Visual Studio 2017 administrator guide

In enterprise environments, it's common for system administrators to deploy installations to end-users from a network share or by using systems management software. We've designed the Visual Studio setup engine to support enterprise deployment, allowing system administrators the ability to create a network install location, to pre-configure installation defaults, to deploy product keys during the installation process, and to manage product updates after a successful rollout. This administrator guide provides scenario-based guidance for enterprise deployment in networked environments.

Deploying Visual Studio 2017 in an enterprise environment

You can deploy Visual Studio 2017 to client workstations as long as each target computer meets the minimum installation requirements. Whether you're deploying through software like System Center or through a batch file, you'll typically want to go through the following steps:

  1. Create a network share that contains the Visual Studio product files to a network location.

  2. Select the workloads and components you want to install.

  3. Create a response file that contains default installation options. Or alternatively, build an installation script that uses command-line parameters to control the installation.

  4. Optionally, apply a volume license product key as part of the installation script so that users don't need to activate the software separately.

  5. Update the network layout to control when product updates are delivered to your end-users.

  6. Optionally, set registry keys to control what is cached on client workstations.

  7. Use your deployment technology of choice to execute the script generated in the previous steps on your target developer workstations.

  8. Refresh your network location with the latest updates to Visual Studio by running the command you used in step 1 on a regular basis to add updated components.

Important

Note that installations from a network share will "remember" the source location they came from. This means that a repair of a client machine might need to return to the network share that the client originally installed from. Choose your network location carefully so that it aligns to the lifetime that you expect to have Visual Studio 2017 clients running in your organization.

Visual Studio tools

We have several tools available to help you detect and manage installed Visual Studio instances on client machines.

Tip

In addition to the documentation in the administrator guide, a good source of information on Visual Studio 2017 setup is Heath Stewart's blog.

See also