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Deployment options for VB.Net 2.0 desktop applications

Hi experts,

I need to deploy several shortcuts to a user base of about 160 users.  Unfortunately, I do not have access to to SMS, group policy objects, anything AD-related or even third party tools to distribute automatically.  I have to physically go sit at each client PC, log in and copy the shortcuts from a shared folder.

I was hoping to automate this myself.  I just need to deploy shortcuts, all the applications are already installed but I need the users to execute them using different parameters and therefore different shortcuts are required.

I was thinking of creating some sort of .Net deployment project that contains the shortcuts and then have it available as some sort of web deployment.  I could then just e-mail a link to all the users, they can clink the URL in the e-mail and it would execute or download some CAB package or web installation package or something....

I'm not too familiar with all the deployment options.

Please advise me on what options are available to achieve my goal as described aboved

Many thanks
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PantoffelSlippers
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PantoffelSlippers
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2 Solutions
 
Éric MoreauSenior .Net ConsultantCommented:
can't you just create a batch file that copies from a server to the local PC that the user can run. You could send the batch file by e-mail.
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PantoffelSlippersAuthor Commented:
Hi Eric,

Yes a batch could work...

Mmmm....  I'm sure the client's mail server won't allow *.BAT attachments but maybe I could have the batch file in a shared folder and mail only a link like:  \\FileServer\SharedFolder\InstallIcons.bat

I'm just not that clued up with batch files.  I need the icons to go into their own folder on the desktop of all users.

Your suggestion could work but I have two questions:
  - would a bat file allow me to incorporate logic that could test for the existance of the specific folder on the desktop, create it if it doesn't exist and then copy the relevant file accross?
  - would I encounter any security problems with running a bat file from a shared folder anc copying to all users\desktop?

I was hoping the modern technology which is Microsoft .Net would have an easy option for me to:
-quickly and easily create a deployment package with the relevant files
-easily control where the files need to be copied
-have the users experience an easy and professional-looking installation
-handle any security and permissions problems that arise

Seems like maybe a batch file is still the best option....

Please advise on my two questions

Thanks
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Éric MoreauSenior .Net ConsultantCommented:
- would a bat file allow me to incorporate logic that could ...

yes but I am not the man who could answer all those question. I was thinking that you simply wanted to copy a file.

  - would I encounter any security problems with running a bat file from a shared folder anc copying to all users\desktop?

if you copy into the current user desktop, you should have no security problem.

I was hoping the modern technology which is Microsoft .Net would have an easy option for me to:

I am always in favor of the right tool for the right job. With all the requirements you have, the batch seemed to me the best solution.

-quickly and easily create a deployment package with the relevant files
-easily control where the files need to be copied
-have the users experience an easy and professional-looking installation
-handle any security and permissions problems that arise

Haven't you told that you only wanted to copy the shortcut? With those new requirements, maybe you should have a look at ClickOnce deployment.

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PantoffelSlippersAuthor Commented:
Thanks Eric
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PantoffelSlippersAuthor Commented:
Thanks Eric,

I really would have preferred using a modern technology such as some new feature in .Net.

I was sure that there must be something perfectly suited to what I wanted to do but I really couldn't find anything that worked as easy and as well as a BAT file as you suggested.

Thank you
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