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Hoover85

[MDX] How to make installer or package?

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So, I have made a game using MDX 2.0 with VB.Net and I'd liked to make somekind of package of it that could be installed on another computer. It don't have to be any fancy installer like most retail games have, just a way to get all the important files to other computer to run the game. I tried the "Publish" -feature that comes with Visual Studio 2005 professional, but when I installed the .exe it made it didn't start even with the computer I developed the game, so it must be missing something. My guess is, that it's missing some .dll's or something.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
hi,
regarding installs the hardest part is to get your dependencies right. you need to make sure that at least the .net framework 2.0 and MDX 2.0 are installed on the target machine. you either need to ship the redistributables of both with your application or provide a tool that can download an install these redistributables on the target machine. professional tools like installshield can do that automatically but i suppose installshield is overkill.
i see two possibilities: first one being to put the two redistributables and your application in a simple .zip file. you 'd have to rely on the user to make sure everything 's properly installed... hope users actually read the readme file.
the second possibility is to learn how to make .msi setups (if you want to make .msi installs then i'd advise you to google for the WiX toolkit from rob mensching and others (he's got a nice blog, too)). using msi you could create a much better user experience and install the dependencies as needed on the target machine. be warned, though, that the learning curve of the WiX toolkit is quite significant, especially if you 've never worked with installs and xml before. once you got everything going, though, it's the best solution you 'll get (most important ms products' setups are using or will be using the WiX toolkit, office and sql being the most famous ones).

at the end it all depends on (1) how much time you want to spend on creating the setup and (2) what your target audience is like. if you expect the application to be installed on quite a few computers with very different configurations then you should go the msi route. people need to be able to remove every bit of your software in a very easy and reliable way. only msi offers that.
if it's a smaller application you want to give to a few friends .zip containers will do and will be the superior solution.

the publish feature of visual studio 2005 is used for clickonce installs over the web. this could also be a viable solution. i don't know if clickonce can also handle installing managed directx on the target pc... i even doubt it, but again i'm not sure. i don't think clickonce has been designer with applications having more dependencies than the .net framework itself in mind.

i hope i could shed some light on the topic of installations. you need to find the right solution for your needs.

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