seer asked a question in an earlier post about deployment issues with VS 2003:
Why I can't create setup that install framework and MSDE? Why I must use external tools to create such setup? And please don't fix it by just adding MSDE option - I want to include my other setups also.
I forwarded this question to the Sean Draine, who is responsible for the area, and he replied to the effect that the issues are addressed in VS 2005:
We’ve addressed this scenario with the Visual Studio 2005 Bootstrapper, which handles detection, downloading, and installing prerequisite components like the the .NET FX and SSE. Out of the box, developers can choose to redistribute the FX + lang packs, J#, SSE, MDAC, MSI 3.0, the VC runtime, and Crystal Reports runtime with their ClickOnce or Windows Installer application. Developers can also leverage the bootstrapper’s extensibility model to intelligently predeploy other MS or 3rd party components as well.
You should point people to this MSDN magazine article for an overview and more details.
seer, it would be great if you could try out these features in one of the VS 2005 pre-release SKU's and let us know if your pain points with VS 2003 are entirely addressed in VS 2005. Feel free to email me (scottwil) or Sean (seandr).
Thanks for the feedback, seer. I wish you some happy C# coding the rest of the week!