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Add-ons for desktop apps

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If you have developed an add-on to complement a desktop application, there are several ways you can install the add-on:

  • Direct the user to install from (AMO) by offering a link.
  • Sideloading.
  • Using the Windows registry.

Of these options, directing the user to install from AMO by offering a link is recommended. The reasons for recommending this option are:

  • It avoids any issues with the installation process; the user will not get an interstitial messages during the installation of the add-on, find the add-on installed but disabled, or find that the add-on was not installed.
  • If you update the add-on, the new version will be automatically installed, once you have uploaded it to AMO.

By contrast, sideloading using the standard extension folders or Windows registry will require your desktop app to install any update to the add-on. Also, based on the default Firefox settings, the installation process will present the user with warnings (an interstitial message) or silently install the add-on but disable it. The worst case is that the installation will fail silently if Firefox is setup to disable automatic installation. You can update the Firefox configuration to avoid these issues, but that is not recommended.


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