VSTO: My Favorite Feature – ClickOnce Deployment

One of my favorite features in the latest version of VSTO is ClickOnce Deployment. ClickOnce deployment makes securely deploying my Office add-in and document level solutions easy. VSTO deployment supports, Local, HTTP, UNC, CD/DVD and USB locations. This gives you the flexibility to deploy your application where it makes sense for you.  Deployment also supports offline, automatic updating and rollback. Oh, I know that it was challenging in the past. But now in VSTO Orcas all of that CASPOL messiness is behind us. Still can't believe it, let's walk through a simple deployment scenario.

1. Create a new VSTO project.

2. Run the Publish Wizard

3. Or Set the Publish properties for more control

4. Install the published Add-in

5. Allow the add-in to install

6. Done! It's installed and trusted

7.Run Office

You can verify that the add-in is installed and running.

That's it. Super simple. The next CTP and Beta 2 of Visual Studio Orcas will contain all of the new deployment features of VSTO. 

Comments (13)

  1. That looks very promising.

    One of the major pain points in previous versions was moving stuff around. How does this impact the installations if say I moved my deployment stuff from \server1here-deployed-originally to \server2and-now-i-want-it-here ?

    -= Maarten =-

  2. This is very easy now. The setup.exe itself is used to update the deployment manifest. for example

    setup.exe -url=\server2and-now-i-want-it-heredeployme.vsto

    .vsto is the extension for the deployment manifest.

    Here are the other switches you can use.

      -url or -componentsurl :  Show the stored url and componentsurl for this setup.

      -url=<location> : Sets the url source to the specified location.

      -componentsurl=<location> : Sets the componentsurl to the specified location.

      -homesite=<true or false> : When set to true, downloads the components from their vendors’ web site, overriding the componentsurl.

  3. matzer says:

    Very nice feature…

    Can Outlook Add-Ins be created with the Express Editions (beta)?

  4. Hi, Good question. VSTO add-ins can only be created with Visual Studio Pro or above.

  5. XL-Dennis says:

    The VSTO team have made a great work by eliminating most of the deployment complexity – thank You.

    Kind regards,


  6. BobChauvin says:

    Do Office 2003 Add-Ins (ie Outlook 2003) benefit from this?

  7. BobChauvin says:

    Is Click-Once deployment compatible with Outlook 2003 Add-In projects?

  8. Peter's Blog says:

    Hats off to VSTO (VS, ClickOnce) team! No more problems with CAS and prerequisites. You can deploy your…

  9. Erika Ehrli says:

    I think it’s quite interesting how knowledge is shared nowadays. With so many blogs, online articles,

  10. Wude_S says:

    How depoly the project within configuration files ,such as xml,txt?

  11. Wude_S says:

    How depoly the project within configuration files ,such as xml,txt?

  12. namitha says:

    i tried the same way to install my addin.it installed successfully and i can see it under the active addin but am not able to see the addin under  add in tab in the excel sheet.what could be the reason?

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