I have recently developed an application in C# which is supposed to run within the environment of the company i work for.

I could technically generate a Setup or use ClickOnce to handle the deployment of the application, but I am considering basically copying the EXE file into a public directory and have everybody execute it from there.

The program recovers data from a database, makes some computations and displays the results.

I was wondering what the downfalls of this idea were. So far, I came up with the following:

  • I have to make sure that the prerequisites are installed on each machine (for example, .Net Framework 4.0)
  • I will not be able to "automatically" create a shortcut and the entries in the "Start Menu" (not a problem, user can do it manually).

In particular, I was wondering if the fact that several user actually run the same application at the same time could result in a problem (cocurrency, efficiency)?

4 Answers 4


I do this for simple in-house apps too. It works fine.

Actually you have the same pre-requists as before - you would still need .Net on the clients machine if you used ClickOnce or an installer (you cannot distribute the parts of the .Net framework you use with your app unfortunatly). Windows makes of temporary local copy of the exe then runs it - which means they all users run an independent copy.


It may cause problems if you fix a bug and want to deploy it while someone else is using the application (since the exe will be locked).


Running the application concurrently is unlikely to be a problem (does it write to itself?). Resource access might be a problem if it requires exclusive access to something. As for the framework, that depends upon your organization, and how it handles system updates. Its certainly viable in some cases, whether it is in your case or not, well, you'll have to decide that,


We do this (more or less) with one of our major internal applications.

When we deploy, we just copy the application to a shared directory on a server. Users have a shortcut to a batch file on the same server. The batch file checks the application timestamp against the user's local copy, and then copies it over if the server version is newer.

This works really well for us. Deploying to users is as simple as copying a shortcut to their desktops.

  • This is the way to do it, it avoids the issue mentioned by Paul Stovell about the exe being locked when you want to update it.
    – Matt
    May 25, 2012 at 13:08

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