Tutorial :Is there a way to silently or automatically install .NET?



Question:

I am selling desktop software written in C# to multiple clients, and having a huge problem: The .NET install. The users of this software are not computer-savvy and usually don't have any version of the .NET framework installed, and many times don't want it.

Nearly every single one of my support requests is due to someone not installing .NET. I have to remind each one of them to install the framework, and most of them say they hit "Cancel" on it because they don't want to install it. Many have even asked for refunds because they get confused and don't want to deal with it. They don't understand that it's required, and don't want to go to Microsoft and download it. I'm losing a lot of time, and lot of money.

But enough background, my question is: Can I silently install the .NET framework, legally so I can reduce the amount of support contacts? If I put some sort of disclaimer in saying the .NET framework will be installed, would it be legal? I can make it install automatically of course, but the users are cancelling it, and not realizing that it renders the software inoperable.

I know it sounds crazy and the obvious suggestions like "tell them that the .NET install is required" have already been tried. I tell the customers 3 times in giant red fonts that it is required, yet they still don't read it.

Any suggestions? I'm about ready to abandon C# and build my next products in Java or Delphi, that's how big this problem is becoming.


Solution:1

Use the "Chaining the Redistributable Package in Application Setup" description in the article below. The /q switch should allow installation of the framework without user prompting. This should solve the problem of your users cancelling the installation of the framework.

.NET Framework 3.5 Deployment Guide for Application Developers
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc160716.aspx


Solution:2

Of course, here's a blog post describing the command lines. Obviously if you're deploying your application with an installer, you'll want to use the recommended approach Robert describes. But if you're just trying to install it on a bunch of machines this may help.

http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2009/04/16/9553804.aspx


Solution:3

How is you software distributed \ deployed? Do you have a installation package? If so you can bundle the framework as part of the package. It will be installed along with your application.


Solution:4

Alternative option: You can also link .NET framework along with your application into a single executable that will run on any machine even without .NET installed.

There are multiple tools for this, e.g. Remotesoft Salamander


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