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Thread: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

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    Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    Hi All

    Apologies if this is the wrong place for this question.

    Just wondering what people have done to create a user interface ie a menu with buttons, which when clicked, open up a windows application, programmed in vb.net.

    This must open up the latest application and therefore allow developers to update the application without a cross over between users locking a file.

    Hope this makes sense, just want to know what methods people have used. I know you can publish and let users know when an update is available, but would prefer a menu.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    What does the "web based" have to do with this?

    Your description sounds like a desktop application, yet you mentioned web based in the title. Plenty of people have made application launchers as desktop applications, so the key to the question is probably the web based aspect.
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    Hi "Shaggy"

    I guess that is mis-leading! My initial thoughts were to create a HTML page with pictures relevant to the application as "buttons". But I wanted to know what the common way is. Basically I want a user interface with pictures acting as buttons and when clicked on open a application.
    I want to continue updating the application in the background without having to ask users to come out of everything! And when they re click, they get the latest version..

    Hope this clarifies.
    Thank you for your time

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    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    Quote Originally Posted by AMJADJ75 View Post
    Hi "Shaggy"

    I guess that is mis-leading! My initial thoughts were to create a HTML page with pictures relevant to the application as "buttons". But I wanted to know what the common way is. Basically I want a user interface with pictures acting as buttons and when clicked on open a application.
    I want to continue updating the application in the background without having to ask users to come out of everything! And when they re click, they get the latest version..

    Hope this clarifies.
    Thank you for your time
    But regardless of how they start the app... they still have to close it to get the upgrade. For ease though, look into One-Click deployment... I think that's still a thing. you publish it to a server, give the users a link... they click the link, it will check to see if they have it installed, if not, it installs it and runs it. If they do, it then checks the version, if they need an updated version, it installs it, then runs the application. If they have it and it is the right version, then it will simply launch it. As part of that you can make a shortcut that goes onto their system menu, so that's what they use from then on to launch it.

    I used to work at a place that did it this way. And yet... we still had problems with people who would simply turn off their monitors rather than logging off at the end of the day. Then they'd complain about the app not working right. And we'd have to sigh and say: "Hello, IT, have you tried turning it off and on again?" ... that was 99% of our support calls: "Get out, and get back in."


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  5. #5
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    ClickOnce, I believe. I think One Click is the Amazon patent.
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    Super Moderator dday9's Avatar
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    Quote Originally Posted by AMJADJ75 View Post
    Basically I want a user interface with pictures acting as buttons
    What you're describing is a ToolStrip (documentation).

    If you start a new WinForm application, open the toolbox, and expand the Menus & Toolbars node you'll find the ToolStrip control.

    In the designer select the ToolStrip and you'll see a button with a dropdown icon. If you click on the dropdown and click on Button it will add a new ToolStripButton. The DisplayStyle is set to Image by default and you can change the image via the Properties window.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMJADJ75 View Post
    and when clicked on open a application.
    To open an application from within your application, double-click on the ToolStripButton that you created and this will automatically generate the control's Click event. Inside of the Click event, call the Diagnostics.Process.Start method (documentation). You will simply need to pass it a string that represents the file location.

    Here is an example that launches Firefox:
    Code:
    Private Sub ToolStripButton1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles ToolStripButton1.Click
        Process.Start(IO.Path.Combine(Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonPrograms), "Firefox"))
    End Sub

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    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    ClickOnce, I believe. I think One Click is the Amazon patent.
    Ah, true dat... it would seem i got my clicks all clucked up.

    -tg
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    Thank you all for your time and comments.

    "DDAY9" - Just tried the toolstrip and as the name suggests its just a strip at the top which is not what I wanted.

    Techgnome - although not web based (which was a nice to have) Yes click once does everything I needed. There is a publish element within visual studio 2019 not sure if thet is the same. Have tried that and managed to get it work, except if I release a new version, it does not pick it up... will look further wnd get beck. Have the options correct so not sure right now.

    Thank you

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    Super Moderator dday9's Avatar
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    Quote Originally Posted by AMJADJ75 View Post
    "DDAY9" - Just tried the toolstrip and as the name suggests its just a strip at the top which is not what I wanted.
    If that is not what you wanted, could you explain in more detail what it is that you do want? Perhaps a wireframe or even a hand drawn example?

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    eXtreme Programmer .paul.'s Avatar
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    Something like this... ???

    Attachment 179198

    It's a ListView, where clicking the icons launches executables. It is a desktop application.

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    eXtreme Programmer .paul.'s Avatar
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    If you want to make something like that, but web based, check out HTML ImageMaps...

    http://www.scproject.biz/MRV1.0.php

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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    Quote Originally Posted by .paul. View Post
    If you want to make something like that, but web based, check out HTML ImageMaps...

    http://www.scproject.biz/MRV1.0.php
    Hi paul thanks for taking the time out to respond. Yes thats exactly what i want ie a window with icons and when you click the icon it opens up the application exe file.

    I have looked at one click and that does work, its just not as pretty as having a web page with icons.

  13. #13
    eXtreme Programmer .paul.'s Avatar
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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    You are probably looking at a webpage containing an image with an imagemap for your interface combined with clickonce applications. I donít have any experience with clickonce, so I canít advise you further on that, but from what Iíve just been reading, it looks possible...

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    Re: Web Based Menu To Open Windows Applications

    https://www.w3schools.com/html/html_images_imagemap.asp
    Yes i think you are right. I have read this doc and will play around with creating a page with icons. One click will publish a new version of the application along woth an application file, i guess i will need to ensure i update the web page with the latest versionof the exe file.

    Will gove it a whirl - thank you for your time

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