Both the .NET Framework and Windows have some very interesting APIs for creating applications that are capable of updating themselves automatically over a network. There are many advantages to writing your application to update itself like Windows Update does, including convenience for your users, from easier maintenance to network administration. Automatic updates require attention to factors such as discovery, security, and file replacement. In this article, the author covers the BITS API as well as a number of features of the .NET Framework that take care of these facets of auto-updating using the same facilities that the Windows Update uses.
MSDN Magazine February 2003
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