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Issue 2.3



Issue: 2.3 (December/January 2003)
Author: Brian Jones
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 2,945
Starting Page Number: 9
Article Number: 2305
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SelfUpdater is a new module from Domain Softworx and is quite a handy new addition to the REALbasic programmer's toolset. One of the problems with self-publishing software is making sure your customers are happy by making it easy for them to alwayshave the latest version of your software. SelfUpdater is an entirely self-contained module that makes it easy to attend to this task in as little as five minutes.

SelfUpdater is distributed as a REALbasic module and a window. With a few lines of code, you can set the folder to which the new file will be downloaded, check for a new version, or even automatically download without the end user's input. The only other step required is to maintain a text file adhering to a very simple protocol somewhere on the web.

The nice thing about SelfUpdater rather than just having a link to a download site is that SelfUpdater not only checks for new versions, but it downloads them inside the application itself rather than through a web browser or ftp client. The problem with SelfUpdater is that the sheet that handles the version checking and downloading process is encrypted. It's not only that the existing interface is not particularly attractive; some applications would be better served by being able to customize the presentation of the updating process.

Despite this minor inflexibility, SelfUpdater is a very good solution. In fact, the great ease of use partly comes as a result of the inflexibility, so it can be forgiven to a certain extent.

SelfUpdater is cheap shareware for only $15. It addresses its task with great simplicity and efficiency. Its services are equally appropriate to beginners looking to add a level of professional polish to their first application and to professionals looking to save time on inconsequential areas of their applications. In the future, if the author could protect his proprietary code without blocking the layout of the updating sheet, SelfUpdater would truly be flawless.

End of article.