Self Extracting Software

Leesha
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Self Extracting Software

Post by Leesha »

Hi,
I have a user who will need to deploy their database to many different locations around the country. I am wondering if there is a software / process that you recommend that will zip up the database, backend tables, file folders etc. Would they just use something like Winzip or a compression program or is there a better way?
Thanks,
Alicia

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HansV
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by HansV »

Windows has a built-in tool IExpress for creating self-extracting archives:
  • Press Windows key+R to activate the Run dialog.
  • Type iexpress then press Enter or click OK.
  • Follow the instructions.
Archiving applications such as the free 7-Zip also have the abilty to create a self-extracting archive.
Regards,
Hans

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Leesha wrote:
20 Mar 2022, 14:54
I have a user who will need to deploy their database to many different locations around the country.
Hi Alicia. back in the late 1980s I wrote a DOS-Lotus budget worksheet for a firm with 750 offices across the USA and Canada.
One week after we had distributed it a modification was suggested.
By that time over half the offices had keyed in data.
I corrected the spreadsheet and we re-issued it, but this release had a neat bit of macro code that could detect a patch file and, if present, implement the patch, so after this release, no-one had to re-key their data, no matter how many changes we made. (It was my first worksheet and the company's first worksheet too. As well I had no knowledge at all in Balance Sheets, P&L statements etc.)

So as well as "self-extracting", you might consider "self-patching" - how you are going to deal with corrections, especially if your locations have keyed in vital data to a database that might suffer from corrections.
Cheers
Chris
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Leesha
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by Leesha »

Thank you Hans for the information and thanks Chris for the suggestion of the things I need to consider for the user.
Have a great day!
Alicia

grovelli
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by grovelli »

By patch you mean another worksheet that leaves the data in the one to be modified unchanged?

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by ChrisGreaves »

grovelli wrote:
27 Mar 2022, 07:03
By patch you mean another worksheet that leaves the data in the one to be modified unchanged?
Hello grovelli ,
Yes, not absolutely correct.

In DOS Lotus 2.1 a file (*.wks) contained only one worksheet. It took me a few months to learn to build the budget statements along a diagonal axis so that I could delete a column or row of one statement without complaining that the hard drive must be corrupt, because yesterday's worksheet was full of #VALUE errors in a different statement (sheepish grin).

The patch file was a text file copied directly from a working worksheet file; The budget sheet could read the text and store that (patching code) text directly into the budget worksheet, then move different parts of it to the appropriate part of the budget worksheet.

At each of the 700 client sites there was just one worksheet, "Budget.WKS", and on my portable there was but one Budget.WKS, then one day we had a Patch.TXT. Of course, backup copies, unused copies etc, but from our operational point of view only one WKS file and then one TXT file.

The DOS Lotus macro ran when the worksheet was opened (no workbooks in those days), and looked for a specific file in a specific folder (the download folder from the little BBS we had set up). If the unzipped downloaded file had unzipped a file called ?? Patch.WKS ?? then it read that small file (of DOS Lotus macro code) into the worksheet memory, some area where there was no budget statement, executed that code, then deleted the code, renamed the patch file (so that it wouldn't be run twice!) and then went about its regular work.

I was embarrassed that across the continent clerks had to retype data into a rather large worksheet (24 months, three columns per month, some budget statements around 100 rows deep ...), but rather pleased that after that I could engineer a correction to my worksheet calculation cells without any clerk needing to know about it.

Engineering the new calculations (formulae) backwards into the patch code and then engineering that backwards into macro code was the tricky part. Patch code was typically about 60 lines long.

Cheers, Chris
Nothing is inevitable until it happens

Leesha
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by Leesha »

Hi,
I finally got around to using this and of course have questions.
1. There are various folders and subfolders that need to be extracted. Is this possible in IExpress. I ran through the query but all the files opened in one folder. My goal is to have them extract into the same folder setup that I have in demo.
2. Is it possible to put a shortcut on the userdeskop with an assigned icon?

Update:
I've been working with Winzip and was able to create a self extracting file that keeps everything in their respective folders, and includes the shortcut to the Access Database including the icon. No matter what I've done I don't seem to be able to get the icon placed on the desktop. I'm sooooo close. Any ideas?

Thanks!
Leesha

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HansV
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by HansV »

Have you tried creating a shortcut in C:\Users\Public\Desktop ?
Regards,
Hans

Leesha
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by Leesha »

Hi Hans,
I had not even thought of that. I'm trying to visualize how that would work during the extraction process. Do you happen to know if winzip can extract to two locations one one .exe is being run? I did download the Winzip Self Extractor but the directions are not very good from what I've found.
Thanks,
Leesha

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HansV
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by HansV »

As far as I know, WinZip stores the full path, so if you add a shortcut from C:\Users\Public\Desktop, it should be extracted to that path.
But you'll have to test it yourself.
Regards,
Hans

Leesha
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by Leesha »

Hi Hans,
I thought for sure this would work but I get an error when trying to make an .exe file with a shortcut. I'll keep searching. I'm sooooo close.
Thanks!
Leesha

Gasman
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Re: Self Extracting Software

Post by Gasman »

Using Access 2007.
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