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Web Setup for .net app

I guess many of you have noticed a way of installing applications directly from Internet from the user's browser.
I suppose this is written as an ActiveX component which then gets the rest files and installs them.
I have a .net application that has to do such thing.
I have few questions.
Do someone know of an existing solution?
Some ideas of how to accomplish this without writing ActiveX component? I am aiming to keep the project written in C# in most of its parts to make it easier to manage.
Since this method is not yet that popular, I will like if we discuss it more thoroughly here.

Henry G.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004

If you can sign an .net applet the way you can sign an activex control for IE use then yes. Otherwise parts of your installation procedure will depend on the activex component.

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, February 17, 2004

I am also concerned about the case where the end user will not have the .net framework installed...

Henry G.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004

We use Thinstall, it links the parts of  .NET Framework needed by our app so users can download and run our EXE regardless of what they have installed.

Jason Chung
Tuesday, February 17, 2004

What are you trying to install? An .exe? A control? There are a number of install builders (including one in the VS.NET).

The type of app to be installed will determine the 'how'.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

It is a Windows Forms app.
Its use requires a good internet connection. This should mean the installer is preferred to be flexible in terms of what it contains.
I know about the InstallAnywhere approach with Java and it totally sucks, especially in this situation.
I am not intending to provide 10Mb or 20Mb with my install only to make sure the user will have the .net framework. This would be OK if the app was distributed on CD, but it will be distributed over web and this makes this solution a bad one.
I will probably look at the Web-Install-with-ActiveX-control approach. Are there solutions for that available? May be even free/with source code?

Henry G.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004

No client side code required. Just sniff the CLR presenced from the user agent (e.g. mine is User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)) and redirect to specific downloads that include the runtime if nescessary or not.
As an example of what I mean look at the NewsGator download page at

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, February 19, 2004

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