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Joel on Software

Deploying .NET programs to Windows 98 (solution)

Hi.

I have recently developed a C# program which uses an Access database, and I'd like to share the knowledge gained while deploying it to Windows 98.

You probably think you have to deploy only the .NET framework and the database engine. WRONG!

The .NET framework doesn't install unless the Windows 98 machine already has Internet Explorer 5.01.

I have tested on Windows 98 Second Edition, and DOTNETFX.EXE (the .NET platform redistributable) was not enough.

You need to install IE 5.01 before installing .NET.

This version of IE is about 67 MB in size!

For deploying the Access database engine, you need to install MDAC, using the usual MDAC_TYP.EXE (or MDAC in the merge module form).

If you want to deploy MDAC on a Windows 95 machine, you also have to deploy DCOM 95. But this is not a problem, since the .NET framework doesn't work on Win95.


So, my conclusion is that, if you need to deploy a .NET application to Windows 98 users, and make sure they really have everything they need, you are basically screwed:

In addition to the .NET framework, you also have to include IE 5.01, which has 67 MB, and I have no idea if you can install it silently.

I don't know if this matters to most developers (who write programs for use in the company they work at), but it matters to the developers that need to deploy their applications.


So, taking into account the fact that .NET programs are very slow, and that you need to deploy almost 90 MB to make sure the programs work, I really don't see how .NET and C# will gain market share.

Maybe in a few years, when we all will be running the next generation of Windows, with .NET included, and Win 98 will be completely obsolete like Windows 95 is now (MS dropped support for it).

George Nicolescu
Monday, April 14, 2003

"you also have to include IE 5.01... I have no idea if you can install it silently."

Use "IExxSETUP.EXE /Q". In addition, check out the Internet Explorer Admiunistration Kit (IEAK) if you want more customisation (and reduce the size).

Duncan Smart
Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Depending on your customer, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable picking an IE install for them, but rather providing it on the CD and letting them install it themselves.

Brad (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Thank you, Duncan, for the useful information - I shall try the IEAK.

George Nicolescu
Tuesday, April 15, 2003

IIRC, you can install the updates that are shipped along with IE seperately, but they're hard to find.  This might solve the problem of requiring IE 5.01.

Also, if you're installing off of a CD, 90MB probably isn't a problem.

Richard Ponton
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

What if I have data on the CD which fills almost the whole CD (which is, in fact, the case)?

:-(

George Nicolescu
Thursday, April 17, 2003

Compress the data?

Duncan Smart
Saturday, April 26, 2003

Put a 'Requires Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher' sticker somewhere.

That, I tell my customer, that they need to preinstall x,y,z before, thought my applications are mostly to corporate customer on few computers.

Sucks, but you gotta understand MS here.

Juan Miguel Venturello
Sunday, April 27, 2003

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