are smart client apps with multiple .dll versions possible? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Say I have a deployment of 10 clients using a smart client app.  They are all running on version 1.1 of whatever.dll.  Then say I add some additional functionality and deploy version 1.2 of whatever.dll.  However, I only want 2 of the clients to get the new .dll so they can test it.  I want the rest to continue using the older version until I do "something".

    Is this type of thing even possible?  If so, how would I get the rest of the clients to get the new .dll once i was confident it was ready to go.

    Please don't remark on how this is not the way to develop/test/deploy software through the dev lifecycle :)  I know it's not.  I just want to know if this sort of architecture is possible, and if so how to do it (in general).

    If so would someone give me general outline how to do, or point me to some sample code?

    Thanks in advance,

    Troy Johnson

    Saturday, January 13, 2007 6:48 PM

All replies

  • Hi Troy,

       I'm not sure if mine is the best solution possible but believe me it works (I applied it some time ago)

       Let's suppose you are working with ClickOnce (.NET 2.0) or the Updater Application Block (.NET 1.1). It's not a minor fact what you mentioned that just two (2) taken among ten (10) users need to test the new released .dll (possible more than one)

       In those situations what I did was configuring the retrieval mechanism (ClickOnce, UAB) in order to get, officially, the official version. 'course. Because the new one is still being tested

       So for these two users I manually delivered the alternate assemblies and changed their icons in order to launch the tested edition instead the official one

       And how to deliver the alternate assemblies? It depends on the size of the organization, its security schema, etc. In smaller companies, if the user is unable to unpack himself the assemblies received inside zip file (attached in a mail, taken from a specific intranet location) you can just write a small script file (consider visiting them with a diskette/CD: you said they were just two people, the diskette never fails unless it has errors )

       In larger organizations is very probably that neither you nor the user has privileges on his/her computer to install manually software (because the same way you install an alternate version of your soft, a hacker installs trojans or any other kind of malware). Those cases, of course, you must install the unofficial version by officially asking the system administrators to let the users receive the alternate version on their next logon (a possible Microsoft tool for achieving that is Microsoft Systems Management Server, SMS) but it's suppossed that, in your context, you have to apply this just in case the diskette strategy failed


    (If you consider this answer enough to solve the main question when opening the thread, pls tag this post as USEFUL -- Thanks!)

    Sunday, January 14, 2007 5:07 PM