Hi there,

Im a structural engineer (so excuse my limited knowledge of C++ and programming in general) and write analysis programs using microsoft visual studio. I've developed a few programs that run within VS but am wondering how I would go about making these stand alone apps/programs anyone could use without having VS?

I'm not really sure where to start looking for information so would really appreciate advice, and any recommended reading etc.



I'm assuming that you know that when you click on "run" in VS, all it does is compile your project into a .exe, that you can find somewhere in your project folder, and then executes it. Finding that exe and double-clicking on it will run it "outside" VS. But that's not the end of it.
If you want to _distribute_ your application, there are two things (that I can think of) that you need to worry about:
1) Compile your application in RELEASE mode (not in the default DEBUG mode that it usually gets compiled in). This will purge out any debug symbols and other things that generally facilitates debugging but is generally a bit slower to run.
2) Follow these guidelines. This will tell you what you need to distribute or install along-side your application if it is to be run on another computer that doesn't have VS. Usually, you try to limit those external dependencies as much as possible.

Beyond that, I guess you might want to take your program and run it on a few other computers (from friends, colleagues, or school terminals) to see if there are any compatibility issues (try to find computers with minimal other installations and different versions of Windows).

Brilliant! Thanks for the speedy reply. I'll try implement this during the week and will let you know how I get on.... and possibly with some follow-up questions. It looks achievable but hopefully I haven't spoke too soon....