AutoCAD has provided so called AutoLoader for a while. It is announced to be environment friendly (no need to mess up the Windows Registry anymore), support multiple versions, support both AutoCAD and its flavors (such as AutoCAD Mechanical and AutoCAD Architecture) at the same time in a single place, support various AutoCAD applications such as .NET, ARX, DBX, and AutoLISP, support multiple Operating Systems (such as Microsoft Windows 64, Microsoft Windows 32, and even Apple Mac), and more.
It sounds huge and complex, but in fact, it is nothing but an XML file that is supposed to specify what the application/addin/plugin is, what it does, and what it needs. That is about it in a single sentence.
Though simple, it has many subtle details for us to sort out due to lack of good documentation, not open at all the AutoLoader schema if any, and far from set yet at this time. Thus, mysteries about the AutoLoader are here and there in spite that the XML format itself is not a thing at all to most developers.
We deployed the sample AutoLoader to the following folder before:
Is there a way to deploy the AutoLoader only for the current user?
Yes, there is. It is in the user-roaming folder:
It seems good to present one more approach to deploy AutoLoaders and give developers and users a bit more flexibility, but is it as useful as it looks like?
From developers’ point of view, they obviously should not impose this limitation. Why bother to add more code to limit users from using your addin?
From users’ point of view, maybe some of them do not have sufficient privilege such as not having the right to write to the Program Files folder. In this case, it makes a bit sense.
By the way, the TestApp project and the sample command were all generated by the leading edge AutoCAD .NET Addin Wizard (AcadNetAddinWizard) automatically in a moment. AcadNetAddinWizard provides various project wizards, item wizards, coders including a Ribbon Creator, and widgets to help program AutoCAD .NET addins.