ClickOnce Deployment project is a lightweight application and software deployment mechanism that targets simplicity. It includes support for security sandboxed execution of an application with virtually no installation footprint, as well as full installation and upgrade manageability.
A ClickOnce Deployment project is traditionally started from a Web link pointing to a setup.exe, which launches an ".application" manifest file. From the information in this file, the engine knows what permissions to request from the user, and whether an upgrade is pending. The possible installation media include remote Web sites, internal Web sites and network shares, and traditional removable media (CD-ROM). All except the last run in the security sandbox until a user permits additional access to the system.
When you create a new ClickOnce Deployment project in InstallShield, the ClickOnce Assistant appears. The ClickOnce Assistant provides a framework of installation project tasks to guide you through the project creation process and provide pertinent information along the way.
ClickOnce Software Deployment is ideal for small simple applications but is not a true-MSI based installation and has limitations. You should evaluate your application and determine if ClickOnce is the best fit for your installation needs. Most developers determine that they need an MSI based installation that will support a larger set of install requirements. For that, you may want to consider either a Basic MSI project or Suite/Advanced UI project type in InstallShield which can be found in various versions of the product.