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.Net packaging/wrapper application?

jim
I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite. It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should be
it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require per
copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim
Dec 27 '07
51 2112
jim
What is it with Microsoft MVPs that they do not read about a subject before
posting on it?

Thinstall and Xenocode change NOTHING about the .Net framework or your
application. They simply wrap all needed .Net functionality and your
executable and any dependent files (like DLLs or ActiveX controls or other
files that your .Net app needs) into a single executable file.

This means that your potential customer that is still on dial-up, the 25+MB
..Net framework may never get downloaded so your apps are worthless to them.

Are people still on dial up? Yep. The last hard figures I could find on
short notice said "It turns out that as few as 28 percent of American
households today have access to broadband Internet. That's according to
reporter Richard Hoffman in a Nov. 20, 2006 Information Week article, citing
data from Government Accountability Office." -
http://blog.tmcnet.com/wireless-mobi...onnections.asp.
And, while this report is now just over 1 year old, even if the # of
households with DSL doubled in 12 months (which is HIGHLY unlikely) that
means that 44% of households in the US are still on dial up.

As for your comparison of .Net prgramming to the use of Thinstall or
Xenocode, that only proves that you haven't read anything about either of
them.

MVPs.......God save us from Microsoft MVPs.

jim
"Eliyahu Goldin" <RE************ **************@ mMvVpPsS.orgwro te in
message news:OA******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP05.phx.gbl...
>Read about them before you post. I'm sure that you'll agree that this is
something that is missing in .Net studio.

Perhaps there is no enough demand for this sort of applications. Like
Michael, I don't see ability to run without dotnet as an important
benefit. As a customer, I would rather prefer to use a product that is as
standard as possible. This is important from troubleshooting perspective.
If you have a problem with dotnet, all web is yours. If you limit yourself
to a specific tool, you are bound to them for all support issues.

--
Eliyahu Goldin,
Software Developer
Microsoft MVP [ASP.NET]
http://msmvps.com/blogs/egoldin
http://usableasp.net

Dec 27 '07 #21
Jim,
>"It turns out that as few as 28 percent of American households today have
access to broadband Internet.
I assume that you mean the USA households, however beside that is probably
in those 28% the people that are interested in applications. Those who only
use Interent to browse or to send mail don't need small packages, they
simply don't download.

By the way, this is are International newsgroups, this situation in the USA
does not really interest most of us. (Although I don't believe that this
figur is representative for areas as LA, NY, etc.)

Cor

Dec 27 '07 #22
I agree - with the obfuscation thrown in, the price definitely escalates.

David Wier
http://aspnet101.com
http://iWritePro.com - One click PDF, convert .doc/.rtf/.txt to HTML with no
bloated markup
"Ignacio Machin ( .NET/ C# MVP )" <machin TA laceupsolutions .comwrote in
message news:uw******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP06.phx.gbl...
Hi,


"jim" <ji*@home.netwr ote in message
news:PE******** ***********@big news7.bellsouth .net...
>Kevin,

While I certainly appreciate your willingness to peck out those URLs,
they are in no way whatsoever related to the functionality of the
applications that I mentioned (Thinstall and Xenocode).
>Windows Installer does not wrap the executable and associated files into
a single executable. Windows Installer does not allow a user to run a
.Net application without having .Net installed. Windows Installer does
not obfuscate the executable contents. Windows Installer does not allow
you to create no-install applications that will run without being
"installed" on the end users PC (simply copy the created executable and
run - no .Net install & no application install needed).

Maybe that is why it's soo expensive :)

Kevin's suggestion is the best you could do with "free" tools.

You can always pack everything in a single compacted .EXE and do your
installation like that.

--
Ignacio Machin
http://www.laceupsolutions.com
Mobile & warehouse Solutions.

Dec 27 '07 #23
We've used RemoteSoft for some time with a fair bit of success. We've also
played with Xenocode a bit.

Of the two, Xenocode seems the better product at this point - it's had fewer
strange problems.

I would have sworn Xenocode didn't have royalties associated with it, but a
quick look through their web site reveals the dark truth - they do! That
really does suck.

--
Chris Mullins
"jim" <ji*@home.netwr ote in message
news:e7******** ***********@big news7.bellsouth .net...
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd
like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite.
It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end
user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids
DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim

Dec 27 '07 #24
jim
Chris,

At least Salamander doesn't have royalties associated with it.

I have contacted a company about producing similar software to Thinstall for
me to make available to hobbyist programmers with no royalties. So far,
they've said it will cost $2,000 to study the project and give me a price
and time estimates.

I'm considering it.

jim

"Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cm******@yahoo .comwrote in message
news:OE******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP04.phx.gbl. ..
We've used RemoteSoft for some time with a fair bit of success. We've also
played with Xenocode a bit.

Of the two, Xenocode seems the better product at this point - it's had
fewer strange problems.

I would have sworn Xenocode didn't have royalties associated with it, but
a quick look through their web site reveals the dark truth - they do! That
really does suck.

--
Chris Mullins
"jim" <ji*@home.netwr ote in message
news:e7******** ***********@big news7.bellsouth .net...
>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require
the end user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It
also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim


Dec 27 '07 #25
On Dec 27, 3:28 am, "jim" <j...@home.netw rote:
I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite. It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should be
it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require per
copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim
Jim - I know of nothing like these products that isn't expensive... I
have read through this thread - so I am familiar with why you think
this would be a desirable product. But, to be honest, I see them as
having very limited usefulness. In fact, other then running directly
off of media (such as usb key or cd/dvd - like an autorun.exe), I
don't really see any need at all.

1) I'm not sure that I agree with your estimates of broadband
penetration:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/ITFacts/?p=10400 (March 2006)
"February saw broadband composition reach an all-time high of 68%,
increasing an impressive 13% over the previous February."

I even found some that say as much as 85%. I know very few people
still on dial-up. In fact, other then my Mother I can't think of any
one I know personally :)

2) DLL/Version hell? Hmmm, not so much. I mean, I'm not saying that
this is 100% eliminated - I have personally experienced this with sp1
to 1.1, but it's rare enough that it's just not that much of a
concern.

My guess is that if you were to take a poll - not many .NET developers
work in a space were this sort of application is really useful. It
does nothing for web-developers. It does nothing for the guy working
on the in-house system, verticle market application, or bespoke
systems. In all of those cases, your usually dealing with managed
networks and can dictate minimum system requirements. So, click-once,
xcopy deployment, or a basic windows installer project are usually
sufficient for their needs. About the only area I could see this
being useful is the developer targeting more of a mass market
horizontal application - and in that case I have to ask, why are you
using .NET (as a side note, I ask the same thing about VB.CLASSIC)?
And even if you are using it - then it's no big deal to bootstrap and
install the framework as needed (bandwidth issues aside :).

So, basically I think that - while these apps are cool - they are
really a niche sort of thing (which explains why they are so
expensive). And, will most likely remain so - just as they have for
the Java and VB.CLASSIC markets.

Anyway, just some random thoughts ;)

--
Tom Shelton
Dec 27 '07 #26
So it turns out I was a bit confused:

The Xenocode product we've played with is PostBuild, which is licensed per
Developer and costs $499. There's no royalties associated with it.

http://www.xenocode.com/Products/Suite/Selection.aspx

.... it'll do the "deploy your app as a single .exe" just like you're looking
for.

--
Chris Mullins

"Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cm******@yahoo .comwrote in message
news:OE******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP04.phx.gbl. ..
We've used RemoteSoft for some time with a fair bit of success. We've also
played with Xenocode a bit.

Of the two, Xenocode seems the better product at this point - it's had
fewer strange problems.

I would have sworn Xenocode didn't have royalties associated with it, but
a quick look through their web site reveals the dark truth - they do! That
really does suck.

--
Chris Mullins
"jim" <ji*@home.netwr ote in message
news:e7******** ***********@big news7.bellsouth .net...
>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require
the end user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It
also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim


Dec 27 '07 #27
"Tom Shelton" <to*********@co mcast.netwrote
But, to be honest, I see them as
having very limited usefulness. In fact, other then running directly
off of media (such as usb key or cd/dvd - like an autorun.exe), I
don't really see any need at all.
I couldn't disagree more strongly. Anyone planning on building a widely
deployed .Net application needs to be doing this.

The lack of broad installation support for the .Net framework makes this a
must. In relative terms, nobody has the framework installed. Installation of
the framework requires Admin rights and a reboot.

.... this means if you install the Framework for them, via a bootstrapper or
something similar, the user has a piss-poor opinion of your software before
they've even run a line of your code.

It's very sad that ".Net on the Desktop" isn't a reality. Unfortuantly, the
reality is that MS hasn't pushed it out via Windows update, and doesn't
install it as part of Office, IE, or any other widespread product that I
know of.

.... I've lost alot of sleep over this exact problem, and it's a hot button
for me.

--
Chris Mullins
Dec 27 '07 #28
On Thu, 27 Dec 2007 05:04:21 -0800, jim <ji*@home.netwr ote:
Wow! A little reading goes a long way people.
I agree!

Here's some reading that I think would help you:

http://www.google.com/Top/Computers/Usenet/Etiquette/

Especially those links that lead to:
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/usenet/xpost.html
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/primer/part1/
http://infohost.nmt.edu/tcc/help/news/idiot.html

Paying close attention to the sections specific to cross-posting.

Frankly, not even counting your rude behavior toward people who are just
trying to help, the lack of focus in this thread is a great example of why
it's such a bad idea to post to so many broadly unrelated newsgroups.

If you want specific, relevant advice, stick to posting to specific,
relevant newsgroups. If you can't do that, don't complain when the advice
you get doesn't seem specific or relevant enough for your tastes.

Pete
Dec 27 '07 #29
jim
Chirs,

You're right. It seems to take a little more work than Thinstall, but for
the no royalties part I can stand the extra work.

I was looking at their Virtualization tools.

Thanks for pointing out PostBuild! That's something I can swing.

jim
"Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cm******@yahoo .comwrote in message
news:ev******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP02.phx.gbl...
So it turns out I was a bit confused:

The Xenocode product we've played with is PostBuild, which is licensed per
Developer and costs $499. There's no royalties associated with it.

http://www.xenocode.com/Products/Suite/Selection.aspx

... it'll do the "deploy your app as a single .exe" just like you're
looking for.

--
Chris Mullins

"Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cm******@yahoo .comwrote in message
news:OE******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP04.phx.gbl. ..
>We've used RemoteSoft for some time with a fair bit of success. We've
also played with Xenocode a bit.

Of the two, Xenocode seems the better product at this point - it's had
fewer strange problems.

I would have sworn Xenocode didn't have royalties associated with it, but
a quick look through their web site reveals the dark truth - they do!
That really does suck.

--
Chris Mullins
"jim" <ji*@home.netwr ote in message
news:e7******* ************@bi gnews7.bellsout h.net...
>>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist
programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it
as a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even
require the end user to have .Net installed or to install the
application . It also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies
should be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim



Dec 27 '07 #30

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