Smart Client Deployment with ClickOnce
Every software engineer has faced the task of getting his/her application to users once it s written. Sometimes this is an overlooked part of the engineering process. Smart Client Deployment with ClickOnce by Brian Noyes attempts to help software engineers get their applications to the users faster, more easily, and with more control. The book exclusively deals with Windows Forms applications using the .NET 2.0 Framework.
Having read other titles by Noyes, I was comfortable with his writing style. It s conversational and easy to follow. In chapter one he immediately whets your appetite for the subject matter by having you deploy a simple application within the first 20 pages of the book. Noyes does a good job of explaining the foundations for ClickOnce and how it is built. For example, there s a section on terminology so you, as a reader, won t have any confusion from earlier attempts by Microsoft to do application deployment. However, ClickOnce is not a magic bullet as far as application deployment goes. There s a section in chapter one that discusses when to not use the ClickOnce technology. Reading that section can save you a lot of heartache, so I recommend you not skip chapter one.
Chapter two walks you through planning for a successful deployment and then guides you through the various steps involved with Visual Studio. There are plenty of pictures in this section, which makes it easy to follow along and keep you on track. You ll get familiar with what s required of a deployment server and terms like deployment manifest and application manifest.
Chapter three assumes you ve had a successful deployment and are looking to maintain the application. This section is similar to chapter two, with a lot of pictures to follow and good details. Noyes does a good job of making sure to warn you about potential pitfalls associated with ClickOnce (the warnings are easy to spot because they are highlighted in gray).
The book then starts to get more complicated discussing topics such as the ClickOnce API, application and data file management, and security. A chapter is dedicated to each one of these subjects and I strongly recommend you read the security section. It s well thought out and explains things from a security point of view you should consider while building your ClickOnce application. Noyes also touches on the Bootstrapper functionality, which allows you to deploy prerequisite applications in addition to your application. Noyes shows you how to have a seamless transition from bootstrap application installations to your ClickOnce application.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who seeks to deploy an application in an efficient, controlled manor. I like how Noyes reinforces the information of the chapter at the end of each chapter. Configuration managers should read this book if they are looking for better ways to do their jobs. If you write code long enough you ll inevitably run into a situation where the test team is working on a different version than they should because they don t have the latest version. ClickOnce can help mitigate problems like that and this book explains how to implement it.
Title: Smart Client Deployment with ClickOnce
Author: Brian Noyes
Page Count: 285