Visual Basic Concepts

The Package and Deployment Wizard

The Visual Basic Package and Deployment Wizard helps you create .cab files for your application, group them into a unit, or package, that contains all information needed for installation, and deliver those packages to end users. You can use Visual Basic's Package and Deployment Wizard to create packages that are distributed on floppy disks, CDs, a local or network drive, or the Web. The Package and Deployment Wizard automates much of the work involved in creating and deploying these files.

The Package and Deployment Wizard offers three options

  • The Package option helps you package a project's files into a .cab file that can then be deployed, and in some cases creates a setup program that installs the .cab files. The wizard determines the files you need to package and leads you through all the choices that must be made in order to create one or more .cab files for your project.

  • The Deploy option helps you deliver your packaged applications to the appropriate distribution media, such as floppies, a network share, or a Web site.

  • The Manage Scripts option lets you view and manipulate the scripts you have saved from previous packaging and deployment sessions in the wizard. Each time you use the wizard, you save a script that contains all the choices you made. You can reuse these scripts in later sessions if you want to use similar settings and make the same choices as you did previously.

*For More Information* See "Application Packaging with the Wizard" later in this chapter for more information about packaging your projects. See "Application Packaging with the Wizard" later in this chapter for more information on deploying an application to the Web or another destination. See "Managing Wizard Scripts" for more information on how to create and use scripts.

The Package and Deployment Wizard vs. The Setup Toolkit Project

The Package and Deployment Wizard walks you through creating and distributing professional setup programs for your Visual Basic applications. In addition to creating .cab files for your application, the wizard also creates the application's setup program by compiling the Setup Toolkit project installed with Visual Basic. The setup program is called setup1.exe.

In most cases, the Package and Deployment Wizard is the best way to create and distribute your application's setup1.exe program. However, if you want your application's setup program to use features not provided by the Package and Deployment Wizard, you can do so by modifying the Setup Toolkit project. Like any other Visual Basic project, the forms, code, and functionality of this project can be modified or enhanced.

*Note* The Package and Deployment Wizard and the Setup Toolkit create setup programs and distribution media only for Visual Basic applications. To create setup programs for other Windows–based applications, use the setup toolkit provided with that development product or in the Microsoft Windows SDK.

*For More Information* For more information on using the toolkit project to package and deploy your applications, see "The Setup Toolkit" later in this chapter.