Have you used the new ClickOnce Publish and Deployment feature in Visual Studio 2008 for Office 2007 solutions? If so, we need your feedback now – and we need it before May 8th (which is an internal deadline for our team)! We’re working on Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2008 and would like to know your opinion on a specific feature:
<Start of current scenario:
Currently the end-user is unable to cancel an Automatic Update most of the time. When the user starts an Office application (e.g. Excel or Outlook) then the VSTO Runtime checks the registry to see if it’s time to check for Addin Updates. Then if it’s time, it will go and download the ClickOnce Manifests (which is the .vsto and the .manifest files) from the deployment location. If this process of downloading the manifests takes longer than 7 seconds, then the user is presented with a dialog that gives them the option to click Cancel, which halts the download. Most of the time no one will see the Cancel because the downloading of the manifests is almost always faster than 7 seconds.
If the user doesn’t click Cancel, then the system makes a trust decision. If the update is trusted, then it starts to download the actual assemblies. While downloading the assemblies, the user is unable to work with the Office application. They have to wait for the download to complete, the addin to get loaded, and then the user can start using the Office application. Keep in mind that this process usually takes less than 20 seconds.
If the user does click Cancel during the manifest download phase, then the side effect is that the addin is now DISABLED. If the end user wants to re-enable the addin, then she needs to open Trust Center and go through about 3 clicks to enable it again.
End of current scenario>
So our question is, would you like to ALWAYS get the option to click Cancel during the process of downloading all the stuff? Keep in mind that sometimes the whole process might be as short as 5 seconds, or as long as five minutes on sloooooow networks.
Next question for your feedback: And then if you cancel, should we leave the existing “out of date version” of the Addin as Enabled?
The reason we disable the “out of date version” of the addin is because we received feedback from many companies saying that they want to enforce updates within the update time window. Unfortunately we don’t have the ability in Service Pack 1 to make the Enable/Disable feature a option for the developer (or IT department) to specify. We’re realizing that we have far more customers from companies who aren’t as concerned about “enforcement” of updates. Your feedback here and now will help us validate the needs of our customers.
You will be happy to hear that we are planning to include lots of enable/disable and cancel options in the next version of Visual Studio. Your feedback today will help us craft Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2008.