ClickOnce to Debut in ‘Whidbey’

ClickOnce to Debut in ‘Whidbey’

Mary Jo Foley

Microsoft developers are rushing to put the finishing touches on more than just its next-generation Windows client to debut at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in late October.

In addition to delivering a technical preview release of Longhorn, Microsoft also is hoping to be able to provide attendees with a first beta of its “Whidbey” Visual Studio tool suite release. Whidbey went to a select group of alpha testers this summer. Microsoft is hoping to deliver the final Whidbey code in the latter half of 2004.

Whidbey will include a number of programming improvements, such as support for generics and iterators. But it also will include some brand new technologies.

Read “What’s On Tap for Whidbey”

One of these technologies is ClickOnce, a new application-deployment technology. that will debut in Visual Studio “Whidbey.” ClickOnce is designed to make installing apps easier — especially managed apps that are built with Windows Forms and Avalon, Microsoft’s stack of presentation/graphics application-programming interfaces that will be an integral part of Longhorn.

“ClickOnce allows developers to deploy and update their applications by simply copying the files to a Web-site and doesn’t require separate setup authoring,” explains Microsoft on its PDC session site. “These applications are isolated from other applications, and as a result have the TCO (total cost of ownership) advantages of a Web browser-based application.”

Microsoft is touting ClickOnce as technology that will bring “all the benefits of the Web application deployment model…to the Windows client application.” It is a key piece of the technology that will put the “smart” in smart clients, as it will add new offline application support capabilities, such as rolling back to previous versions of an application and listing an application in the Start Menu and control panel – even when disconnected from the Net.

Microsoft is planning to add ClickOnce to Longhorn, too, according to the PDC session site. By adding ClickOnce to Longhorn, Microsoft is aiming to improve application deployment further, by integrating the new technology with Longhorn’s background updates, desktop shell and progressive rendering.

Additionally, Whidbey is expected to include the Microsoft Business Framework (MBF) as a built-in part of the tool suite.

MBF is a layer of classes and libraries designed to sit on top of the .Net Framework. The MBF development team — which Microsoft made part of the company’s developer division this past spring — developed MBF to provide application developers with a more robust platform upon which they could build Windows applications. Now the dev team is retooling MBF to make it more tools-oriented.

Read More on MBF Here

This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in the September 22, 2003 issue of the Microsoft Watch newsletter.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Microsoft Watch.