replace one assembly)?  Have you done this and does it work?
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by:surajguptha
ID: 20067690
You will be able to control it using the Include, Exclude, Optional options in the publish menu. I deploy my application on the intranet so i really dont care even if the application is 23 MB cause it pulls it inder 3-5 seconds. To answer your question, Yes !! It is possible to control which files would be downloaded on which files wont using clickonce.

click once happens on demand so it wont use up the network bandwidth since downloads happens over a period of time based on when the user attempts to login to the application.
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by:surajguptha
ID: 20067697
You can find more details about how to controls what files get downloaded in the link below under the section "Application Files"
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa730865(vs.80).aspx
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jsakhtar earned 2000 total points
ID: 20083106
Yes. It can be. However you cannot do it from within the VS IDE, since it rebuilds the files on each publish (so they are considered to have all been updated).

You need to keep a copy of the application files in one location, and only update those components which have changed. Then use the MageUI.exe tool to resign the application manifests. In this way, if only one assembly out of 100 in your app has changed - clickonce will only get that 1 assembly when updating.
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