Allow ClickOnce Applications to be Published to a Secondary, Test Location - by BMRH

Status : 

  Won't Fix<br /><br />
		Due to several factors the product team decided to focus its efforts on other items.<br /><br />
		A more detailed explanation for the resolution of this particular item may have been provided in the comments section.

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ID 660685 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Suggestion Repros 0
Opened 4/13/2011 6:40:51 AM
Access Restriction Public


I would be nice to have an option to publish a ClickOnce application to a secondary location, so that updates can be tested before being published to the primary install point.

This secondary install point could also allow for the application to be renamed, so that they appear to be separate applications within the user's list of installed software (for easy removal after testing.)  

The purpose of this request is so that major changes to an application can be thoroughly tested in the user environment before being published to the main application installation site.

Currently, to achieve this affect you must rename the application, change the Publish Location and (for sanity checking) modify the version number.  After publishing the test application, the project must have the original properties re-assigned.

The above steps are easy to follow, however they can be error prone.  Having a secondary, or multiple install points could make the process of user or beta testing much simpler.
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Posted by PotensDraco on 9/18/2012 at 6:43 AM
I would for this as well if I could. The workaround doesn't work as every time you open the project properties tab to publish it imports the original projects deployment settings replacing the Beta/Test versions. The Web application publishing has a similar option, why can it not be added to the clickonce applications?
Posted by BMRH on 4/27/2011 at 5:33 AM
Izzy, thanks for the response and work around. Where's the attached project? It could just be me, but I'm not seeing it.
Posted by Microsoft on 4/26/2011 at 10:45 PM
Hi -

Thank you for the feedback. What it seems like you might be after is for publishing related properties to be "per-configuration" versus "per-project." Then, you could set up different configurations, much like Debug and Release, to switch between your test and production publishing settings. At least that's typically how we'd handle such a scenario in Visual Studio.

Alas, currently the ClickOnce related properties are "per-project," which means you cannot have the property value vary according to a configuration.

This is not something that we will be able to address in the upcoming releases of Visual Studio - it breaks compatibility, and it requires further investment in the area than what we currently have room for... Sorry!

However, here is what you can do as a workaround:

[1] Create a new project file (let's call it "TestPublish.csproj") in Notepad that imports your existing project file.
[2] Override publishing settings in TestPublish.csproj to point to your test publishing location.
[3] When you want to do a test publish, open up TestPublish.csproj. You won't see any of the files in your project, but the build engine (MSBuild) will be able to see these files just fine.

I've attached a starter TestPublish.csproj file. Just override it with the settings you'd like to use, and make sure that on line 20 you specify the path to your original project file (the path could be relative to where you put TestPublish.csproj). If you're working with VB projects, just rename the file to .vbproj.

From some very basic scenario testing, I think this would work - hopefully it will work for your scenario as well. Let me know.

-- Izzy

Izzy Gryko
Lead Software Design Engineer
Microsoft Visual Studio for Business Applications
Posted by Microsoft on 4/13/2011 at 7:13 AM
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