ClickOnce rocks

If you haven’t seen anything on it yet, ClickOnce is a new deployment technology for Windows Forms in .NET 2.0. It basically takes the best of no-touch deployment (NTD) from .NET 1.X, overcomes all of the bad from NTD, and combines it with a really rich update model.

You can easily publish your WinForms apps to a web server from VS.NET Whidbey, and one published, users can deploy them to their machine simply by following a link to a .deploy file (an XML file containing the details of what to download). The app will run in a sandbox that is customizable by deploying security policy along with it from a trusted source.

The biggest hitch is that the client machine needs to have .NET Whidbey on it, but they even cover that base by allowing you to deploy a bootstrapper setup.exe that will install .NET on the user’s machine along with other required bits such as MDAC or IE.

Updates are automatic and can be customized through an API.

There is a lot more to say here. Expect future postings and articles on the topic with lots more details.