Thursday, December 15, 2005

Smart Client frustrations

Well, I'm quite disappointed in the amount of tool support for developing Smart Clients. One my of current projects involves a Windows Forms Smart Client that uses .NET Remoting to connect to the application server. While developing on a system with local admin rights everything works okay (obviously). But as soon as you start using no-touch deployment hell breaks loose. Apparently, it is very difficult to diagnose startup problems on a system without admin rights and using no-touch deployment. In practice fixing those problems is a task of trial-and-error. We've deployed CAS policies to give all involved assemblies FullTrust rights, but only after we discovered how limited you are with a standard no-touch deployed application. One great way of finding potential issues is to include Debug.WriteLine calls and monitor those DebugView from SysInternals.