Virtualization tools company Xenocode today is set to begin shipping an update to Postbuild 2008 for .NET, which enables developers to deploy .NET applications to systems that do not have the .NET framework installed or have a mismatched version. The update adds support for .NET 3.0 and 3.5, Visual Studio 2008, the Windows Presentation Foundation and the LINQ .NET extensions for native-language queries.
Among the benefits of the tool are the ability to package and distribute applications, dependencies, components, DLLs runtimes and services as a single executable. Apps can be sent via e-mail, direct file transfer, removable media such as USB drives or other any available method. Intellectual property is protected from reverse engineering or decompilation by means of code obfuscation included with the product.
Packaged applications perform as well as those running in the .NET Framework as normal, according to the company. “Postbuild is primarily designed for use in deploying applications into production environments.,” said Xenocode CEO Kenji Obata via e-mail. It integrates directly with Visual Studio and includes a scriptable command-line interface. The addition to application footprint is minimal, he said, and I would add minuscule compared with the hard disk space required for Microsoft’s framework (not to mention the labor involved in maintaining subsequent versions).
When Microsoft does update its framework with features developers would like to take advantage of, “the software publisher validates the application on the new runtime and then rebuilds and updates the packaged application,” Obata said. This minor inconvenience is offset by the benefit of deploying applications bundled with a specific version of the .NET runtime, “insulating the application against potential failures due to execution of the application on an untested forward version of the framework,” he said.
In May I covered Xenocode’s release of Virtual Application Studio, which virtualizes Java, browser and native Windows apps for execution on any modern Windows PC. The company lets teams evaluate Postbuild 2008 for .NET free for 14 days. Pricing starts at US$1,599 for 5 developers.