Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just to reiterate, VS2010 is the last version of Visual Studio to support Visual Studio Deployment Projects

Just to re-iterate last year's post,Visual Studio Setup & Deployment Projects declared dead & retired. VS2010 will be the last…, Visual Studio Deployment projects are EOL'ed. VS2010 is the last version that will support them.

Buck Hodges - Visual Studio setup projects (vdproj) will not ship with future versions of VS


The Visual Studio setup projects will not ship again – VS 2010 was the last release with support for it. So, you’ll want to make plans to migrate to something else. Of course, I’d suggest looking into WiX, and there are other options as well. The MSDN page Choosing a Windows Installer Deployment Tool contains a table showing a comparison of VS setup projects, WiX, and InstallShield Limited Edition.

Caution noteCaution

Future versions of Visual Studio will not include the Visual Studio Installer project templates. To preserve existing customer investments in Visual Studio Installer projects, Microsoft will continue to support the Visual Studio Installer projects that shipped with Visual Studio 2010 per the product life-cycle strategy. For more information, see Expanded Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy for Business & Development Products.



Every time I hear this or think about this, that in VS.Next we're not going to get a means to build a setup/installer/MSI in the VS box just pisses me off. What the heck is an uber development environment worth if we can't easily deploy our apps? We need a third party project to create MSI's, "Microsoft Installer" files (the irony in that kills me)? We'll need to download and install something to build installers (again the irony...)?

Is Microsoft saying that MSI/Setup's are dead? That we won't need them any more? That we're going to get something better? Are we just getting part of the story? Damn, I sure hope so.

I'm not saying that third party products are bad (not at all as I dig WiX), but for simple, quick and easy Setups/MSI's it's hard to beat Visual Studio Deployment Projects. Can we at least get a hint that we're going to get more information at MIX/TechEd/PDC about this? The echoing silence around this bugs me.




Anonymous said...

My general attitude is - if it's being deployed enough that you want an MSI, you probably also want an automated build. And the fact the deployment projects aren't MSBUILDable has automatically ruled them out for me. I agree it's frustrating that they haven't announced an in-the-box replacement (e.g. Wix), but it's not like there's an addition cost to adding WiX after the base install.

Unknown said...

MSIs are dead because the new AppX deployment mechanism will be the new way to deploy Windows apps (I'm guessing this also make them XCopy-able like Mac apps):

Stephen Cleary said...

I'm pretty sure that they'll be pushing towards WiX. I don't really consider WiX as third-party, since its development is pretty much entirely funded by Microsoft.

MS has also been migrating most of their own installers to WiX (including IIRC: .NET, VS, and Office).

WiX was supposed to ship with VS2010, but didn't quite make it in. I expect it to ship with VS vNext as the official, "you're supposed to use this one" installer.