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Creating AutoRun Media to deploy your application.
by Arnaldo Sandoval | Published  08/03/2007 | Deployment | Rating:
Arnaldo Sandoval
I began my run in the IT field back in 1975 while at the University getting my Industrial Engineer Bachelor Degree; using Wang Basic language and Burroughs 6700's FORTRAN and COBOL, working as a Teacher’s assistance for a fist full of dollars, since then I had worked in four different countries: Venezuela, USA, Mexico and Australia, the Business Basic Language the main skill expected from me; learning Unix, C, PASCAL, Uniplex, WordPerfect, 20/20 in the lates 80s, Sybase in the early 90s, Basis BBx in the 90s, Microsoft’s VBA in the mid 90s, Visual Basic version 3.0 around 1996; moved to Australia in the lates 90s, here I kept learning, Transoft’s Universal Business Language, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Visual Basic .Net; working for a major Australian company in the building material market. I had worked for Computers Manufacturing companies (MAI Basic Four after reading the Wikepedia definition, it feels good being an active part of the industry), and high rollers companies (DOLE, Pepsico when they operated Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell and PFS, Boral Limited), roaming the world while doing so, exposed to cutting edge technologies of their time, creating it when the opportunity required so. I currently look after an Oracle data warehouse, sourcing its data from four or five legacy applications, servicing Crystal Reports and Cognos Cubes, developed VB and Net solutions; I could claim the phrase “I had been there, done that” suits me like a globe, always addressing any challenge with an engineer mind, which is different to an IT mindset.  

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SCOPE

The procedure described by this document explains how to create a CD Rom to distribute your .Net Application, carrying the .Net Framework and executing its installation upon inserting of the media into the Target Machine CD-Drive.

This document does not apply to VS 2005 Click Once Deployments.

TERMINOLOGY
  • Target Machine is the PC or workstation your project will be installed on.
  • Installation Package is the MSI file you generated using the Deployment and Installation module in your VS.Net 2002, 2003 or 2005 for either C# or Vb.Net
  • Net Framework Redistributable is the net framework required by your application, it could be the 1.0, 1.1 or 2.0
  • MEDIA a CD or DVD disc that will contain your application's installation package.

REQUIREMENTS

APPLIES TO

  • Any version of Windows, although, We know we can't install .Net application on any Windows Version prior to Windows 98 SE.
  • Visual Studio 2002, 2003 or 2005, C# or Vb.Net

AUTORUN CD OVERVIEW

Autorun CDs or DVDs are unrelated to the Visual Studio's SetUp and Deployment Projects, you should organize the media in order to get your application's installation package running once the enduser insert it at his/her machine's media drive.

HOW TO ORGANIZE THE CD or DVD

You don't burn a MEDIA, either CD or DVD directly when creating your application's installation package, what you do is create a temporary folder that will store all the information your MEDIA will contain.

We suggest the name CD_IMAGE, the image below is a sample CD_Image folder for an application being distributed by a CD or DVD media.

 

The image shows that for this particular application, we are including Microsoft, Macromedia and LotusNotes applications or objects, as we can gather from the folders identifying these companies. You should also keep in mind to include the proper disclaimer and references to copyrighted information you are distributing with your application.

Your application installation package or the autorun script should take care of using the information in your distribution MEDIA, they will not install automatically, some logic should execute them.

You should also notice the autorun.inf file highlighted in the image, that's the key file to create an AUTORUN MEDIA.

The complexity of your CD_IMAGE folder depend on the complexity of your application, it may contains just the Microsoft folder because you are including the .Net Framework distributable, it may also contains a Web Site because you want to drive your application installation with one.

 

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