These are necessary if you are deploying your solutions using the Publish Wizard.
Using application and deployment manifests enable automatic updating and rollback
This deployment architecture is based on two XML files: an application manifest and a deployment manifest:

.vsto (Deployment manifest - VSTO)

This identifies the current version and other deployment settings
The deployment manifests in Visual Studio 2008 have a .vsto file extension
This is the same format as that used for ClickOnce.

.manifest (Application manifest)

Describes all the assemblies that make up the application.
Describes the application including assemblies, dependencies, permissions etc.
Contains information about where the assembly is located and which host item classes need to be created.
There can be several application manifests, one for each version of the customisation.
These are embedded in the Excel and Word VSTO solutions and point to where the assembly is located.
It also points to the corresponding deployment manifest

.deploy (Deployment manifest)

This is only used when you are deploying using ClickOnce.
A .deploy extension is generally added to the end of the deployment and application manifests although this is not mandatory.


This file was only used by Visual Studio 2005 SE
This is to point the VSTO runtime to the most recent version of the application manifest.
There can only ever be one deployment manifest
Normally deployed to a shared folder or web server.
Automatically generated by the Publishing process

This points to the current version of the application manifest
This file is misidentified by Windows Explorer as an application manifest

Utilities > MAGE.exe

Editing Manifest Files

To edit VSTO application manifests you have a couple of options:
1 Use the VSTO Application Manifest Editor
This is an editor that ships with the VSTO SDK

2 Use the ServerDocument object model
This can be used to write a program that can be used to manipulate both the application and deployment manifests. Primarily designed to manipulate the cached data island on the server ?

Reference to the System.Deployment is needed if you want to display Publish version information.
.IsNetworkDeployed property
.CurrentVersion property


In Visual Studio 2005 the Application Manifest had the following file extension .manifest

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