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Auto-Deploying Windows Forms .NET Applications: The Revenge of the Fat Client : Page 2

.NET Automatic Deployment is a feature built into the .NET Framework, allowing applications to download assemblies (via HTTP) from remote locations on an as-needed basis.


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Auto-Deploying the Rest of the Application
So far, you've seen how to deploy an executable over HTTP. This works fine for small applications like the loader (45KB). But applications are typically much larger than 45KB. What if your application is 3MB? You wouldn't want your users to download 3MB from your Web server every time they run the application. This brings us to the second piece of auto-deployment. A better approach is to install a copy of the main executable on the users' hard disks and let this main executable download the rest of the application on an as-needed basis. For example, users could download a few kilobytes when they run the Invoicing module of your application, another few kilobytes when they run the Employees module, and so forth (see Figure 3).



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