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Posted 22 Apr 2012

Why you should not use Clickonce deployment as your enterprise application's deployment methodology

, 2 Oct 2012
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Why you should not use Clickonce deployment as your enterprise application's deployment methodology (especially for banks and securities companies).


If you decide to build your enterprise applications through .NET, may be the deployment strategy is one of the most important jobs in your whole project. Failure of the deployment strategy may result in lower customer satisfaction and also increase maintenance costs. Through my experience of building enterprise applications for banks and securities companies, I'll suggest four very clear reasons why you should not use Clickonce as your deployment strategy for your enterprise applications.

Three reasons why you should not choose Clickonce

Reason 1. Clickonce does not support proxy networks

If your customer company uses proxy servers for their network security and if your application is deployed under Clickonce technology, simply, your application doesn't get deployed under the proxy network.

And also I found that almost every bank and securities company uses a proxy network (HSBC, City Bank, Goldman Sachs.. and so on..). So if your clients are companies like that, just don't try to use Clickonce deployment because it does not work at all (there is a way to run Clickonce under a proxy network, if you have the power to order every customer to fix the settings of the machine.config file which is located very deep inside the Windows folder).

Reason 2. Assembly verification time is too long

Even though your application has a moderate number of assemblies, your clients should wait more than minutes to be deployed.

Reason 3. Customization is not allowed.

If you have more than 50 assemblies to be deployed, a financial company's network security device may disconnect your deployment process forcibly with sync flooding failure. Even though you know the cause of that failure, you can not GZip your assemblies into lesser than five physical files because Clickonce does not support doing that.


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


About the Author

Jin Kwang Hwang
Architect Korea Securities Depository
Korea (Republic of) Korea (Republic of)
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralTried it, used Inno instead Pin
brother.gabriel27-Apr-12 6:47
memberbrother.gabriel27-Apr-12 6:47 
Even having purchased VS 2010, I don't use clickonce. It doesn't seem to allow your normal programming procedures like you get with NSIS or INNO. It does not install programs normally, and there seems to be issues with multiple copies of the same program in the .net program store if you change the program without updating the assembly version.

I suppose ClickOnce would be good for small office envrionments.

However, I stay with Inno because you can specify exactly where you want ALL of your application components to go, you can check for running processes and do exactly what you want with your program using the installer.

ClickOnce just isn't so programmable - in my opinion, it is way too "automatic". However, I think that "automatic-ness" is the idea MS was trying to achieve. The idea (again, IMHO) is to remove all the time and necessary knowledge spent in understanding different computer systems and in how to install the applications. If you are going to let MS automate your install, you have to be willing to sacrifice what *you* think should be done and accept what MS thinks should be done.

I think ClickOnce might have been nice if you were given a long list of checkboxes with various options on how you want your installation to act. You do get a few options with ClickOnce, but with ClickOnce, you will never come close to the traditional program installation.

In my wanderings of trying out new applications, I tend to avoid any that are ClickOnce - they have issues, in my experience. Their settings files are hard to manage (if you can find them), if the server that hosts the ClickOnce installer is no longer available, your installer doesn't work (out of luck legacy!), and you can end up with multiple installations of the same program without knowing it.

Maybe I am wrong in some of my comments, but I have adopted the practice of not spending too much time on applications that don't work the way I expect them to (that is, they are not intuitive). Usually, I can figure a program out very quickly, but I have not had good experience with either making or using ClickOnce applications.

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