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how to speed up installation for VSTO add-in for Outlook RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    We are developing a small VSTO add-in for Outlook using Visual Studio 2008. This add-in is supposed to be for individual users of Outlook who may not be tech-savvy. One issue that we feel is a potential dampener for this add-in is the the time it takes for the user to download and install .net 3.5 (anywhere between 20-40 minutes). Whether we include it as a part of installation pre-requisites and set it up such that it starts download and install of the framework from Microsoft site automatically OR ask the user to download and install it separately before starting the installation of the add-in, the time factor is not really going to change. We feel that a user may not want to go through such a lengthy download process just to get a small add-in installed - thereby killing the product right in it's infancy.

    So, our question to you is, is there a way to shorten this time period (of download and install). If yes, how? One possibility is to include the entire framework runtime installation to run locally (provided along with add-in installation) instead of having the user to "download" it first as a part of installation. It will take out a huge chunk of time right there. But then the question is, does MS allow to redistribute the framework in such a way. Also, if it's possible, how can we include it as a part of add-in's setup project - to automatically detect and install .net 3.5 from local dump?

    Thanks,
    Hrishi

    Friday, January 23, 2009 10:33 AM

Answers