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HTML or ASP link on local Intranet page

Posted on 2004-08-16
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I want to make an HTML link on a comany's Intranet page so that on clicking on the link a ' .exe 'Foxpro callsheet should pop up IMMEDIATELY without any delay as if it were hiding somewhere in the task bar.
The executale file is called callsheet.exe.
Any help is highly appreciated.
Thanks.
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Question by:neeshsonu
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m0nk3y earned 500 total points
ID: 11816721
Due to the somewhat malicious nature of the internet, this is tricky. There is little difference between an intranet and the internet, as far as browsers are concerned, and if a particular webpage could directly launch a program it would be a huge security vulnerability. There used to be a really eazy (1 line) active-x trick that you could actually do this, but it was fixed in a patch about 10 months ago.

That said, there are still a couple of options:

1. a link like: <a href="file:///D:/WINNT/system32/calc.exe">calc.exe</a> will open a download dialog, and on an intranet, if the user clicks 'open' it will run. The tricky thing is, the exact local path of the file must be known-- ie, if the path to the file on system 1 is x, but on system 2 it's y, it will only work on the machine that's configuration matches the link.

Even if there are different configurations it's still possible to make it work; by writing a tiny app that checks where the desired executible is and launches it, then placing it on the web server and following the same procedure with the <a href> pointing to the launcher app of course.

This of course fufils the original intent of the problem, but the user does have to click on the download dialog.

2. Active-x/Java runtime. This way i can offer no specific help, but you would be able to write an active-x control that, the first time it is used on a machine you'd get the 'do you trust blah blah' dialog. This method is likely better, since once the control is installed on the machine you'd be able to pop up the foxpro callsheet w/o the 'download..' dialog, yet would require more programming.

Obviously the better choice is #2, but like i mentioned, it's much more difficult to do (and depending on how much the link is used may not be worthwhile).
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Expert Comment

by:Fahdmurtaza
ID: 11817059
Ok you want just the invocation of the program that sometimes or noramlly hides while not in work so a purely simple solution to that problem if you have one thing in mind. Are your callsheet.exe programs, on each computer reside in the similar directory sturucture.
It means if it is on
D:/program files/callsheet.exe.
on your system then it should be like
D:/program files/callsheet.exe.
on the other intranet systems as well.
If so then you have to do nothing actually nothing with the html. The only thing you have to do is to observe the directory structure for the very file callsheet.exe and then then code your hyperlink like
<a href="YOUR_DIRECTORY_STRUCTURE/callsheet.exe.">Call Sheet</a>
and you are done.

But it will require more job if the directory structure of the
callsheet.exe is not same on every intranet computer. Then you have to launch a client side script that checks for the very program foxpro on the client's system and then returns the local path to that file i.e callsheet.exe. More over you can check over the web for such an applet or client side script which can do it for you.
Regards
Fahd Murtaza
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by:neeshsonu
ID: 11817289
Well thankyou for all your replies, though my question still remains unanswered.
I want the .exe callsheet to open IMMEDIATELY as soon as I click on say a link using HTML and each time I call upon the callsheet it should pop up IN NO TIME like it were hiding somwhere in the taskbar.
With your HTML link,my .exe callsheet file does open up but I want MINIMAL time taken to do it. I want to circumvent the "open" , "save" dialog.  
With the nature of our job at the company customer service employees need IMMEDIATE,I repeat IMMEDIATE access to the callsheet as soon as one clicks on a link,icon or whatever.The callsheet login page should pop out of thin air as it were in NO time.
I appreciate your help and hope you have the inputs to kill this one.
Just for keeps the callsheet login connects the employee to a Fox Pro database.
Thankyou.
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Expert Comment

by:m0nk3y
ID: 11820727
well, like i said, if you feel it's worth the effort, you can write an active-x control to circumnavigate the "open" dialog. Besides that though, due to the new security measures implemented, there's no other html/js way to do it.
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