VSTO & .NET & Excel

January 4, 2009

.NET Framework Client Profile

Filed under: .NET & Excel, COM Add-ins, VSTO & Excel — Dennis M Wallentin @ 1:57 pm

Recently there was a comment at Simon Murhpy’s blog about the file size of the .NET Framework Redistributable package and how it has grown for every new version:

  • .NET Framework 1.0 Redist: 19.7MB
  • .NET Framework 1.1 Redist: 23.1MB
  • .NET Framework 2.0 Redist: 22.4MB
  • .NET Framework 3.0 Redist: 50.3MB ( x86 )
  • .NET Framework 3.0 Redist: 90.1MB ( x64 )
  • .NET Framework 3.5 Redist: 197.0MB

Suppose we have a VSTO solution that was built on the latest version of the Framework and suppose also that the solution will be used on computers that, at present, do not have .NET Framework installed.

Based on the above information we would conclude that we need to deploy a nearly 200 MB large file. Are we mistaken or do we actually need to use this redistributable package?

Last year MSFT released a light weighted version, .NET Framework Client Profile, which is a subset of the full .NET Framework 3.5 SP-1 that target client applications.

For a great introduction to the .NET Framework Client Profile please see the following online resources:
.NET Framework Client Profile Deployment Guide
Introducing .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Client Profile Preview

To download the package please use the following link:

Kind regards,



  1. Excellent information. Thanks.

    The second link on the page is broken, BTW.


    Comment by Rob Bruce — January 4, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

  2. Rob,

    Thanks, the link has also been updated.

    Kind regards,

    Comment by Dennis Wallentin — January 4, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  3. Hey Dennis, interesting piece, I didn’t realize that they had gotten so big — although such growth is natural.

    I would say that most Excel development targets 2.0 (or below) at this point and 22 MB is very reasonable for that.

    (I, personally, stick to .NET 2.0 at this point because I cannot yet restrict my deployments to XP and Vista only.)

    I wonder how long a 200 MB download takes using standard broadband these days? Assuming 3 Mbit/sec, this comes to just under 9 minutes. This is pretty long, yes, but not the end of the world, and you only have to do this once per Framework, not once per program installation.

    (Corporate environments would not be using “dial up” at 56 kbit/sec, but this would take 8 hours!)

    Overall, the numbers might look large, but I think they are actually pretty manageable.


    Comment by Mike Rosenblum — January 7, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

  4. Mike,

    Thanks for stoping by 🙂

    I can agree that managed COM add-ins usually target 2.0. At least that is what I do and also what I recommend.

    But with VSTO it requires version 3.5 when we target Excel 2007. For all my VSTO solutions I therefore use Client Profile deployment.

    9 minutes or maybe more time for downloading the Client Profile’s file should not be a critical factor for the average corporate.

    The next major new version will be 4.0 and I guess that MSFT will apply the same approach as with version 3.5.

    All the very best,

    Comment by Dennis Wallentin — January 7, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

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