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VB.net "Portable App"

Posted on 2011-03-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

We need to develop a basic VB.net app for distribution to 100+ computers on a network.  We cannot assume the user has admin rights to their PC.  We can be sure that .NET will be installed.

How would we create a "Portable" version of our app, not requiring an install on the client's PC, but just an .exe that would launch immediately.  

Like I said, we can assume they already have .NET installed.

Thanks
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Question by:compsol1993
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6 Comments
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Luis Pérez
ID: 35208021
From what I know, if you're sure that right .Net Framework is installed, you can run your .exe without any problem.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Éric Moreau
ID: 35208080
if the correct version of the .Net framework is installed (along with the correct SP), your application will run even if not "installed" if all other requirements (like additional 3rd party components) are available.
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Author Comment

by:compsol1993
ID: 35208097
Ok, I guess that would be the problem, the 3rd party components/references -- is there anyway to package them all up into an .exe?
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Éric Moreau earned 2000 total points
ID: 35208112
no but you can copy them into the same folder as the .exe. normally, you take everything that is in the bin folder and copy it to the user's computer
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LVL 86

Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 35208332
If you're looking for a "zero footprint" EXE based on a .Net application, including 3rd party components, then you'd have to shell out some $$$ for something like ThinApp:
http://www.vmware.com/products/thinapp/

That would allow you to embed the 3rd party DLLs (and the applicable .Net framework portions itself) INSIDE the EXE making it "stand alone".  With that tool, you wouldn't even need the .Net framework on the target machine.

*Of course you are sacrificing file size in the process...
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:graye
ID: 35243862
I'd suggest that you just create a location on a network share, and but the *.exe plus all of it's required DLL files into that directory.

Then you could just tell folks to go to that network share (such as \\SomeServer\SomeShare\SomeDir\Some.exe).   You could create a shortcut for them... or they could just navigate to the correct location and double-click on the *.exe file.

This way, you'd end up installing (er, well... just doing a copy) the application "just once" on a network drive.   Nothing needs to be installed on the individual PCs at all (unless you wanted to install a shortcut on their desktop).
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