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I'm using Azure DevOps and I need a way to release an internal desktop application. Right now I have a pipeline ready and generating artifacts, but I don't see anywhere in the documentation how can I provide a release link to my users.

The documentation for how to build a desktop client in Azure DevOps is right here:

Build your .NET desktop app for Windows

However, at the end there is no information on how to proceed - in fact, the "Next steps" section provides links on how to deploy Web Apps or VMs, which are hardly relevant for desktop applications (there is also this issue which states this, but was closed with a "thank you, we've added this to our backlog")

  • Thank you for posting a question. Could you modify the question so that it contains the attempts you have done in order to solve the issue? – 030 Dec 25 '19 at 10:47
  • @030 what do you mean? There is still at this point no information on how to properly deploy a Windows setup or link to download from a Pipeline. What steps do you want to attemp, short of asking Microsoft and opening an issue (linked in the post) that was promptly closed and forgotten? – Leonardo Herrera Dec 25 '19 at 14:38
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You have multiple storage solutions in Azure (i.e. blob, file system). All of these integrate with Pipelines and are good target locations for your build artifacts. Now that you have the build you just need to figure out how people are going to use/install what was built.

There are several possible answers depending on what you are trying to accomplish:

  • Even though this is an internal application, do not discount the use of a VM. You can deploy to the VM (following the linked guides they actually have), and from there give your users remote access to it. So basically if someone needs to use the app they can remote in.
  • Is your build artifact an installer? If so have your pipeline store it in a place where people can access it (e.g. Azure blob). They can then install it themselves.
  • You could copy the build artifact to target machines as build step.
  • You could modify the app to have an update functionality that checks a server for a new version. When your build pipeline creates the new files, increment the version number. When the desktop app "polls" for a new version it can download it from the server.
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So you want to deploy a desktop application to a Windows machine? Looking through the rest of the documentation, the following links may be helpful:

  1. Windows Machine File Copy task
  2. Build, test, and deploy .NET Core Apps

I can't tell for sure, but you might just be looking for a way for users to download the build artifacts. If that's the case, this link on Build Artifacts may help.

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