ClickOnce MSDN WebCast

Just got out of a ClickOnce MSDN WebCast titled “Building a ClickOnce Toolkit”.
It was hosted by William Steele and you can get more info on it, on his blog at

I was primarily there to represent the ClickOnce development team and take questions.
An interestign experience overall, great to see the buzz around ClickOnce.

Some interesting questions from users, will try to address them in my future blogs.

Am even more convinced that we need a official ClickOnce Team blog … Need to get more people blogging.


Comments (5)

  1. anon says:

    saurabh, can you enlighten me on the format of the .cdf-ms files that are installed locally during the install of a ClickOnce deployed application? are these some binary variation on the .manifest files?

  2. Saurabh says:

    Yes they are exactly that – a binary representation of the manifest (What we refer to often as the percompiled manifest).

    As you can imagine they are essentially there to boost perf so that once parsed and "compiled" the manifest does not have to be reparsed.

    Unfortunately there is no external documentaion I can share on their format.

  3. Vishal Karnik says:


    I have a question for publishing the new version. In the demo shown you do it through the visual studio. Can this be done in any other way. We do not give the source code to the customers so they can’t publish it using visual studio. Can we give them a package and ask them hey this is the updated version (1.0.13). Unzip it on your deployment server, say the deployment server has a version 1.0.12. This package would create a 1.0.13.

    When the users run their application they get a notice that a new version is available.

    Also is there a way where I can update the application and not inform the user. So when the user chooses to start the application that has an update available and if so update the application but not give a choice to the user weather you want an update or not.

    My email id is I would appreciate if you can respond to me ASAP

  4. Saurabh (MS) says:

    Hey Vishal sorry for the delayed response.

    To answer you first question regarding redistributing your application to customer who can host it themselves there are a few options …

    You could just give them the signed binaries which they just deploy on their server. This works great for Online apps – however installed apps which require a deploymentProvider in the Manifest will need to be resigned.

    Else you can give them the Application manifest (.manifest) and have then generate and maintain the deployment manifest (.application) for it.

    They can use VS or the SDK tool Mage to sign the Manifest. We shall soon be comming out with a recommended practices doc to redestribute clickonce applications – will keep you posted on it.

    The second question you had was around required updates – Yes Clickonce manifest have the minimumRequiredVersion property to facilitate this functionality.

    Also for questions like these also feel free to use the Clickonce discussion forum.

  5. SCSVEL says:

    What is the difference betwwen

    Application manifest (.manifest)

    Deployment manifest (.application) files?