Sooner or later, you’ll want to unleash your WPF applications on the world. Although you can use dozens of different ways to transfer an application from your development computer to an end user’s desktop, most WPF applications use one of the following deployment strategies:
Run in the browser.
If you create a page-based WPF application, you can run it right in the browser. You don’t need to install anything. However, your application needs to be able to function with a very limited set of privileges. (For example, you won’t be allowed to access arbitrary files, use the Windows registry, pop up new windows, and so on.) You learned about this approach in Chapter 24.
Deploy via the browser.
WPF applications integrate closely with the ClickOnce setup feature, which allows users to launch a setup program from a browser page. Best of all, applications that are installed through ClickOnce can be configured to check for updates automatically. On the negative side, you have little ability to customize your setup and no way to perform system configuration tasks (such as modifying the Windows registry, creating a database, and so on).
Deploy via a traditional setup program.
This approach still lives on in the WPF world. If you choose this option, it’s up to you whether you want to create a fullfledged Microsoft Installer (MSI) setup or a more streamlined (but more limited) ClickOnce setup. Once you’ve built your setup, you can choose to distribute it by placing it on a CD, in an e-mail attachment, on a network share, and so on.