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Thread: Creating An Alpha exe File

  1. #1
    Real Name
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    Jul 2011

    Default Creating An Alpha exe File


    We have been having this discussion here:

    The first thing I want to point out is that by default we are using windows to do our everyday Business where we create programs for others to use on a Windows platform.
    By default programs traditionally coded for windows the program has an exe file that executes the program.

    Along the journey companies spring up and provide solutions where you can convert an exe file into a trial before you buy program for those interested in selling software.

    So basically third parties focus on the majority of whats been used which in this case are exe files becuase programs made in VB and C+ are compiled as exe files.

    Following this theory you then have Alpha 5 come into the scene and offering a software database solution in which I might add is brilliant one at that.

    The only issue for me and i may presume for many others is that the traditional rule was not applied like other systems programmed for Windows where instead of having an Alpha 5 generate an exe file eg mydatabase.exe that launches your system you have instead the standard Alpha 5 file format that launches the system. This makes it harder to use an exe trial lock wrapper.

    I get emailed weekly about subscribing to the latest version and so on and I won't and this is my main reason.

    I like to do things visually so I am not a hard nut c++ coder but surely could it be this difficult to create?

    Can't the system generate an exe file where when its executed it runs the code that opens up the database. Eg you click on mydatabase.exe and then it runs mydatabase.adb where the mydatabase.adb can only be executed via mydatabase.exe. I am not asking for a rewrite on how Alpha 5 creates its file system here just a simple way of adding a locked feature option if you want it where you can only open alpha 5 database program via a compiled and proper working exe file that runs the code.

    This could be something someone can create as a third party purchasing option as well I presume like MDE to exe compiler which creates an exe file from an mde file.

    If you have any ideas would love to read them.

    Thanks for reading.


  2. #2
    Member SNusa's Avatar
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    Robert Tupper
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Northeast, USA

    Default Re: Creating An Alpha exe File

    This is one (IMHO) debilitating concerns with developing desktop apps with a5. ~ A seemingly crazy infrastructure of files is needed just to write a "hello world" app to the screen.
    On that note, I have always wondered if it was possible to create a "wrapper container" using a program like TrueCrypt which can be password protected. (Creates a single exe file that self mounts a complete drive that "auto-explodes" upon execution (and then launches the a5 database) which obviously would have to include the unlimited runtime.)

    ~Just a thought.
    Last edited by SNusa; 03-13-2013 at 01:06 PM.
    Robert T. ~ "I enjoy manipulating data... just not my data."
    It's all about the "framework." (I suppose an "a5-induced" hard drive crash is now in order?)
    RELOADED: My current posting activity here merely represents a "Momentary Lapse Of Reason."

  3. #3
    "Certified" Alphaholic DaveM's Avatar
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    Dave Mason
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Hudson, FL

    Default Re: Creating An Alpha exe File

    alpha5 desktop is a RAD development program. It is more similar to filemaker and access in the way they operate. They have taken this conception way beyond the 2 mentioned. It would be a very large undertaking on the part of alpha to change their ways at this point in time. I don't see anything happening in the near future with so many resources dedicated to phones, web, tablets, etc.

    That being said, the only option I have been able to come up with is to create and exe in another program like c, c++, vb, PB, etc to start alpha and the associated app. I do use this in all my apps to date. I do not think there is anything such as a wrapper that will work on an alpha designed application at this time.

    The security end of this is to lock the app down so people can't easily get into the "backside" by clicking the alpha exe or the adb and entering the app. That can be done to a great degree by hiding the adb(when the app is not running). Changing the name to something else on exit from the app and changing it back when the app is started from your designed startup.exe. You can go way further as you want/need to.

    I would love to be able to compile to an exe with alpha, but this has been brought up many times over the years and I don't think it is going to happen.

    I currently install alpha into my folder on c: and all apps are in folders beneath that like c:\alda\upslog. These may be shadowed apps or not. If a server is going to be used for the app, it has a folder under like c:\alda\upserver11. this is good for testing and developing. Once I decide to ship the app, I use astrum installer(may change this soon) to copy the runtime, app and maybe server app, registry setting and set astrum to install the extraneous stuff needed. That way a user gets the app in an exe file format ready to
    install that includes a bootstrap for their comfort. I do change the alpha.exe to alda.exe and all my app startup exe's are now in the alda folder. It seems to stop people looking in the app folders below.

    Some of this may drastically change in win8 and I am working on it.

    If anyone finds a solid wrapper that works with alpha, I would like to have it.
    Dave Mason
    Skype is dave.mason46

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