Setting the Publish Status to Include for 3rd Party Files with XBAP deployments

I was trying to deploy a new WPF app via XBAP today and we were experiencing an odd deployment error.

When we deployed and launched the app we were getting this error:

Startup URI: http://localhost/XbapNHibernateDeploymentSpike/XbapNHibernateDeploymentSpike.xbap
Application Identity: http://localhost/XbapNHibernateDeploymentSpike/XbapNHibernateDeploymentSpike.xbap#XbapNHibernateDeploymentSpike.xbap, Version=1.0.0.5, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=8c4ee06d2506bc6f, processorArchitecture=msil/XbapNHibernateDeploymentSpike.exe, Version=1.0.0.5, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=8c4ee06d2506bc6f, processorArchitecture=msil, type=win32

System.Runtime.Serialization.SerializationException: Unable to find assembly 'NHibernate, Version=2.0.0.4000, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=aa95f207798dfdb4'.

This was odd because I knew that NHibernate.dll was being distributed with the app. I confirmed. There it was in the manifest file and in the deployment directory. Checking the Application Files settings inside of Visual Studio (this was just a test deployment, please don't deploy apps from inside Visual Studio) it was there and included:

The generated manifest file showed it was included as well:

<dependency>
    <dependentAssembly dependencyType="install" allowDelayedBinding="true" codebase="NHibernate.dll" size="1638400">
      <assemblyIdentity name="NHibernate" version="2.0.0.4000" publicKeyToken="AA95F207798DFDB4" language="neutral" processorArchitecture="msil" />
      <hash>
        <dsig:Transforms>
          <dsig:Transform Algorithm="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:HashTransforms.Identity" />
        </dsig:Transforms>
        <dsig:DigestMethod Algorithm="
http://www.w3.org/2000/09/xmldsig#sha1" />
        <dsig:DigestValue>hUljboZ3kBAzBFbanjzLCJCMua0=</dsig:DigestValue>
      </hash>
    </dependentAssembly>
</dependency>

This didn’t make any sense. It was in the manifest, in the published directory, and everything looked like it should work. Google wasn’t much help here as I was in uncharted territory so I just starting poking around.

Finally I came to the problem and a solution. The hibernate.cfg.xml file was being included as a data file and spec’d out in the manifest like this:

<file name="hibernate.cfg.xml" size="604" writeableType="applicationData">
    <hash>
      <dsig:Transforms>
        <dsig:Transform Algorithm="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:HashTransforms.Identity" />
      </dsig:Transforms>
      <dsig:DigestMethod Algorithm="
http://www.w3.org/2000/09/xmldsig#sha1" />
      <dsig:DigestValue>eICryxpUlz1ZHRpxHt+P2z8kBJo=</dsig:DigestValue>
    </hash>
</file>

Changing it from “Data File” to “Include” solved the problem.

In the working version of the manifest file, the NHibernate config file is spec’d out as this:

<file name="hibernate.cfg.xml" size="604">
    <hash>
      <dsig:Transforms>
        <dsig:Transform Algorithm="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:HashTransforms.Identity" />
      </dsig:Transforms>
      <dsig:DigestMethod Algorithm="
http://www.w3.org/2000/09/xmldsig#sha1" />
      <dsig:DigestValue>eICryxpUlz1ZHRpxHt+P2z8kBJo=</dsig:DigestValue>
    </hash>
</file>

Note the difference in the file declaration. The non-working one includes an attribute: writeableType="applicationData"

This is pretty obscure and maybe I’m just a simple guy, but telling me that you can’t find NHibernate.dll when you were really looking for a different isn’t very intuitive. Yes, I checked the stack trace, thinking that maybe the config file wasn’t there and it was an NHibernate exception being thrown or gobbled up, no such luck. The error was being reported out of PresentationHost.exe long before NHibernate was even being called.

Don’t ask me why changing the Publish Status from Data File to Include fixes the issue, I just work here.

Update: Sure enough, after you publish something on the internet along comes the information you were looking for. Buried somewhere on the web I found this tidbit:

If you set the 'Publish Status' of the xml data file to "Data File", this file will reside in the Data directory in the end user's Local Settings folder after installation. If you set the 'Publish Status' of the xml data file to "Include", the file will be output to the Application directory.

For xbap applications, the "Application directory" is the IE cache but when the Publish Status was set to "Data File" rather than "Include" it was going to nowhere land.

Published Friday, September 12, 2008 10:38 AM by Bil Simser
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