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Application Deployment

I have written an application in Visual Studio 2005 using visual basic.  I has Crystal Reports in it and use ODBC connections to access a database.  I would like to publish/deploy this to a file server and have my users run the exe from there.   I want to do it this way so I don't have to install the Crystal Reports runtime, ODBC connections, and updates on each user's local workstation.  Is it possible and if so how can I do this??
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Joel CoehoornDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
There is a security feature in the .Net runtime that will limit how it can execute code.  You'll find you have a hard time allowing the .exe file to 'live' on a remote file server.  To get around this, try using the ClickOnce deployment option in visual studio.  This will create in install program that can live on the file server.  You can create a link users can click that will check the install program first, install or update the program if needed, and then run the program locally.  This won't completely get around installing the runtime on the users machine, but should make it possible to automate most of that process.
PEAKTTAuthor Commented:
So what you are saying is....
Publish to the file server as a ClickOnce deployment
Put the ODBC on the local machines and then have the install do the Crystal Report dlls and exe to the local machine.
To run the program, the user will click on the setup.exe on the fileserver to check for updates and it will run locally.
Joel CoehoornDirector of Information TechnologyCommented:
That's pretty close.  From the users' perspective they don't even know they're doing an install first- the shortcut for installing the program and running the program is identical, and the install, while not exactly silent, can be very unobtrusive.  It should be able to handle deploying the crystal dlls.

You might be able to improve on this even further.  Depending on your database you can probably eliminate the need for the odbc step completely by using a more native driver, and get a slight speed boost as a bonus.
This link should provide the Click Once deployment steps and file requirements for Crystal

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