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Thread: [RESOLVED] Make a menu for several software

  1. #1

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    Resolved [RESOLVED] Make a menu for several software

    Hi !

    I have an issue, maybe an answer too but I think this is a Mc Giver thing , so let me try to explain it and let me know what you would do.

    I am working for a company and to make easier a procedure for my department I made a little software in VB.NET.
    Then, as it was working well, I was asking to make another one for another department.
    Now we are speaking about making a third one.


    So, to explain quickly :

    I have 3 working software and I would like to make a menu in order to have only one shortcut (Because users can use the 3).
    It will open a form and I will be able to choose which one of the three software I want to run by clicking a button.


    My solution :

    I think the easiest way to make it is to create the menu alone and for each button, run a cmd command to run the chosen software.


    What do you think about it, how will you do if you had to do it ?
    Thank you !

  2. #2
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    Re: Make a menu for several software

    Creating a separate "menu" application is one valid route, and it would be the easiest way to get this happening initially.

    In terms of maintenance it will allow editing each project independently (which certainly has benefits), but it also means that whenever you add/update/remove applications you will probably need to update and distribute the menu application too... but as you would need to update it anyway, and you would already be doing the distribution/deletion of the updated application, it isn't a big deal.

    Your proposed solution is certainly a decent way to go, but I would debate whether it is worth it as it is just moving the issue for the user (instead of having 3 shortcuts to choose between, they only have one to click and then have to choose between 3 "shortcut" buttons).

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    Re: Make a menu for several software

    I agree with si that you just move the decision. It is easier for the user to pick and click once. I understand maybe it is less desktop clutter.

    Plus on the windows start menu what do you have? A menu item with 3 sub items for the 3 depts?

    What is different in the application for each department? What is the overall purpose? Is it simple or complex?

    Why cant you have just one application and pick what to do on the application toolbars? Can the application be customized to open with dept B by the user? etc. How complicated is it? Maybe share toolbars or have 3 dialogs?

    How do you install them? 3 Setup programs? etc? Just have one.

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    Re: Make a menu for several software

    Thank you for your quick answer, this is helpful.

    I don't know if I will need to update each time the menu because it will just contain 3 links to find the program to run, so if I don't move them it should find it whenever I update them.

    Your proposed solution is certainly a decent way to go, but I would debate whether it is worth it as it is just moving the issue for the user (instead of having 3 shortcuts to choose between, they only have one to click and then have to choose between 3 "shortcut" buttons).
    The 3 do the same type of work (application procedure for tooling / upgrading process ...) so this is not "weird" to group them at the same place. But you made me think about it and it was an interesting point. This is a user who tell me that too, so I think they are ok with it

    What is different in the application for each department?
    Procedures are different so but the spirit is the same.

    I think this is not in term of number of clicks, but sometimes users will not use it for a long time then suddenly need it, it will be easier to find if all are in the same place. I understand that you could doubt about the benefits, but I'm sure there is some.

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    Re: Make a menu for several software

    Another thing, do you know if this is possible to install only the menu for example, and execute a command to run the setup of each program ? (For new users)

    Or better and proper, what if I try to put all in the same solution, with different projects. So I will be sure to install everything.

    I think the risk of damage is higher but the result would be quite better if it's possible.

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    Re: Make a menu for several software

    Hey there:

    In my office we have solved that situation with an application that serves as the main menu. This application handles the user's login and then shows the list of applications to which they have access to run (there are 10 in total).

    And yes, it is a standalone application and can be installed alone, but of course you can't do anything until you install the rest.

    Regards!

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    Re: Make a menu for several software

    Thank you ! I still don't know if I will do it but at least I know this is a "right" way to do this.

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    Re: Make a menu for several software

    Quote Originally Posted by Macronaute View Post
    ...

    I think the easiest way to make it is to create the menu alone and for each button, run a cmd command to run the chosen software.
    ...
    Just a note. I don't launch a cmd window to launch an application I've written in .Net, but use the Process class to start the application.
    In my case, I may launch multiple instances of a program, so I keep a list of the processes launched so I can later close them (using the returned processId.CloseMainWindow() method) if the overall application exits, or allow the user to pick a running instance of the program from a list, and switch to it, or close it from the list.

    Also, in one case where I need to pass command arguments (and you have a couple of options of how to do that), I just use the Process.Start(String, String) version where the second string is the command line arguments (the first string being the path of the executable being started).

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    Re: Make a menu for several software

    Ok Passel, thank you for your answer ! I think I will do it like you said

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