Auto updating .Net applications – Part 1

In the last couple of years more and more applications have started to be self-updating. This means that you install the application once and then it will update itself whenever an update is available. As a user I have started to expect this kind of functionality from all applications that I install on my system.

Enabling your application to update automatically is a win-win situation. Your users will be happier since they always have the latest version available and you as developer/publisher will be happier because you can reduce your distribution and support costs (because you are more likely to not have people running on archaic versions). You can also release more frequently.

Most applications that people install on their PCs are “simple” applications that do not rely on locally installed SQL-Servers and Services. Microsoft Word, MetroTweet and WinZip are all examples of these kinds of applications. Now imagine that we have a more complex multi-tiered system that relies on SQL-databases and Windows Services. How could we enable automatic updates for this kind of system?

In the project I am currently working on I’m using AppLife Update from KineticJump Software. In this series of blogs I plan to share some of the experiences I have had with this product.