New ClickOnce Case Study Posted

We just finished a very interesting case study on ClickOnce right here at Microsoft.  The study covers our people-and-positions management tool (HeadTrax) that is a .NET Framework app used by 72,000 people world wide.

Deploying an Internal HR Application Using ClickOnce Technology Saves Developer Time and Support Costs


Before moving to ClickOnce our IT group had problem that I think is common in enterprises today..

"The custom deployment method that the Microsoft IT development team used to roll out new versions of HeadTrax was costly to develop and maintain. It included thousands of lines of code to maintain and document. It was difficult to manage the end user’s experience because, with such a diverse worldwide user base, many end users did not have the proper policies, permissions, or prerequisites to use the application whenever a new version came out."

And after ClickOnce? 


Check it out... I'd love to know what you think! Do you have any stories about rolling out ClickOnce in your company?

Comments (4)

  1. Mike Swaim says:

     I have an application used by a couple of dozen people where I work, and I’m up to version 100, which means that I’ve averaged a new scheduled deployment about once a week. (I started doing the development with VS2005 beta.) Despite the rapid deployment schedule, the person doing deployments doesn’t mind, because it’s soooo much easier than deploying one of our web apps.

     The only big problem we’ve had has been having to reinstall the app every year because of the certificate expiration thing, but that’ll be fixed in VS 2007. (Sigh)

  2. Brian says:

    I’m sure that you’ve head it already. But, the biggest problem with ClickOnce is that it is not cross-browser. We deployed a ClickOnce application once. That was followed by months of repeated questions about why it did not work in Firefox, Opera etc. Sure, there is a plugin for Firefox, but getting the average person to install it is more difficult than you may imagine. Also, that does not cover other browsers. In the end, we dropped ClickOnce for a traditional installer.

    I really hope that Microsoft will address this issue during Orcas. Until it is resolved, ClickOnce will continue to be ClickNever for many people.

  3. BradA says:

    Yes, thanks Brian…  We have heard that feedback and we are working on a solution.  

  4. wout says:

    While potentially nice, the whole ClickOnce experience is ignoring the fact the professional products need to be obfuscated (that’s my biggest gripe overall with .NET). VS has no support for plugging in an obfuscator into the ClickOnce deployment process. Getting it to work using build files, you’re pretty much on your own, relying on a few brave souls that have ventured and looked into this area before.

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