Visual Studio administrator guide

In enterprise environments, system administrators typically 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 by giving 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.

Before you begin

Before you deploy Visual Studio across your organization, there are a few decisions to make and tasks to complete:

  • Make sure that each target computer meets the minimum installation requirements.

  • Decide on your servicing needs.

    If your company needs to stay on a feature set longer but still wants to get regular servicing updates, plan to use a servicing baseline. For more information, see the Support options for Enterprise and Professional customers section of the Visual Studio product lifecycle and servicing page, as well as the How to: Update Visual Studio while on a servicing baseline page.

    If you plan to apply servicing updates along with cumulative feature updates, then you can choose the latest bits.

  • Decide on the update model.

    Where do you want individual client machines to get updates? Specifically, decide whether you want to get updates from the internet or from a company-wide local share. Then, if you choose to use a local share, decide whether individual users can update their own clients or if you want an admin to update the clients programmatically.

  • Decide which workloads and components your company needs.

  • Decide whether to use a response file (that simplifies managing details in the script file).

  • Decide if you want to enable Group Policy, and if you want to configure Visual Studio to disable customer feedback on individual computers.

  • Make sure that each target computer meets the minimum installation requirements.

  • Decide on your servicing needs.

    If your company needs to stay on a feature set longer but still wants to get regular servicing updates, plan to use a servicing baseline. For more information, see the Support for older versions of Visual Studio section of the Visual Studio product lifecycle and servicing page, as well as the How to: Update Visual Studio while on a servicing baseline page.

    If you plan to apply servicing updates along with cumulative feature updates, then you can choose the latest bits.

  • Decide on the update model.

    Where do you want individual client machines to get updates? Specifically, decide whether you want to get updates from the internet or from a company-wide local share. Then, if you choose to use a local share, decide whether individual users can update their own clients or if you want an admin to update the clients programmatically.

  • Decide which workloads and components your company needs.

  • Decide whether to use a response file (that simplifies managing details in the script file).

  • Decide if you want to enable Group Policy, and if you want to configure Visual Studio to disable customer feedback on individual computers.

Step 1 - Download Visual Studio product files

Step 2 - Build an installation script

Step 3 - Deploy

  • Use your deployment technology of choice to execute your script onto your target developer workstations.

Step 4 - Deploy updates

Step 5 - (Optional) Use Visual Studio tools

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

Step 1 - Download Visual Studio product files

Step 2 - Build an installation script

Step 3 - Deploy

  • Use your deployment technology of choice to execute your script onto your target developer workstations.

Step 4 - Deploy updates

Step 5 - (Optional) Use Visual Studio tools

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

Get support

Sometimes, things can go wrong. If your Visual Studio installation fails, see Troubleshoot Visual Studio installation and upgrade issues for step-by-step guidance.

We also offer a live chat (English only) support option for installation-related issues.

Here are a few more support options:

See also