Adding licensing to Visual Studio solution

SeanPress 166 Reputation points


I have created a Microsoft Forms application in VB with Visual Studio 2019 community & am trying to incorporate licensing from a 3rd party provider. The developers software has provided me with a DLL file, an exe file & an xml file for incorporation into my application.

I have used the Project/Add Existing Item function to copy the files into my solution, when I build & debug my solution in Visual Studio everything works perfectly well. The files appear in the application files in the the publishing wizard, however, when I publish the application & run the setup, the application installs but fails to open, an error message pops up stating that a required file is missing. (Unfortunately it doesn’t state which file).

I have done my best find some answers in the VS manuals but am not confident I know what to do. I believe I should have incorporated the files as Custom Actions but I see there is a number of other methods for incorporating external files, can anyone tell me if the custom actions route is correct & preferable provide a simple step by step guide on how to do it?

I have very limited capabilities and any help would be greatly appreciated.



Windows Forms
Windows Forms
A set of .NET Framework managed libraries for developing graphical user interfaces.
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Accepted answer
  1. Jiale Xue - MSFT 41,346 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi @SeanPress , Welcome to Microsoft Q&A.

    About using the provider's license: Project->Properties->Signing

    Sign according to your needs: mostly use Sign the ClickOnce manifests->Select From File

    User's image

    You have several ways to copy files to the publish folder.

    1. Project->Properties->Publish->Install Mode and Settings->Application Files->Show all files

    Check to see if all required resources are Included.

    User's image

    1. xxx.file->Properties->Advanced->Copy to output Directory->Copy if newer

    User's image

    1. In the Post Build Event Command Line field, enter the xcopy command to perform a file copy operation.

    Best Regards,


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