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Launching Your Application After Install using Visual Studio 2005

, 11 Jul 2007 CPOL
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Launching your application after install using Visual Studio 2005


Creating an install MSI file is rather simple; however there is very little documentation about it, or it's choppy and sometimes too wordy. Well, the point of this article is to show you how to create the installer application, and how to make it launch your application after it has finished installing.

Using the Code

The first thing you must do is add a new reference to your main project file.

Screenshot - 1.png

Add System.Configuration.Install to your project, for some reason this has not been added automatically.

Screenshot - 2.png

Now you must add an installer class to your main project. To do this, right click on that project, go to Add, and go to New Item…

Screenshot - 3.png

Name it Installer Class.

Screenshot - 4.png

Copy and paste the following code into your application. Be sure to change the application name to that of your main project, in my case it is InstallSample.exe.


Imports System
Imports System.Diagnostics
Imports System.Windows.Forms
Imports System.Collections
Imports System.ComponentModel
Imports System.Configuration.Install
Imports System.Reflection
Imports System.IO

Namespace OffLine.Installer
    ' Taken from:
    ' system.configuration.configurationmanager.aspx
    ' Set 'RunInstaller' attribute to true.

    <RunInstaller(True)> _
    Public Class InstallerClass
        Inherits System.Configuration.Install.Installer
        Public Sub New()
            AddHandler Me.Committed, AddressOf MyInstaller_Committed
                ' Attach the 'Committed' event.
                ' Attach the 'Committing' event.
            AddHandler Me.Committing, AddressOf MyInstaller_Committing
        End Sub

        ' Event handler for 'Committing' event.
        Private Sub MyInstaller_Committing_
		(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As InstallEventArgs)
            'Console.WriteLine("Committing Event occurred.");
        End Sub

        ' Event handler for 'Committed' event.
        Private Sub MyInstaller_Committed(ByVal sender As Object, _
		ByVal e As InstallEventArgs)
		(Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location) + "\InstallSample.exe")
                    ' Do nothing... 
            End Try
        End Sub

        ' Override the 'Install' method.
        Public Overloads Overrides Sub Install(ByVal savedState As IDictionary)
        End Sub

        ' Override the 'Commit' method.
        Public Overloads Overrides Sub Commit(ByVal savedState As IDictionary)
        End Sub

        ' Override the 'Rollback' method.
        Public Overloads Overrides Sub Rollback(ByVal savedState As IDictionary)
        End Sub
    End Class
End Namespace


using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Collections;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Configuration.Install;
using System.Reflection;
using System.IO;

namespace OffLine.Installer
  // Taken from:
  // system.configuration.configurationmanager.aspx
  // Set 'RunInstaller' attribute to true.

  public class InstallerClass : System.Configuration.Install.Installer
    public InstallerClass()
      : base()
      // Attach the 'Committed' event.
      this.Committed += new InstallEventHandler(MyInstaller_Committed);
      // Attach the 'Committing' event.
      this.Committing += new InstallEventHandler(MyInstaller_Committing);

    // Event handler for 'Committing' event.
    private void MyInstaller_Committing(object sender, InstallEventArgs e)
      //Console.WriteLine("Committing Event occurred.");

    // Event handler for 'Committed' event.
    private void MyInstaller_Committed(object sender, InstallEventArgs e)
          Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location) + "\\InstallSample.exe");
        // Do nothing... 

    // Override the 'Install' method.
    public override void Install(IDictionary savedState)

    // Override the 'Commit' method.
    public override void Commit(IDictionary savedState)

    // Override the 'Rollback' method.
    public override void Rollback(IDictionary savedState)

After changing the project EXE file in the source code that you just pasted, be sure to recompile that project.

As you can see from the code, you added a new interface to the class that allows you to take control of the Install, Commit, Committed, and Rollback. In Committed, I am going to launch the InstallSample.exe application.

When it is time to create your install project, you will want to add a new Setup Project to your existing applications solution.

Screenshot - 5.png

Right click on this new project, then click Add, then go to Project Output…

Screenshot - 6.png

Select Primary Output, then click OK.

Screenshot - 7.png

Add a shortcut in the Start Menu… Right click on the Setup Project, then go to View, and then File System…

Screenshot - 8.png

Click on Application Folder, then right click the Primary Output file, and then go to Create Shortcut to Primary Output from InstallExample (Active):

Screenshot - 9.png

Add a new folder to your start menu, right click on User's Programs Menu, then go to Add, and then Folder. Rename that folder to Installer Example.

Screenshot - 10.png

Now drag that shortcut you created in the Applications Folder, to the new folder you just created:

Screenshot - 11.png

Right click on the new solution; go to View, then Custom Actions:

Screenshot - 12.png

Add a new custom action to the root Custom Actions node:

Screenshot - 13.png

Double click Applications Folder:

Screenshot - 14.png

Then click Primary output from InstallExample (Active):

Screenshot - 15.png

Lastly, rebuild your install solution.

Screenshot - 16.png

It is a good idea to keep an eye on the status bar, it will tell you when it is done…

Screenshot - 17.png

Now you can test it and it should install the application. After the install process, it should run automatically.


  • 11th July, 2007: Initial post


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Bill Daugherty II

United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

Questionmy 5 PinprofessionalShambhoo kumar20-Jul-13 0:15 
QuestionGood Post. PinmemberRanish kumar1-Nov-12 2:33 
QuestionThank you! PinmemberEhud Grand12-Jan-12 1:48 
QuestionThanks Pinmemberqhuydtvtv27-Dec-11 0:45 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberlopezatienza15-Nov-11 3:31 
Questionto solve problem "can not find $path\projectname.intallstate" Pinmemberhacklew16-Aug-11 17:05 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberEAlger25-May-11 11:21 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberjonty chaudhary25-Jul-10 3:03 
Generalthanks a lot Pinmembersortgnz13-Jun-10 22:26 
GeneralJust what I wanted PinmemberMember 34005328-Dec-09 5:37 
GeneralInstallation : Error 1001 PinmemberSohelElite6-Oct-09 22:09 
GeneralSP1 doesn't work ?! ?! PinmemberUBX7-Sep-09 3:53 
QuestionHow to show the help file after installation PinmemberNicolas Stuardo18-May-09 5:25 
Generalthanks Pinmemberhimanshu11015-May-09 19:29 
QuestionI got two erros when building Pinmemberalemos23-Feb-09 9:21 

First of all, congratulations on the very easy to follow tutorial. Thanks for that!

I am kinda new to C#, despite being a developer for many years. I got two erros when I compiled the solution:

Error 1 Unable to build custom action named 'Primary output from Mensageiro (Active)', InstallerClass property is only valid for assemblies. D:\Business\Mensageiro\Mensageiro\MensageiroSetup\MensageiroSetup.vdproj MensageiroSetup
Error 2 'Mensageiro.InstallerClass.Dispose(bool)': no suitable method found to override D:\Business\Mensageiro\Mensageiro\Mensageiro\InstallerClass.Designer.cs 14 33 Mensageiro

I am confused and I cannot find how to fix them, since I don`t even understand the errors! Big Grin | :-D

I followed the steps to the letter and I double checked my work. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

QuestionHow to modify MSI file? Pinmemberjp2code3-Feb-09 4:32 
Generalrun AFTER install? [modified] PinmemberAriadne14-Oct-08 5:55 
NewsThank you very much. Pinmemberzoidbeck7-Jul-08 3:04 
AnswerProper Way to Do This PinmemberRobert Prouse23-Apr-08 5:34 
GeneralRe: Proper Way to Do This Pinmemberrhennecke24-Apr-08 22:26 
AnswerRe: Proper Way to Do This [modified] Pinmemberdmbrider28-Sep-08 11:39 
GeneralRe: Proper Way to Do This Pinmembervish11123-Oct-08 1:37 
GeneralRe: Proper Way to Do This PinmemberRammohanT11-May-10 23:54 
QuestionRe: Proper Way to Do This PinmemberROCNDAVE21-Jan-10 12:31 
AnswerRe: Proper Way to Do This Pinmemberdmbrider24-Jan-10 6:08 

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