.NET Framework Deployment Questions

A customer recently asked a set of questions about .NET Framework deployment that I suspect are very common across corporation today.    I thought these might help some of you... Let me know what other questions you have, or better yet, what other resources you have found! 


  1. Is the .NET Framework developed to be backwards compatible?  Will applications built on .NET Framework 1.1 function properly on .NET Framework 2.0?

 Yes... there are a few known and documented breaking changes, but my and large apps just work after a bit of testing..


  1. Do applications built on older versions of .NET Framework need to be re-compiled to use the new .NET Framework version?  I'm assuming that they do.

Technically, no.. There is a config file way to make a 1.1 app run on 2.0... in fact if only 2.0 is installed all 1.1 apps run on 2.0..  But if you can recompile on 2.0 and more importantly at least smoke-test the app on 2.0, it is a good idea to do that...  


  1. When newer versions of .NET Framework are released, can a user uninstall the older versions of .NET Framework?  Does Microsoft recommend against uninstalling .NET Frameworks?

Yes, users can do this, but the recommendation is to keep the version of the .NET Framework that the app was built and tested against...


  1. What are Microsoft's recommendations/guidelines for applications that have a strong dependency on the .NET Framework?  I'm looking for guidelines that should be followed to prevent deployment issues and compatibility issues with future .NET Framework releases.

See the MSDN docs for a discussion about Side by Side and deployment.  


  1.  Are there plans for providing a default .NET Framework version with the OS? 

Yes, we provide a “system” .NET Framework with each OS version... For example, Windows Server 2003 ships with .NET Framework 1.1 and Vista ships .NET Framework 2.0 and .NET Framework 3.0..

Comments (12)

  1. John says:

    Re: Question #5

    Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition does NOT include any version of the .NET framework.  Both 1.1 and 2.0 work great — you just have to install them manually after the OS.

  2. shilpa says:


    Does microsoft windows vista 5456 beta version allow .net framework 1.1 to be installed?

    Please reply to this.



  3. BradA says:

    While I have not personally tried it, you should be able to install 1.1 on any Vista build… Let me know if you have issues..

  4. christian says:

    does anybody know how many .NET 2.0 are out there? and is MS offering it as an automatic upgrade or do i really have to download it?

  5. Joe says:

    Could you also clarify the point around auto-installation via ie7 on XP?

  6. Keith Patrick says:

    Which files in an ASP.Net’s source directory can be removed when deploying (for example, the aspx.cs files), and which must stay?  (I don’t need an answer, but it’s just a road I’ve been down before…I don’t find ASP.Net very friendly at all when it comes to moving from development mode to a production deployment, but I put a whole lot of that on VS.Net, such as overly-aggressive project caching (vswebcache and the newer machine-wide cache), odd DLL packaging (embedding the app DLL in a dependency DLL), and usage of both the source code directory and the bin directory.

  7. Keith Patrick says:

    Let me qualify the part about "[not] very friendly at all when it comes to moving from development mode to a production deployment", since I’ve also praised ASP.Net deployments on other blogs <cough>Scobleizer</cough> over, say, J2EE: compiles are blazingly fast, and it is super-easy to copy the directory over to a deployment location, but when going to production, the deployment has to tighten up, and VS.Net puts so much into caching the project during testing while still allowing source code access that the waters get considerably muddied when moving out of a build-test-build-test dev cycle.  

    Oh, yeah, and I’d just gotten burned on VS2005 with source code not sync’ing up with its referenced libraries, and it was a WHOLE lot more of a pain in the ass than VS2003 was with the horrible VSWebCache (I thought 2005 got rid of it since I hadn’t seen that kind of problem until today, but I found it’s just been moved).  Add to that how often the IDE crashes, and it gives me an impulsive reaction that the thing is a great IDE but unstable to the point I *really* think some of the "convenience" facilities in the thing have a fresh pair of eyes (hint: not the owner(s)) look at the thing with a fresh perspective.  Here endeth the VS rant (if you want more, search usenet for my name and "VS2005")

  8. Herbert says:

    Why isn’t .NET 1.1 just included with Vista?  Instead, you’re dumping that support problem on your developers.

  9. John Rusk says:


    Here’s question that follows on from one of your earlier posts: will a framework upgrade be required to run LINQ applications on Vista?  I.e. if a customer has just purchased Vista (and therefore .NET 3.0) will they have to run another installer (for .NET "3.5") in order to run LINQ, after Orcas comes out?

  10. gillies says:


    I use PAYE Master.NET for doing the company wages every week, last week everything ran ok but yesterday when i clicked to open the program i got this error.

    "Fatal Execution Error(0x792e03e)

    If I click Ok to this I get

    Application has generated an exception that could not be handled

    Process id=0xbb4 (2996), Thread id=0xba4 (2980)"

    I phoned the PAYE helpline and was instructed to uninstall Framework 1.1 and all other framework programs relating to it, then to reinstall. But i kept getting an error that said the setup has ended prematurely.

    Can anyone help??

    I am using Windows XP Professional. I have tried many times to reinstall Framework 1.1 and The PAYE Master.NET but to no avail. I cant pay wages.!!!!!

  11. brian says:

    Trying to install .net 1.1 framework on Windows 2003 RC1 SP1.  I recevie "the product you are trying to install has already been installed with your operating system. Use Windows Update to install the latest updates".  .Net 1.1 in not installed only 2.  I uninstall 2 try 1.1 install and still recevie the error.

    Have site devolped in ASP 1 that will not work.

    Any ideas?

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