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I need some kind of remote updater? Just like a virus checker has.

Posted on 2004-10-24
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Last Modified: 2010-05-02
I have some small apps, excel documents and movies that I want to package up together.
This is nothing to complicated in its self.
But once the bundle has been deployed onto the user computers, the users will need to periodically update these movies, apps and excel documents remotely, just like a virus checker would...
I.E when the updater is launched, it will compare the age of the current bundle of apps etc against any newer versions on the remote server, if the remote version is newer then the updater will download and overwrite the old bundle.

I have AdminStudio, can I make such an updater with this program?
Or can you tell me how I can fast track this kind of project by purchasing a third party product?
Or can you tell me how to write such a client server application updater similar to a virus checker updater??

I will need to include some kind of logon/password for the updater.

I will be awarding maximum points for a solution , and will be happy to award assisted points for any useful help given.

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Question by:cakester
    20 Comments
     
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    Expert Comment

    by:NetworkArchitek
    Hi cakester,
    There are a few ways you can do this. If you are using a network with Active Directory, I would use group policy to "publish" software packages to users. You can do this centrally from the server and it would essentially be seamless to users. Also, if you this is just needed for particular files even scripts which run via group policy, or some other method, would be useful. But like I said, if you have AD, I would use group policy.

    Cheers!
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    Expert Comment

    by:David Lee
    We really need a couple of more details to make a good recommendation.

    1.  Will the updates be on a network share or does the solution need to use WINSOCK to do its checking?

    2.  Is the collection of files considered to be a single app, or does the updater need to check each file individually?
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    Expert Comment

    by:vinnyd79
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    Author Comment

    by:cakester


    bluedevilfan,

    These updates will be done across the internet by roving users. WINSOCK, yes.
    The updater will neet to check each file. the apps included are just simple exe's with maybe a few dlls included in the same directory.

    C
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    Expert Comment

    by:aikimark
    beware of installation and licensing requirements.  Your configuration seems to require that Excel is installed (and licensed) on the target machines.
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    Expert Comment

    by:aikimark
    You can do what is done with the .Net updater template...create a front-end application that does the checking and updates the appropritate file(s) prior to launching the real application.
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    Author Comment

    by:cakester

    Aikimark,

    Updating a bunch of xls and video file has nothing to do with licensing, I the same whay that when I email my friend with a word document *.doc I don't care if he has or has not got a  licensed copy of word on his machine.
    Anyhow, regarding .NET updater templates, please explain how this works?
    Does the client need to be running XP or the .NET framework?
    Where can I find more information about this?
    Please be aware, I am asking for an end-to-end solution to provide roving users with a method of updating a bunch of files across the internet from any location in the World.

    I will also add that most of the users will not have any kind of access to the corp LAN. No VPN. So you need to treat this update method much like Symantec treats it's AV customers.
    If this .NET idea is still valid then what is used as the server side of the equation ??

    C
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    Expert Comment

    by:aikimark
    C,

    Here are a couple of autoupdater links for the .Net environment:

    http://csautoupdater.sourceforge.net/
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=8FC47C2C-FC61-4D82-ABAE-F34DC1BFCD3F&displaylang=en

    HowTo link:
    http://www.codeproject.com/Purgatory/Net_AutoUpdaterTemplate.asp

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    System Requirements
    Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000, Windows 2000 Service Pack 2, Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP

    Visual Studio .NET 2003

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The way this (and non-.Net updaters) works is this:
    1. the application program is actually an update checker
      * initialize
      * look for and open config file
      * try to contact the location with potential updates
      * download update status file
      * compare current program/file status with update file
      * either automatically or with user prompt, download the updated file(s) to a temporaty directory
      * copy the files to be updated to a backup directory
      * copy the updated files over the production files
      * verify the current configuration, restoring the old config if any of the copies failed
      * update the local configuration file with the current (updated) status
      * start the real application program

    Notes:
    1. if steps fail, then appropriate fallback actions should be taken
    2. there may be autoupdater components or opensource code for the VB-classic world.  I just knew about the .Net version, so that's why I mentioned it.

    ================
    I appologize if the licensing comment was inappropriate.  Lawyers tend to go after offenders with a big net, including developers that might facilitate software licensing violations.
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    Author Comment

    by:cakester

    aikimark,

    From the workflow list above, the .NET updater looks just the ticket.
    I had a quick look at the "how to" document and the examples appear to be in C#, correct? I am familiar with Visual Basic 6.0 but not so with C#. I will still have a go but may have a few more qustions for you.

    So, I have access to Visual Studio . NET 2003 Enterprise Architect which is on 3 CD's
    I also have the original Visual studio .NET which comes on 7 CD's ???? am I missing a few CD's from the 2003 set?
    To confuse matters more, I was told that I would need to use something called Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Developer in order to use C#.
    What is this Enterprise Developer all about?
    I am a bit confused.
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    Expert Comment

    by:aikimark
    I'm not sure I can help you with the versioning questions.  Are you sure that the disks are the same format?  Is it possible that some of the disks are CD-ROM format and others are DVD format?   That might account for some of the count differences.  Also, some of the count differences might be attributable for software version differences (new product versus upgrade product).

    I share your confusion.
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    Author Comment

    by:cakester

    Aikimark,

    OK, I think I should post a new question for the versioning. Thanks anyhow.
    BTW, Are you ok with C# language, as is the example you gave me?

    C

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    Expert Comment

    by:aikimark
    I certainly trust code snippets I get from Microsoft, if that's what you mean.  I usually trust code from SourceForge.net, especially if it has been posted and downloaded for a few months.  Any glitches or bad behavior will probably have been reported/corrected.

    If you are asking me about my approval of the C# language, I would say it and the .Net framework is a result of some very sharp minds (Anders Hejlsberg in particular).  So it is as valid a language as any.

    If you are asking me my proficiency with C#, I can read it, but prefer VB.Net or Delphi.Net.  Both coexist nicely with C#.
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    Author Comment

    by:cakester

    aikimark,

    Sorry about the delay on this thread. The project manager is failing to deliver me with the right information. I still need a bit of a hand with this updater. So will you bee around to help over the next few days, should this thing get moving?

    C
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    Author Comment

    by:cakester
    I will still use this question. As above I have said that there is a delay but I never heard back from aikimark to confirm the delay?

    If he is still monitoring this question then I am willling to continue here. But If he has deserted then you can close the question down and I will post a new one on the same subject.

    C
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    Expert Comment

    by:aikimark
    I'm still around.  I didn't realize you were awaiting my response before trying some solution.
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    Author Comment

    by:cakester
    Yer, I think I am going to look into the C# dxample, but I have a few questions first. I am now just waiting for the rest of the software I need to package before I make the updater. sorry for the delay.

    good to hear you are still here ;)

    talk to you soon
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    Author Comment

    by:cakester

    Aikimark,

    After 4 months i can at last get started on this tonight. Thanks for your patients.
    I will start to work through the list of stuff you gave me on 10/27/2004 and get back to you with any questions.  As I said befor I am familiar with Visual Basic 6.0 but not so with C# so I may have a few newbie style questions, although it looks like the function I will be using has done most of the work for me :)
    I trust you are still around and able to help?

    C


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    Author Comment

    by:cakester


    Aikimark,

    As you are more into VB.NET, can this project be done in VB instead of C#?
    I.E. do you know anything about an updater function with VB.NET?

    C
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    Accepted Solution

    by:
    You should be able to create and compile the autoupdater components from the C# templates you downloaded.  The rest of the application can be VB.Net.

    You might want to open a small point question in the VB.Net forum and paste the URL to this question.  This will direct more traffic to this aging question.

    I don't know of a VB.Net version of the autoupdater templates.
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    Author Comment

    by:cakester

    Aikimark,

    I have moved onto something else now. You have been a great help. many thanks.
    I will post a now question if I need continued help. I would be most greatfull if you could answer that one if it came up. (maybe it never will)

    thanks again ;)
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