Hello everybody! You might think that we had died, since there were no articles
in our blog for a too long time, but no, we’re still alive…
A month or so we were busy with Windows Search and stuff around it. Custom
protocol handlers, support of different file formats and data storages are very
interesting tasks, but this article discusses another issue.
The issue is how to compile and install native code written in C++, which was
built under Visual Studio 2008 (SP1), on a clean computer.
The problem is that native dlls now resolve the problem known as a
DLL hell using assembly
manifests. This should help to discover and load the right DLL. The problem is
that there are many versions of CRT, MFC, ATL and other dlls, and it's not
trivial to create correct setup for a clean computer.
In order to avoid annoying dll binding problems at run-time, please define
BIND_TO_CURRENT_CRT_VERSION and/or (_BIND_TO_CURRENT_ATL_VERSION,
_BIND_TO_CURRENT_MFC_VERSION). Don’t forget to make the same definitions for
all configurations/target platforms you intend to use. Build the project and
check the resulting manifest file (just in case). It should contain something
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8' standalone='yes'?>
<assembly xmlns='urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1' manifestVersion='1.0'>
<requestedExecutionLevel level='asInvoker' uiAccess='false' />
<assemblyIdentity type='win32' name='Microsoft.VC90.DebugCRT'
The version of dependent assembly gives you a clue what a native run-time
version(s) requires your application. The same thing you have to do for all your
The next step is to create a proper setup project using VS wizard.
Right click on setup project and select “Add->Merge Module…”. Select
“Microsoft_VC90_CRT_x86.msm” or/and (“Microsoft_VC90_DebugCRT_x86.msm”,
“Microsoft_VC90_ATL_x86.msm”, “Microsoft_VC90_MFC_x86.msm”…) for installing of
corresponding run-time libraries and “policy_9_0_Microsoft_VC90_CRT_x86.msm”
etc. for route calls of old version run-time libraries to the newest versions.
Now you're ready to build your setup project.
You may also include “Visual C++ Runtime Libraries” to a setup prerequisites.
As result, you'll get 2 files (setup.exe and Setup.msi) and an optional folder
(vcredist_x86) with C++ run-time redistributable libraries.
Note: only setup.exe installs those C++ run-time libraries.