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One Web Setup Project for Deploying on Multiple Environments

, 26 Jan 2009 CPOL
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A solution to create one web setup project for multiple environments


A common task in a project is preparing for a deployment. The easiest way to do this is making use of a Web Setup Project. But how do we make this Web Setup Project suitable for multiple environments, because it's most likely that there are environments like Development, Test, Acceptance and Production.


The key to this solution is the "Condition" property. If you add a file to the Web Setup Project (In the File System view right mouse button on the Web Application Folder, then Add -> File) and select it, you can find the "Condition" property in the properties window.


We add the following value to the "Condition" property ENV="Prod", this is for the production environment, for the test environment it will be something like this ENV="Test".

We also set the "TargetName" property to Web.Config so the Web Setup Project will output the configuration file as Web.Config.

Well you can add unlimited Web.Config files to your Web Setup Project, they are all output as Web.Config but not all at the same time. So how can we choose the correct Web.Config for your environment, well like this:

%windir%\system32\msiexec.exe /i "Setup.msi" ENV="Prod"
  • msiexec.exe (the Windows installer)
  • /i (is the install switch)
  • "Setup.msi" (compiled output of the Web Setup Project)
  • ENV="Prod" (the condition value)

If you run this, the setup will be started. After the setup is finished, you will notice that only the Web.Config is installed with the "Condition" property set to ENV="Prod".

To make this all fool proof, you can make a shortcut to this command line, like this:


Now when you click on this shortcut, you get the same result.


So with this solution, you can make one Web Setup Project for all your environments and create a better and stable deployment solution.


  • 26th January, 2009: Initial post


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


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralOne tip to avoid including all config files PinmemberMember 40803134-Feb-09 9:56 
I found it was a little confusing to have all of the config files deployed with a website, so I put a filter on the project output to exclude *.config. Of course you want to make sure you don't have any other config files in your output that you need (if this is the case, you can just list all of the web.configs explicitly instead of using the wildcard).
To do this:
Right-click on the output and select "ExcludeFilter" and add in *.config.
Hope that helps someone Smile | :)
GeneralThanks PinmemberMember 40803134-Feb-09 9:46 

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