Back in VB 6, Windows applications were built atop the COM component model, which required global registration and, as a result, a watchful eye to make sure nothing odd happened over the application's lifecycle.
Two changes have emerged to simplify this process.
First, the .NET Framework does not require the registration of components. Instead, Windows XP allows for registration-free COM, which takes registration information and stores it in the same folder as the application itself.
Second, Visual Studio 2005 offers new Reg-Free COM support. Applications can now be deployed with models such as XCOPY and ClickOnce, which itself is an update to the .NET Framework that gives Windows Forms apps the same ease of deployment and update as Web Forms.
In an MSDN article entitled Escape DLL Hell: Simplify App Deployment with ClickOnce and Registration-Free COM, David Templin provides an overview of Reg-Free COM and demonstrates how to isolate and run COM components in VS 2005. Click here to read the article.
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