MSI - Setup and Deployment Project

You've probably used .msi files to install many Windows applications via a simple to use wizard dialog. Its beauty is that a single file, which you can place on a web site, has all the necessary information to install everything correctly.

The Setup and Deployment Project facility within Visual Studio is the utility that you can use to package and distribute your applications within these .msi files. If properly made, all necessary files, dependancies and build instructions will be bundled into the single file.


Getting the Setup and Deployment Project Utility

The package is included as part of Microsoft's Visual Studio. You should not have to download any other files if you have Visual Studio. The first tutorial shows you how to access it.

Recipes and How-To's

Tutorials and Examples

These tutorials are best done in sequence.

  1. How to package a Hello World executable: A minimalist example illustrates the basics.
  2. How to add information about yourself: Adding authorship information.
  3. How to add a banner to your msi dialogs: Adding a banner/logo gives your installer a professional look.
  4. How to install to the start menu and desktop : Making your installed program accessible from the Start Menu and as a Desktop Shortcut.
  5. How to structure your installation directories: Organizing your installed software

Advanced Tutorials


  • None