Mr Andersson

Posts Tagged ‘scripting

Deploying applications to Windows and Windows Phones which supports dynamic modules

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Many .Net applications being developed today are leveraging the greatness of dependency injection using some sort of inversion of control-container. So do we at RemoteX when we develop the product called RemoteX Applications. The product has two client applications which roughly adresses the same use cases. One is targeting desktop computers and the other one is targeting Windows Phone (you can read more here and here).

As you can tell by the name, the product consists of several applications (or rather modules). Using frameworks like Prism or Caliburn we can, in code, easily manage each part of the product. And the deployment is taken care of using ClickOnce technology using mage.exe (the MAnifest GEnerator).
But that’s for the desktop client targeting WPF.

So the big question is, how are we going mobile with this?

What regards an inversion of control-container we are “almost there”. We have a home-grown container in place which have been around for a while now, even though it lacks some basic features you would expect an ioc container of year MMX to have.
Speaking of deployment to the Windows Phone you probably know you are kind of locked to using CABinet files. If you are using the tools Microsoft brought to us, you probably also use their Device Setup projects in Visual Studio.
They are good, but you must use Visual Studio to choose the contents of and create/build your CAB file.
What this basically means is that we need to use devenv.exe to build each customer’s customized CAB file.
So up til now we have not had per customer customized CAB files.

All I wanted was ClickOnce technology and a manifest generator for the Windows Phone. So what’s the solution on that?
Say hello to the PowerShell script New-CabWizInf.ps1:

.\New-CabWizInf.ps1 -path .\myapp.inf -appName “My Application” -manufacturer “RemoteX” -fromDirectory .\MyApplication\bin\Release

It works like mage.exe with its -fromDirectory switch and creates the necessary .inf-file (like an Visual Studio Device Setup project would). All needed from that point is to call CABWIZ.exe and Set-AuthenticodeSignature in PowerShell to create and sign the CAB file.
The real power is the -fromDirectory switch which allows us to create custom CAB files on the fly.

So here is a peek of what our setup package scripts now looks like:

Setup Package for Windows using ClickOnce
mage -new deployment -tofile MyApp.application -fromdirectory bin\Release -name “My App” -publisher “RemoteX”
mage -sign

Setup Package for Windows Phones using CAB files
.\New-CabWizInf.ps1 -path MyApp.inf -fromDirectory bin\Release -appName “My App” -manufacturer “RemoteX”
cabwiz MyApp.inf /dest .\
Set-AuthenticodeSignature .\MyApp.CAB

So right now I’m a very happy camper since our packaging tools for Windows AND Windows Phone have equal capabilities which allows us to use dependency injection with dynamic module selection.

Next stop, Prism and Silverlight for the Windows Phone?

Written by anderssonjohan

January 20, 2010 at 23:28

Posted in software

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