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Automated installation

Improve consistency of installation settings and distribute a common activation key to a large number of machines with automated installation.

Steps for automated installation vary by IDE(s) installed. If you want to install Visual Assist to IDEs from multiple categories, run multiple sets of instructions, including both sets of instructions for the activation key.

Visual Studio 2015 and newer, per user account

To install Visual Assist in an automated manner, download the latest VSIX installer from the Microsoft Visual Studio Gallery. (Due to the inability the IDE to disable notifications of updates per extension, VSIX installers are available in the Gallery one to two weeks after general release on the Whole Tomato website. Contact support if you need a VSIX installer that is not yet available in the Gallery.)

Install the VSIX from the command line, on every machine and from every user account that requires Visual Assist. With the /q parameter, Visual Assist is installed quietly for the user to every IDE: Visual Studio 2015 and newer. Without /q, the VSIX installer prompts for the IDEs to which it should install Visual Assist.

User accounts that require Visual Assist do not require administrator privileges.

Run the VSIX installer from the administrator account only if the administrator requires Visual Assist.

Example invocation of the VSIX installer:

%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio <IDE version>\Common7\IDE\VsixInstaller.exe /q VA_X_Setup2118.vsix

Activation key for a Single User Account

Force Visual Assist to use a new activation key by storing the key in the registry before Visual Assist is loaded for the first time.

If Visual Assist will run from a single user account, or you do not have permission to modify HKLM, execute a registry script from each user account that will use Visual Assist. Install the activation key to the HKCU hive.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Whole Tomato\Visual Assist X]
; Store new activation key
"AutoRegLicenseUser"="it@mycompany.com (25-user license) Support ends 2017.08.31"
"AutoRegLicenseKey"="00001N-E0895K-GX9QBD-7QPT6T-EJRC14-EV4H0S-3KHMJ5-BG8MZ0-N639K1-0P964T-2F18K4"
; Tell Visual Assist to look for a new activation key
"UserName"=-
"UserKey"=-

; For 64-bit operating systems, add:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Whole Tomato\Visual Assist X]
"AutoRegLicenseUser"="it@mycompany.com (25-user license) Support ends 2017.08.31"
"AutoRegLicenseKey"="00001N-E0895K-GX9QBD-7QPT6T-EJRC14-EV4H0S-3KHMJ5-BG8MZ0-N639K1-0P964T-2F18K4"
"UserName"=-
"UserKey"=-

The first time Visual Assist loads after the registry script is executed, Visual Assist will obtain the new activation key from the HKCU hive. 

Activation Key for Multiple User Accounts

If Visual Assist will run from multiple user accounts on a PC, you can a run the script from a user account with administrative privilege and install the key to the HKLM hive. Thereafter, the first time Visual Assist successfully loads from any user account, Visual Assist will obtain the new activation key from the HKLM hive.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Whole Tomato\Visual Assist X]
"AutoRegLicenseUser"="it@mycompany.com (25-user license) Support ends 2017.08.31"
"AutoRegLicenseKey"="00001N-E0895K-GX9QBD-7QPT6T-EJRC14-EV4H0S-3KHMJ5-BG8MZ0-N639K1-0P964T-2F18K4"

; For 64-bit operating systems, add:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Whole Tomato\Visual Assist X]
"AutoRegLicenseUser"="it@mycompany.com (25-user license) Support ends 2017.08.31"
"AutoRegLicenseKey"="00001N-E0895K-GX9QBD-7QPT6T-EJRC14-EV4H0S-3KHMJ5-BG8MZ0-N639K1-0P964T-2F18K4"

If the PC has an existing activation key that must be overwritten, you must run a second registry script on the PC for each user account that will use Visual Assist. The registry script modifies the HKCU hive for the user account. The first time Visual Assist successfully loads from any user account, Visual Assist will obtain the new activation key from the HKLM hive.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Whole Tomato\Visual Assist X]
"UserName"=-
"UserKey"=-

; For 64-bit operating systems, add:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Whole Tomato\Visual Assist X]
"UserName"=-
"UserKey"=-

Clean Up

After Visual Assist successfully loads and obtains an activation key from the registry, the UserName and UserKey entries in the registry are required, but the AutoRegLicenseUser and AutoRegLicenseKey entries are unnecessary, albeit harmless. AutoRegLicenseUser and AutoRegLicenseKey may be deleted from the registry to protect unauthorized access to the activation key.

Visual Studio 2012-2013, per user account

Contact support to obtain a VSIX installer specifically for Visual Studio 2012-2013 and follow the automated installation instructions for Visual Studio 2015 and newer.

Visual Studio 2010, per user account

Contact support to obtain a VSIX installer specifically for Visual Studio 2010 and follow the automated installation instructions for Visual Studio 2015 and newer.

Visual Studio 2008 and older; requires administrator privileges

Download an executable (.exe) installer from www.wholetomato.com/downloads.

Run the .exe from the command line, with parameters, only once on every machine that requires Visual Assist. Run the .exe from an account that has administrator privileges, or from a script that impersonates an administrator.

Visual Assist installs itself to every IDE it finds.

Use /D to specify an installation directory, used only for Visual Studio 2008 and older.

Without the /D parameter, /S forces Visual Assist to install itself in the default directory. (Without /D and /S, Visual Assist prompts for an installation directory.)

If you need to install an activation key for a new license of Visual Assist, or for a renewal of maintenance, run the .exe with the /LU and /LK parameters.

Parameter Description
/S Silent install: no input prompts
/D Installation directory: if unspecified, defaults to %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Visual Assist X
/LU License user: the first line of an activation key
/LK License key: the second line of an activation key

Example to install Visual Assist in a specific directory for Visual Studio 2008 and older, and install an activation key:

VA_X_Setup2118.exe /S /D "e:\tools\va" /LU "it@mycompany.com (25-user license) Support ends 2017.08.31" /LK "00001N-E0895K-GX9QBD-7QPT6T-EJRC14-EV4H0S-3KHMJ5-BG8MZ0-N639K1-0P964T-2F18K4"

Example to install Visual Assist in the default directory, and if a key is required, let Visual Assist prompt for it when an IDE is launched:

VA_X_Setup2118.exe /S