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What actually is installed between Standalone & Add-In? #196

joewheaton opened this Issue Mar 28, 2018 · 2 comments


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joewheaton commented Mar 28, 2018

I am confused as to whether or not the GCD7 standalone and GCD Add-In share the same program files on disc, where these are physically located on disc, and where user settings are stored. @philipbaileynar can you please explain what happens when:

  • A user installs AddIn (where does this go)?
  • A user installs StandAlone (where does this go)?
  • A user updates AddIn but not Stand Alone
  • A user updates Stand Alone but not AddIn

@joewheaton joewheaton added the question label Mar 28, 2018


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philipbaileynar commented Mar 29, 2018

The only files shared between the standalone and AddIn are the custom FIS library and the survey types XML files. There are no binaries or other software components shared between the two products. It is entirely possible to have different versions of GCD 7 installed for the standalone and AddIn. So changes to your FIS library and survey types will be shared between the products, but nothing else. One could argue this is a strength just as much as its a weakness.

Standalone Installation

The standalone is deployed using Microsoft's ClickOnce technology. This puts the software binaries in the users %APPDATA% folder. I believe that the actual folder is both hidden and obfuscated with a GUID folder name. They don't want you messing with it! Note that ClickOnce applications are present in the users start menu (i.e. hit the windows key and type the letters "gcd" and the standalone will be presented as an option). Also, ClickOnce applications appear in the "Add Remove Programs" listing within the Windows Control Panel.

AddIn Installation

This one is even more confusing. I believe that after you Install an AddIn by double clicking it in Windows Explorer and choosing to "Install" it, the AddIn is simply copied to your user folder under:


When ArcGIS is launched, it reviews what AddIns are present in this folder and unzips each of them (remember that *.esriaddin is simply a zip archive of software binaries and dependencies) to some other location to actually use them at runtime. It's all very confusing.


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joewheaton commented Mar 29, 2018

Thanks @philipbaileynar. That makes sense. I've linked this explanation off the downloads page.

@joewheaton joewheaton closed this Mar 29, 2018

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