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Missing assemblies when installing .net application

Posted on 2014-04-24
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Last Modified: 2014-05-09
I am trying to deploy a small application ( programmed using visual studio 2013 VIsual basic). I have used the Visual Studio "publish wizard" to put the application on a network share. The output to the network share looks fine, but when the install process starts on the client computer there is an endless nagging about missing assemblies. The things that is said to be missing on the client is not references that I have used in the project. Ie there errormessage about Microsoft.visualstudio.shell.8 missing which I have no reference to or "imports" of in my project. The client computer actually do have newer versions of this dll, but not version 8. The dotnet framework is updated on the client (4.5).  Has anybody seen this problem and know the cause of it?
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Question by:lieka
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by:CodeCruiser
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Have you used ClickOnce deployment? Is xcopy deployment an option?
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by:Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger)
Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger) earned 166 total points
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Microsoft.visualstudio.shell.8 is a basic component used by Visual Studio 2008 as well as by other software such as SQL Server 2008.

If your application targets SQL Server 2008, your application itself might not need that component, but some of the classes that you use in your application might. I think for instance as stuff such as the reporting services on SQL Server.

It might be that the .NET components were not installed alongside the server or some other tool that your application is using.

You might have to install framework 3.5, on the client computer, since 4.0 is not completely backward compatible, specially for the kind of stuff the shell is doing. If this is not enough, then look for the Visual Studio Software Development Kit (SDK) 2008.
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by:lieka
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Tanks. Yes, I used ClickOnce deployment. Yes Xcopy is an option.

I have already tried to install it on another of my own laptops, and it work well using the clickonce option. This was the first of the computers in the company which is going to use the application. I have tried to install it on for test purposes. I hestitate to ask for a second machine in the company if am not sure that my deployment package is sound.

I guess xcopy deployment would mean that we can avoid all the requirement checks during setup, and rather let the shortcomings in the app or the PCs assemblies appear when I run the application?
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by:lieka
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Thanks JamesBurger for your input. The application is infact interacting with sql server 2008, and thats then the likely reason for the assembly being looked for during installation. On my development computer and the other computer I have installed succesfully on I have the sql server express 2008 installed, whilst the computer on which installation fails sql sever is not installed as the connectionstring would point to a server running ms sql server. I will check out your suggestions and report back.
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Vadim Rapp earned 167 total points
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In project properties, go to the node "references and double-check that you don't have visualstudio.shell. Remove unused references. Then go to the node "publish" and examine prerequisites.

If that does not help: since you said that these messages appear during the installation, rather than from the application itself, you need to start with looking at the installation. Go to the directory where you published your installation, and examine the files in it (by opening them in Notepad, or by searching for all files with the text visualstudio.shell in them), see if you can find references to the assemblies from the error messages.

An assembly that mentions "visualstudio" in it, shouldn't be required by the users.

Regarding sql server, even if this assembly is really required by sql server itself, your application is not sql server but it's client, so it does not require anything that the server itself needs to run.
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by:CodeCruiser
CodeCruiser earned 167 total points
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Yes you will get errors at runtime if you use xcopy deployment and there are missing assemblies.

You do not need this assembly to simply connect to SQL Server. It probably is used by SQL Management Studio so should not be required by your application.
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