Registration Free COM Components

Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2005 8:19 AM by C-Dog's .NET Tip of the Day
I know we are not developing COM components any more obviously, but Visual Studio 2005 leverages a new feature added in Windows XP called Registration Free COM.  This effectively allows you to isolate a legacy COM components to a single .NET application instead of having to register it in the registry using RegSvr32.exe.  This may prove useful in the IMT, where we still use COM components to talk to TRIPS.   In VS2005, every COM components that you reference in your project has a new property called Isolated.  Setting this property to true will allow the components to work without having to register it first on the server. 
You have to have the COM component initially registered on your system for it to show up in Visual Studio.  However, once you set the Isolated property and recompile, an appplication manifest file is created.  This manifest file (the same one used by ClickOnce actually) contains the information the application needs to interop with the COM component.  You can now unregister the COM component on your local machine.  You can also XCOPY deploy the application to the server you want and it will run.
Note: They added this feature in Windows XP, so I am not sure if it is supported under Windows Server 2003 at this time.

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