Issue: 8.4 (May/June 2010)
Author: Dave Mancuso
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,835
Starting Page Number: 12
RBD Number: 8407
Resource File(s): None
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IN BRIEF Product UltraUpdater Manufacturer LogicalVue Software Price $19.95 Contact Info http://www.rbdevzone.com/ultraupdater/ Pros Clean, simple and effective, source included Cons Could use addition of features, in place updating without user downloading/installing if possible Rating (1.0-5.0): 4.0
LogicalVue has released a new product, UltraUpdater. UltraUpdater can be put into your REALbasic projects to automatically check for new updates to your application and help update them. The idea is to help you solve the update problem without reinventing the wheel, and letting you do this with as little of your own code as possible. UltraUpdater is intended to be a timesaver, to save you effort as well.
Installation of UltraUpdater is simple. Just copy the Updater folder to your REALbasic project. After that, you use two lines of code to create an instance of the updater and check for new versions on your web server. You create an XML file on your server to check against. You need to format the XML file as per UltraUldater's specifications, but they're documented in the included sample file. They're clear and straightforward. Just note that UltraUpdater uses only the nonrelease version number of your app to check for updates, not the rest of your application numbering scheme. The included documentation notes this and explains how the updater checks for new versions.
The window and interface design for UltraUpdater is clean and simple. The globe icon is a nice touch, a welcome inclusion with the updater. Once you call the updater and it checks your server for the XML file, it acts like it should, closing or asking you if you'd like to update your application. Once you click OK, UltraUpdater closes your application and downloads the new version. The user needs to take over from there, running the downloaded installer to update their application.
Since the initial release there have been several enhancements to the program. For instance, if you have multiple applications that you produce, you can consolidate version information into one XML file to help simplify update management. Another added feature lets the updater elevates privileges on Windows to aid updating and installation. A third feature lets you get and use the filename of your application from the XML file if you'd like.
There are a few things that might be nice to add in future versions. One would be to handle more of the updating, running the install as well as initiating it. Another might be to add the options to "Remind Me Later" or to "Skip this Version." There are always more options to add, but these seem like the main features that would be in demand. Otherwise, UltraUpdater seems like a pretty complete solution.
UltraUpdater is distributed through and supported via LogicalVue's RBDevZone website. There's obviously a good rapport and communication about the product between the developer and the community. Several of the enhancements mentioned above have come about as part of that communication.
UltraUpdater is a good solution for a specific need. It has great future potential as well. It's well worth trying and buying for such a low price.
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