How to set up automatic web updates

 

 

XLS Padlock allows you to add a Web Update feature to your Excel workbook compiled apps: when you release a new version, the Web Update feature can automatically download the updated EXE file from your web hosting provider or server, and safely install it. This allows end users to always stay with the latest version and easily upgrade your workbook app when you release a new version.

 

No third-party software is required. However, you must own or rent a web space to host web update files generated by XLS Padlock.

 

How does the Web Update proceed?

 

The Web Update process happens in several steps. First step consists in obtaining the control file (.INF file) from your web space (HTTP/HTTPS based location). The next step is the processing of the .INF file by verifying new files, new versions and if necessary downloading the files. Update files that are not part of the application running process (.EXE) can be immediately extracted to the proper location. If necessary, in the last step, the app is closed, the new EXE file is extracted and the updated app is automatically restarted.

 

Checking for new updates

 

You can configure your compiled workbook application to automatically check for updates at startup or add a "Check for Updates" button to the Welcome screen:

 

 

 

When a new version is detected, end users are informed and guided through the Web Update wizard:

 

 

They can choose to install or not the update.

 

End users can also start a web update through the command line (-webupdate switch).

 

How a new version is detected?

 

The EXE Version number specified in the EXE Icon and Version Info page of XLS Padlock is used to determine whether an upgrade is necessary or not. So, be sure to increase the Version number when you release an update of your Excel workbook app.

 

Configuration of Web Update Settings

 

Base URL on your web server where all Web Update files will be hosted

 

All files necessary for the web update (control and CAB files) must be made available for download through HTTP. You must give XLS Padlock the base URL to the location of all Web Update files hosted on your web space.

 

For instance, enter https://www.yourwebsite.com/myfolder

 

 

We recommend you to use secure HTTPS URLs as they are supported by XLS Padlock.

 

 

Web Update INF Control Filename

 

The control file (.INF format) contains necessary instructions and data about the web update. It's the file that the publication will download first.

 

Local destination folder where Web Update files will be placed

 

Provide the path to the folder on your local disk where XLS Padlock will generate web update files. The entire contents of the folder must then be uploaded to your web space (for instance, you can do it with a FTP client) and made available at the base URL specified above.

 

 

The destination folder should be empty. If it is not empty, you'll be asked whether you want to delete its contents before generating files.

 

 

 

"What's new" text to be displayed (optional)

 

The news that you may want to display to your end users on the Web Update Wizard (see screenshot above) when a new upgrade is available.

 

To put a carriage-return-line-feed between "Line 1" and "Line 2", insert \n, such as Line1\nLine2.

 

Automatically check for updates at startup

 

Allows the publication to check for updates at startup without user interaction. The Web Update Wizard is only displayed if a new version is detected.

 

Generating Web Update Files

 

XLS Padlock will generate all files necessary for the web update (control and CAB files) in the local destination folder. You can then upload these files to your web space.

 

There are two types of files:

 

the .INF control file with instructions for the publication;

the .CAB compressed file that contains the new publication EXE file and its associated external files.

 

The .CAB file is a standard Microsoft Cabinet file. You can open/edit it with 7-Zip for instance if you want to add more files.

 

 Note

 

If the publication EXE file is installed in a Windows restricted folder such as Program Files, administrator privileges are required and this will trigger a UAC prompt.

 

 


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