ClickOnce Deployment: Customizing SQL Server Express
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Published: 26 Sep 2005
Unedited - Community Contributed
ClickOnce Deployment, new to Visual Studio 2005, allows you to deploy your Windows Forms application to a web server from which a user can download and install the application. If SQL Server Express is included in the install, its authentication will default to the sa user with an unknown password. Terry Voss shows how to customize the installation of SQL Server Express.
by Terry Voss
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ClickOnce Deployment is a setup capability that is built into your Windows Forms project. In Visual Studio 2005, select Project Properties from the Project menu, and click on the Publish tab. From there, after specifying a few things, you can publish to a web site or other location that can act as a setup server for your application. A web page is created that allows your project to be downloaded. If your application needs .NET Framework 2.0 to be installed, and maybe also SQL Server Express Edition, you can specify these prequisites since ClickOnce Deployment has the capability to build into the setup.exe file the instructions to install them after checking for what is already installed, and maybe after getting the end user's acceptance of a EULA. Without a basic understanding of how this bootstrapping works through manifest files, one gets the default install of Windows Authentication with a system administrator (sa) user with an unknown password. This article shows how to modify this. (For an introduction to ClickOnce Deployment and more information about the Bootstrapper, see the links provided at the end of this article.)

Selecting the Prerequisites

From the Project menu, choose Project Properties, select the Publish tab, and then click on the Prerequisites button to view the following dialog.

The only reason I see to download from a location other than the component vendor's web site is if you think the vendor’s site might be busy and your own web site would be more available.

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User Comments

Title: plz tell me   
Name: Sajid
Date: 2009-01-17 3:45:22 AM
hi i want to say that if i start that web setup project then after installation of the instanace it will again ask for installtion of tghe instance how we bypass it. plz reply soon
Title: Re: Small doubt in ClickOnce   
Name: Nilesh
Date: 2008-12-09 3:48:23 PM
Hi Rohan,

check this link
Title: Small doubt in ClickOnce   
Name: Rohan
Date: 2008-08-19 10:53:45 PM
Dear Terry,
Thanks for the great article. Just the solution I was looking for. I just have 2 small doubts about click-once deployment still.

1. If my application uses SQL Express, how can I include and attach my .mdf / .bak files with my project so that the database gets attached to the new instance of SQL.

2. Can I included 2 executing projects in a single click-once application. ie.. Can I have a Windows Form application and another Windows Service application install in a single instanc using the same click-once project ??

Thanks again for the article,
Rohan Wadiwala
Title: ClickOnce Deployment: Customizing SQL Server Express Problem   
Name: Satish C
Date: 2007-08-03 4:04:47 AM
Getting the following error while installation
Could you please tell whats the problem here?

Process exited with code 28001
Status of package 'Windows Installer 3.1' after install is 'InstallSucceeded'
Status of package 'SQL Server 2005 Express Edition' after install is 'InstallFailed'

Thanks in anticipation
Title: ClickOnce Deployment: Customizing SQL Server Express   
Name: Jei G
Date: 2006-09-05 9:41:48 AM
Why can't I only set SECURITYMODE only without setting the sa password? I tried to exclude sapwd= attribute the sql express setup failed. Or is it possible to just disable sa login or supply a blank password?
Title: ClickOnce Deployment: Customizing SQL Server Express   
Name: Jei G
Date: 2006-09-05 9:36:07 AM
This is definitely a better solution than Microsoft article that suggest modifying registry settings especially to those of us who regard the registry as sacred. Still, I wonder why Microsoft could not come up with a command line way, say through the sqlcmd utility, to change the authentication mode. Thanks
Title: Re: Jerry Kasten's Question   
Name: JLS
Date: 2006-03-24 3:38:28 PM
> How does modifying the manifest on my machine affect
> the deployment if SQL Server Express is downloaded
> from Microsoft

The manifest gets compiled into the setup.exe that you (the developer) will deploy. It doesn't stay on your local machine. Then, during the install, setup.exe downloads the SQL Express package from MS if it needs it. The contents of the manifest control whether or not the package is downloaded and how it is launched but obviously (I hope) the actual package from MS is not modified.
Title: ClickOnce Deployment: Customizing SQL Server Express   
Name: Jerry Kasten
Date: 2006-03-20 8:07:29 AM
How does modifying the manifest on my machine affect the deployment if SQL Server Express is downloaded from Microsoft, as you suggest?

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