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Setting up a file compare window for a support site

Posted on 2008-06-18
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
What is the method to scan a specific local directory on a users hard drive and display in the browser, the file name date and version number of specific files.  I will be comparing them to files on my web server in the same window.  This will show my users if they need to download a new dll from our website.

Does this use system.io?
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Question by:bcolladay
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by:bcolladay
ID: 21825942
To restate:

How do I display the contents of a persons hard drive to them in their browser?
My project is in C# ASP...
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by:scrathcyboy
ID: 21836315
The EASIEST way to go about this is to use a VNC remote connect program, like TightVNC or even windows XP "remote assistance" which is built into the OS.

You can take control of the person's computer, use file manager on their system (i.e. window) to see their file dates, and compare them to yours.  I wouldn't attempt this is C# or ASP, it is much more comprehensive and useful to do it with the tools already available in the OS or in remote logins, like VNC.

If you are put off by the need to configure firewalls to client computers (a problem which you will also have in abundance with C#), then consider going with a web-based remote connect, like gotomypc --
https://www.gotomypc.com/ 

Remember, they charge for service to get through firewalls, but depending on client load, it might be cheaper than manually configuring all client firewalls.

A lot of people don't realize, that any VNC product can be configured to use ANY port you want.  SO if you use port 80 or port 8080 -- those are the HTTP open ports, so you are guaranteed to get through all firewalls that people are browsing the web across.

ANother way is to use dynamic DNS -- www.dnydns.com -- you can assign any client a "real" IP number, and you can VPN to their system like you were on their local network.

You cannot do any of this with C# or ASP.
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b0lsc0tt earned 500 total points
ID: 21839506
This is an Internet page right?  The browser isn't going to let html or javascript do this.  Since C# and ASP are just server languages they depend on html, javascript, etc.  If you make an applet or object (i.e. ActiveX) then this could access the local file, with the permission of the user.  An ActiveX object will only work in IE.  Applets are commonly made with Java.

Let me know if you have a question or need more info.

bol
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by:bcolladay
ID: 31468532
Thanks, that was what i was after, I'm not ready to start on this porject just needed to know what tools I would be using.  If you can point me toward a tutorial that would get me on my way that would be great also.
Thanks.
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by:b0lsc0tt
ID: 21847735
Grading Comments:
Thanks, that was what i was after, I'm not ready to start on this porject just needed to know what tools I would be using. If you can point me toward a tutorial that would get me on my way that would be great also.
Thanks.

bcolladay,

Your welcome!  I'm glad I could help.  I pasted the grading comment into this comment since, at this time, EE only shows it to you and experts who had comments accepted.  Now others will see it an this comment will make a little more sense.

One important thing to decide as you start to develop the applet/object to do this is do you need to support browsers other than IE.  Since ActiveX objects can have more control (when run in IE) than Java applets you might have to use them but I believe either applets or objects will work.  I don't develop ActiveX but VB, C++ or Delphi are common languages used to write the controls and objects.  You would also need a knowledge of COM.  A good place to start is http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa751968(VS.85).aspx but there are also many books that may be even more helpful.

To make an applet you commonly use Java because its runtime is usually available on the client's machine.  The runtime is available for most browsers and platforms so the applet will most likely run well on various computers and with various users.  Download the Java Development Kit to get started making one and learn the Java you need.  There is some starter info on applets at http://java.sun.com/applets/ .  Although I have made a few it isn't something I would call my expertise.

I hope this helps as a start.  Of course you can open a new question when you are ready to pursue this if you have a question or need more info.  Thanks for the fun question, the grade, and the points.

bol
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