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Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects

Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects

Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects – The one thing that frustrates me a bit (other than iTunes) is how often the Visual Studio installer projects change from version to version. As of this writing there is no project template for Visual Studio 2017.

Visual Studio Installer Projects Incompatible

I was working on a project that was originally developed in Visual Studio 2015.

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It included a setup project that was now no longer available in Visual Studio 2017. It simply displayed the setup project as (incompatible).

Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects

 

Some might argue that I should just go back to using Visual Studio 2015. Now where is the fun in that? As it turns out, there is a solution. Head on over to Tools, Extensions and Updates…

Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects

The Extensions and Updates form is displayed. Select the Online node to the left and search for Visual Studio Installer Projects. The Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects extension will be the first result, if you filter by Relevance. Click on the Download button.

Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects

A watch icon will display next to the extension after the download completes. You wills ee this message displayed at the bottom of the screen, Your changes will be scheduled. The selected installs, updates and uninstalls will begin when all Microsoft Visual Studio windows are closed. Close your solution and exit Visual Studio.

Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects

The installation process begins and completes in no time at all. After this, the setup project will be available when you open the solution again.

Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects

In the Add New Project window, you will also see the familiar Visual Studio Installer template under the Other Project Types templates.

Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects

Just how well the extension works with large projects remains to be seen. For now it is definitely a solution. Note that you can also download the installer from the Visual Studio Marketplace. If you are experiencing any problems, browse the Q&A section.

Error on Setup Project Build

If you receive an error when building the setup project similar to this:

Build started …
Build Failure. Error: Invalid Configuration
Parameter name: configurationName
========== Build: 0 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 up-to-date, 0 skipped ==========

Lightweight Solution Load being enabled is the problem here. As a result, you must right-click the solution in Visual Studio and click on Disable Lightweight Solution Load (second last menu item). Restart Visual Studio. This will load all the projects in the solution and you should be able to build your setup project successfully.

Keep an eye on your Output window for any additional issues.

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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