simplified distribution for Excel Add-in

General discussions on potential enhancements to the APL+Win system.

simplified distribution for Excel Add-in

Postby Richard.Hill » May 10th, 2010, 10:31 pm

One of our products is an Add-In for Excel.
It would be really good if we could simplify the packaging at the developers end and the install at the users end.
Since our w3 is more than 5MB, it wouldnt matter if it was a bit bigger.
Why should there be a separate aplwr.exe?
My dream is that at )RSAVE time you would have an option.
This option would generate an exe which is a merge of the w3 and aplwr and the dll etc.
It would ensure the users aplwr is compatible with the w3.
Then the user just sees an exe.
I realise that there are a number of 'installers' that will do this for us.
We are usually under pressure at ship time and it increases stress to
have to go through yet more steps to get something to send.
And I would be much happier to stay in the APL+Win world than coping with yet another paradigm, and having to deal with yet another supplier.
Richard Hill
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Postby brent hildebrand » May 12th, 2010, 8:39 am

Distributing a program as a single file is great. But we can do that now, and while we may not like using an installer program, they provide a very useful service. I use the free program, Inno Setup to install my APL runtime programs. It will handle installing files in the proper directories, register any DLLs that are needed, set registry values, can check for newer or older files, and build an uninstaller also. With the Inno Setup preprocessor, you can assign variables, one of which I set is the version number. I name my workspaces with a numbering system to match and so once the setup script has been made, any "upgrades" to my program will require minimal changes to the setup script. The Inno Setup QuickStart pack included ISTool, which will walk you through the building of a setup script. When you are done, you have a single file which you can distribute. Your program will appear in the Add/Remove programs list in the Control Panel, you will have a program group setup, and if you wish and uninstall program to remove your program. Inno Setup is a simple, very useful, and free tool.

Another tool I use is called IcoFX which allows me to change the Icon in APLWR.EXE so it reflects the icon for my application.
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Postby Tech Support » May 12th, 2010, 11:32 am

If you're looking for a simple stand-alone solution, you should check out the IExpress Wizard that is free and pre-installed with Windows. It was used to create the Zark APL Tutor. Stored in the executable file is the aplwr.exe, the runtime workspace and a font file.
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Using Iexpress Wizard with APL+Win- 2.0.pdf
Using IExpress Wizard with APL+Win
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