Launch client executable from web browser
Posted on 2001-06-19
Is it possible to launch an executable (.exe) from an internet web site by clicking on a link within an html page? Is there a way to force Netscape to prompt the user "open" a file, instead of "download" a file, when the user clicks on a link?
We were able to launch the executable from IE by doing the following:
1) Associated a "bogus" document extension (i.e. doc.9x9) to the executable (i.e. app.exe) on the client Windows machine. Note: when we double click on the document within Windows Explorer, Microsoft Windows starts the application.
2) Created a link to the document (i.e. doc.9x9) - located on our web server directory - using HREF. When the user clicks on the link, IE opens the "File Download" dialog. If you then select "Open this file from its current location" and click the OK button, IE launches the application. This is acceptable!!!
When we use Netscape and link to the document using HREF (same as in 2 above), Netscape opens the "Save as..." dialog. Netscape assumes that we want to download the file. We want Netscape to prompt the user "open" the file.
The webserver we are using is Microsoft IIS 4.0. The executable is a file that is installed on each clients' Microsoft Windows machine. This executable is NOT document based (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel are document based.)
The solution must work for both IE and Netscape browsers. Security warnings are acceptable.