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Automating the Updating of a Solution


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As my business grows I spend more and more of my time driving to clients to update their solution. I want to automate this with one of the commercial installers.

Manually, I do these six steps. 1) Close FMPS 2) Launch FMP and Perform a script that saves a copy of file into an underscore file. 3) Bring in new copy of file from CD 4) Perform a script in new file that imports the underscore file data. 5)Quit FMP [Repeat steps 2-5 for each file to be updated] 6) Relaunch FMPS.

Here is the problem: How do I make an Installer (any brand) trigger FMP scripts??? Or, is there a better way?

Thanks, Mike

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While you can get an installer to trigger a script (I'm only talking here about Win platform) by using WinBatch, there is a more direct method. In your main program, set a global to some flag value ( e.g. _upgrade= 1)

A startup script would always check this value and run an upgrade/import script if it equalled '1'. When the upgrade/import script finished, its last step would set _upgrade= 0.

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That looks like a good idea. Thanks. But, unless you use an installer, you have no way to move your underscore files to a backup directory. Also, when I talked to the VISE people they said their system has no way to perceive if FMPS is down, or to trigger the opening of each file in turn in order to use your approach.

This is looking more impossible each day.

Mike

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That's not entirely true. WinBatch can easily move files wherever you want them. I use Setup Factory, which is both cheaper and easier to use than I felt Vise was. Installing an FM solution is pretty simple since there are no dependencies and not much in terms of other runtime routines such as needing VB. I don't know what Vise specifically does, but SF compresses everything into 1 EXE which gets expanded when run.

If you mean by "they said their system has no way to perceive if FMPS is down", the solution is not currently running, WinBatch can easily tell you that. In fact, WinBatch can install the solution with little effort. If I had known more about what I was doing a year ago (and had the time), I don't think I would have purchased an installer.

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It's not as expensive as you make it out to be. I made a nice looking mini popup calendar in a couple of hours. If I had to buy PCC's calendar plugin, I'd be looking at about $800. I can replace my file and dialog plugins (which I've partially done), can play .WAV files, access the registry, send cutomized emails, even used it to get around an FM bug by playing back keystrokes, etc. etc.

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Here's an idea...

How about creating a FileMaker file called "Installer". This file has a 'startup' script that performs all the steps you need. This file would also do things like track the upgrade process and maybe even send you an e-mail when finished.

The 'startup' script could 'trigger' export scripts in the 'existing' files. Once backed up, the script could open the new files and save them 'over' the existing files then 'import' the data back into the 'new' files.

You could have all of your 'new' files and the 'installer' in an "Upgrade" folder on a CD. Tell the user to 'drag' the folder to the hard drive and 'Double-Click' the installer. Have a 'shutdown' script that finishes the process by displaying a 'message' to the user. The message could tell the user to delete the "Upgrade" folder when complete.

NOTES:

- the path names of existing folders & files would be important

- export scripts would have to exist in your previously existing files

Hope this helps...

Bob Kundinger

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