ClickOnce is a Microsoft technology that enables users to install and run an application by clicking a link in a web page. ClickOnce applications can be self-updating; they can check for newer versions as they become available and automatically replace any updated files. ClickOnce applications are a special type of .NET packaged application utilizing the .NET Framework 2.0 and later.

A ClickOnce application can be identified by right clicking on the application icon, selecting Properties, and looking at the Target type which will often read "appref-ms".  Capturing ClickOnce applications can be difficult for one of 3 reasons:

  1. ClickOnce application installation is often initiated from a website 
  2. Studio will not recognize the appref-ms programs as valid application installation command for capturing installation
  3. The .exe that is installed as part of the ClickOnce installation cannot be run on its own and will often do nothing or cause erratic system errors if ran directly.


How To Package

Three options exist to capture ClickOnce applications.

Option #1: Set the File path value in Studio's capture application installation dialog to the .exe included in the ClickOnce application.  If the .exe fails to run or generates an error, please try Option 2 or Option 3.

Option #2: Set the File path value in Studio's capture application installation dialog to any valid program on the capture machine. It is recommended an empty batch script be created and used as it will reduce capture of information unrelated to the ClickOnce applications. Ensure "All Processes" is checked and begin the capture. Initiate the installation of the ClickOnce appliation once capture is running. This technique will capture additional information that may need to be removed from the appset. Use of this option works best if the ClickOnce application contains a large number of files and registry assets.

NOTE - Be sure to follow the clean-up guidelines when using this method.

Option #3: Manually create the appset by clicking on the Files, Registry, and other tabs within Studio and manually adding the related items. This technique works well if the ClickOnce application includes few file and registry assets.

Complete the packaging process and test the appset.