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Silverlight 4: Installing Out-of-Browser application silently

Posted By:Kunal Chowdhury       Posted Date: April 19, 2010    Points: 25    Category: Silverlight    URL: http://www.dotnetspark.com  

Silverlight 4 now has support for installing out-of-browser application silently. In this article I will describe about it.
 


Introduction

Silverlight 4 now has support for installing out-of-browser application silently. If you are new to Silverlight Out-of-Browser application development, you can read the complete guide in "How can you implement the Silverlight 3 Out Of Browser feature?" Also have a look into the following article to get the basic understanding of Silverlight 4 Out Of Browser feature "Silverlight 4: How can I create customized OOB Window?"

Hope, you read my previous articles on the Out of Browser application development and have confident building application. In those articles you have seen that I wrote code for installing the OOB application from browser window. Now imagine some scenarios where you want to install the Silverlight application (XAP) using your Installer silently without the user interaction. How can you do that? Silverlight 4 now came up with that feature for you. In this article I will describe it and after reading it you will be able to install your Silverlight OOB Application (XAP) silently in your local drive and can run it from the desktop or startmenu without opening the browser.


How Silverlight Out-of-Browser application works?

Before going to implement the feature we will first discuss how the Silverlight OOB application works. When you install Silverlight plug-in, it also installs an .exe file named "sllauncher.exe" which you can find in your "Program Files\Microsoft Silverlight\" directory. This exe file now has the capability to install your Silverlight OOB application silently without opening the browser window. If you have already installed your OOB application it will create a shortcut to launch the application from desktop or start menu. Right click on the shortcut & go to it's properties. You will notice that, the target location is set to "Microsoft Silverlight" and the target is set to something similar to the following line:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Silverlight\sllauncher.exe" 744317312.localhost


That is responsible for launching the XAP file as your Out-of-Browser application.



Script for installing Out-of-Browser application silently

Let's come to write some scripts to install your XAP silently as out of browser Silverlight application. Hope, you have a Silverlight application configured as out of browser. Build the application & you will get the output file (.XAP) in the ClientBin of the web application. Copy this file to your local drive in a specific folder (say, C:\MySilverlightApps\). I am using my Chromeless Window Demo Application and hence the complete path of the XAP is: "C:\MySilverlightApps\Silverlight4.OOB.ChromelessWindow.Demo.xap".

Now open your notepad and write the following code in a single line:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Silverlight\sllauncher.exe" 
    /install:"C:\MySilverlightApps\Silverlight4.OOB.ChromelessWindow.Demo.xap" 
    /origin:http://kunal-chowdhury.com/private/apps/ClientBin/Silverlight4.OOB.ChromelessWindow.Demo.xap
    /shortcut:desktop+startmenu 
    /overwrite

 


Overview of sllauncher.exe parameters

  • You have to pass the location of your XAP file as a parameter value to the "/install" flag.
  • You can specify the url for future update location of the application by setting the "/origin" flag. When you call the CheckAndDownloadUpdateAsync() method from code, it will try to get the update from the specified location.
  • You can specify the shortcut location of the application by setting the value to the "/shortcut" flag. If you just set desktop or startmenu as the value to the flag, it will create the shortcut in desktop or startmenu depending on the parameter you set. If you use "desktop+startmenu" as the value to the parameter, it will install it both in the desktop and startmenu of your operating system.


Conclusion

You can use these feature to install Silverlight OOB Application from CD/DVD to your user's PC without any user interaction to open the application using browser window and manually install to their PC.


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Responses
Author: Dhiren Shah         Company URL: http://www.dotnetspark.com
Posted Date: November 20, 2010

Can u please tell me in which file format does this script file written in notepad will be saved??
Author: Kunal Chowdhury         Company URL: http://www.dotnetspark.com
Posted Date: November 20, 2010

Hi Dhiren,

The file format will be either .bat or .cmd.
Have a look into this tutorial: http://www.kunal-chowdhury.com/2010/10/how-to-distribute-silverlight-oob.html
It will answer all your queries and help you installing your Silverlight OOB application.

Regards,
Kunal Chowdhury | Silverlight MVP
Follow My Blog: http://www.kunal-chowdhury.com
Follow Me in Twitter: http://twitter.com/kunal2383
Author: Dhiren Shah         Company URL: http://www.dotnetspark.com
Posted Date: November 20, 2010

Thank you Kunal...

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