So what is required to create such installer?
- You need a web folder where the current installer should be kept.
- The web folder must have access from the application.
- The installer could be downloaded and auto launched.
- Force the application to update itself.
Microsoft comes with a solution to easily address this issue and solve it. In this article, I will show how you could do this using Visual Studio without writing a single line of code.
- Open the application in Visual Studio.
- Create a setup if you can. Alternatively you can also use click once deployment on Web.
- Now for Updates, Create a FTP location and an HTTP location.
- Right Click on Project and Select Properties
- You will see a separate Tab for publish.
- Put your FTP location on Publishing location, so that the publish could upload the application files to the server.
- Use Installation Location as HTTP so that the application from client site can easily download the file when required and install it.
- You can select Publish version to ensure there is no version conflict.
- From Options button you can configure a page which enables you to setup the application. By default the publish page will be Publish.html.
- Finally click on Publish or Publish wizard. The command will ask for Ftp UserId and Password (if any) and deploy the application on the ftp site.
- After the application is published, you will see the launch page as below:
In the page, you can use Install Button to install in the client location.
Now if your client has the application installed in the machine, the application will automatically update itself whenever any new version is updated in the server.
This is the most basic click once deployment approach provided by Microsoft. Please note, you need to give strong name to any external assembly you produce.
To create custom Updater, you need to mimic the approach. I am also creating a self updater. I will share that once I am done with it.
Thank you for reading.