Installing VSPackages With Windows Installer

Integrating your VSPackage into Visual Studio requires more than just copying files to a user's computer. Your VSPackage's installer must install the VSPackage and its dependent files, and register and integrate them into Visual Studio. Your VSPackage can take advantage of integration features such as displaying an icon on the Visual Studio splash screen and About dialog box.

Microsoft Windows Installer files are the recommended way to distribute your VSPackages. Easy-to-use Windows Installer packages can run on any Windows operating system supported by Visual Studio. For more information, see Windows Installer.

In This Section

Provides an overview of the Windows Installer.

Discusses different ways you can support side-by-side installations of both your VSPackages and Visual Studio.

Provides an overview of the typical steps installers follow to correctly install and integrate VSPackages into Visual Studio.

Describes how an installer can detect Visual Studio and its components and cancel setup if VSPackage requirements are not met.

Discusses how to develop an installer that will maintain the integrity of previous product versions.

Summarizes the options for locating VSPackages.

Discusses how VSPackages are registered at installation time and why self-registration is a bad idea.

Discusses how to use the new project-type aggregator for managed-code project types.

Explains how to use RegPkg.exe to generate a registration manifest for a managed VSPackage.

Explains how to run post-installation commands to integrate VSPackages into Visual Studio.

Describes the steps your installer must perform when users uninstall your VSPackage.