If you have multiple licenses of an add-in, deploying them through a network may provide the simplest way to manage updates. A network deployment can be beneficial for managing licenses by restricting access to the network location, and also allows for simple updates when new versions of the add-in becomes available.
Before we discuss the procedure, consider why you may not want to use a network deployment and instead install the add-in locally. If the users regularly do not have access to the network, they will not be able to load the add-in. In this case, each user will need a copy of the add-in file on their machine. The drawback to this method is that each update must be sent to all users and replaced on their machines.
To deploy a newly purchased add-in, place the .xlam add-in file in a network location where each licensed user will have access.
Next, open the file properties window by right clicking on the .xlam file, and clicking on Properties. On the General tab, change the file to read-only and click OK, or Apply. This will be beneficial for deploying updates as we'll see later.
The next step is to install the add-in file on each machine. The installation procedure is included in each user manual, or you can learn more about managing Excel add-ins here.
Deploying Product Updates
When a new update is made available, you will need to update the .xlam file on the network. Earlier, we made the add-in file read only. By doing this, when users have the file loaded on their machines we are not locked out of the file and can replace it with the new file without forcing all users to exit Excel.
To deploy the update, replace the old .xlam file with the new .xlam file. The new file should be set to read only as described earlier. Be sure that the new file name is the same as the old file, otherwise the users will have to reinstall the add-in to point to the new file name.
Most Vortarus add-ins require that the .xlam file name is not changed. There is functionality in these add-ins that require a certain file name. For example, Simulation Master must be named Simulation_Master.xlam for proper updating of links to the user's machine.
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