Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Welcome! and rules

Joel on Software

Deploying Desktop WinForm Apps


Has anyone deployed a .net winform desktop application? If so, what kind of pitfalls have you ran into?
Besides deploying the .net runtime, what other components were necessary in delpoying a .net desktop application.  Any feedback would greatly be appreciated.

Monday, May 12, 2003

If you are using ADO.NET, MDAC 2.6 or later is required on the client computer. (Note that Windows XP comes with MDAC 2.7, so you don't have to worry about this if you're only supporting Windows XP clients.)

If you are planning on supporting operating systems prior to Windows 2000, you must ensure that Internet Explorer 5.01 or later is on the client computer; the .NET Framework will not install without it.

For more information, see the following articles on the MSDN Web site:

.NET Framework Support on Windows Operating Systems

.NET Framework Deployment Guide

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

The inevitable Windows 95 stallwart, but I guess that is a problem far beyond WinForm alone.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Deploying .net desktop apps looks to be a pretty hefty install (.NET Runtime, IE 5.01, MDAC + ADO.NET).

Looks like I'll wait to move to .net for any desktop development.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

MDAC is only required if you're going to be using SqlClient or OleDbClient in your desktop application. If your app is tiered with a data access layer on a server and the client talking to it via WebServices/Remoting then the client doesn't need MDAC. You just pass back DataSets/Tables - no MDAC required to manipulate these.

IE is easy to install silently -- use "IExxSETUP.exe /Q" -  but does require a reboot. The .NET framework doesn't require a reboot.

Duncan Smart
Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Whether or not it's a "heavy" install depends a LOT on your target audience. If you have a corporate environment where everything is already deployed, or easy to push out, then it's not that big a deal.

Besides, there are plenty of apps that require minimum levels of IE, and bring it along on the CD with them.

Brad Wilson (
Thursday, May 15, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home