WSSX

Certificate signing isn’t a perfect answer for untrusted code, but it does give the user another indication that your Add-In will do what it says on the tin. More importantly, not signing your code when the installer framework expects a certificate isn’t a great way to make a first impression. Not cool. Previously, we talked about automating builds of our Add-In’s installers and the parent *.wssx add-in package file, and my strategy for automatically building packages that support in-place upgrades. Now we’re going to talk about signing our *.wssx package with a certificate, specifically a...

The Windows Server Solutions SDK gives us some great new functionality for deploying Add-In packages: A proper upgrade process Signing Client installers that can be automatically applied to any joined PCs EULA support Localization support But, because there’s no such thing as a free lunch, the new functions come with added complexity. As I’ve discussed previously, in order for your Add-In to support in-place upgrades there are a bunch of properties that need to be changed...

A few weeks ago I posted recommendations for structuring your WSSX cabinet files and installer packages. I also promised to post some magic automation techniques to make building *.wssx files much, much easier. The magic part is coming in the next post, because we still need to cover some foundations properly! To that end, I’ve put together a custom Visual Studio 2010 project type that allows you to manage your *.wssx build process in the same way you manage every other project in your solution. It’s now up on the Visual Studio Gallery for download as an...

The Windows Home Server v1 extensibility framework missed out an important component; Microsoft implemented no upgrade capability for already-installed Add-Ins. The “upgrade” process required that the user uninstall the old version of your Add-In, and then install the new version. If your installer wasn’t checking for existing versions of your Add-In users could easily find themselves with multiple instances your Add-In installed, with no way to remove them without manual registry editing. Windows Home Server 2011 (and the other platforms that support the Windows Server Solutions SDK) now support Add-In upgrades properly. A user can now download...

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