Deploying Office addin/ plugin in Visual Studio .NET:
ClickOnce, Windows Installer, MSI, InstallShield and WiX

Add-in Express™
for Microsoft® Office and .net

Deploying your Office solutions

Add-in Express supports several technologies and installation types to deploy and redeploy your Microsoft Office add-ins:

  • Windows Installer projects - you can create regular msi-based setup projects with the per-user and per-machine installations.
  • ClickOnce publishing - it allows you to create non-admin per-user installations.
  • Msi-based web-deployment - it is our own technology (we call it ClickTwice:) that is completely based on the Windows Installer and supports per-user and per-machine web-deployment.
  • InstallShield and WiX setup projects.

Windows Installer projects

For your solutions based on Add-in Express you can create setup projects using the Project pop-up menu; simply select the "Create setup project" item:

COM add-in project settings

To simplify common tasks such as registering and unregistering your project output, several ready-to-use custom actions are automatically added to your setup project. These custom actions create all necessary registry keys for you. Add-in Express creates projects that work on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 as well as Windows Server 2003 and 2008. UAC-related issues are solved.

COM add-in project settings

ClickOnce deployment

Utilizing the ClickOnce deployment technology, which is a for-the-current-user technology introduced in .NET Framework 2.0, Add-in Express provides a special manifest-driven ClickOnce module that performs common tasks for add-in deployment. When installed on the user PC, it adds a shortcut to the Start Menu that allows the user to register, unregister, and check for updates through its default UI. To handle events related to installing, registering, updating, etc, a special ClickOnce module is provided that also allows replacing the default UI.

COM add-in project settings

ClickTwice:) - msi-based web-deployment

Being completely based on the Windows Installer technology, ClickTwice:) provides you with the maximum flexibility when creating, publishing and updating your solutions. ClickTwice:) allows you to create per-user and per-machine installations and deploy/redeploy them though Internet or intranet servers.

COM add-in project settings