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Thread: App independent running on CD

  1. #1
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    Default App independent running on CD

    Hi Guys !

    I have a customer who wants me to develop an application that can be run from CD (with the runtime) and does not need to be installed on a harddisk.
    The data in the app will not need to be changed.

    Is it as simply possible as I think it is (just copy the lot to a CD and that's it) or are there any dangers that I do not see yet ?

    Kind regards,

    Marcel

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic Tom Henkel's Avatar
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    Marcel,
    Unless you know of a way to open a CD for full read/write/execute access, this is impossible. CD ROM drives are for read only access unless they are cd burners, and even then, there is not a great deal of "interactive" access. How about a "flash" drive instead??

    Tom

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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for responding !
    Why would it need write access ?
    Nothing in the application data will be changed.
    It has just to run some demo's, it won't be used as a database in the normal sense.

    Greetings,

    Marcel

  4. #4
    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    Marcel

    If you want to confirm what Tom has said, just take any of your databases and set all of the files readonly and see what happens when you try to open them. A5 may not open the database as it can not open or create the muf file, which is essential to making the program work. If only the tables are readonly, you will get an access denied error if you try to open them.

    I'm not even sure if A5 itself will run with all files readonly, as some information is saved in text files, etc when the program is running.

    If all they need is to look at data, why not just create some pdf reports with all of the data?

    Jerry

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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    Hi Jerry,

    Well basically the programm just had to be a shell providing all kinds of inserted documents and pictures with a menu.
    So, as no real data had to be stored and there would be just 1 dummy table for the menustructure, I thought it could work.
    My client did not want to have HIS customers to install everything on their harddisk, so that's why I posted my question.
    But if you are sure it can't be done, which sounds reasonably argumented, I needn't bother to invest a lot of time in it.
    It is a shame though, A5 could do that job wonderfully.
    Is this back to the old autoexec.bat files ?

    Greetings,

    Marcel

  6. #6
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    Marcel,

    There are alternatives:
    -I have run an application on a zip drive;
    -I bet it could be done using one of those little solid state drives whatever they are called. Would be faster than a CD too, I bet.

    Bill

  7. #7
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    Marcel,

    you do not say why the customer likes the idea of having their database on CD...

    1) Is it a portability issue?
    e.g. engineers want to access the data in the field

    2) Is it a distribution issue?
    e.g. they want to mail CDs out

    3) Is it a data integrity issue?
    e.g. the data is for reference only so must not be editable?

    4) Is it a technical issue?
    e.g. they don't have to install A5 on each machine which will access the database?

    5) Is it a security issue?
    e.g. the data is too sensitive to ever be written to a HD?


    Seems to me a version built with the v6's web server would address issues 1 to 4 for you with the added benefit that the client could update the data at any time.

    As for security on the HD, I don't know just how good Alpha's encryption is, but if its a real problem and the client doesn't want to rely on the built in encryption, how about using PGP Disk and storing the data on an encrypted partition or using a virtual disk in RAM?

    Regards,
    Trevor


  8. #8
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    Oops, my apologies, you do say what you wanted it for. That's what comes of not skimming too quickly. Anyway...


    Have you seen Jim Chapman's Turbo tutorials on...
    http://alphasoftware.com/support/tech/alpha5/learningcenter.asp

    It sounds like something like that might be useful here. They run in a java enabled browser though which will require installing if the end user doesn't already have it. (There must be some figures on Java penetration somewhere.)

    If that doesn't work/isn't acceptable, I might be imagining it, but I thought I have seen some other Alpha tutorials/demos that were an .exe file. They were, almost like a self-running video tutorial. Would that work? The latter could be distributed on a CD and while these solutions wouldn't be fully interactive, they could certainly give folks a very good idea of what's possible.

    Regards,
    Trevor

  9. #9
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    There is also a program called Wink that makes a flash file demo very simular to what Jim Chapman does with the tutorials. I use it and it is easy to use and is freeware both for personal and busisness use.
    Link is:

    http://www.debugmode.com

    Phil

  10. #10
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    Guys,

    Thanks to all of you for thinking with me here.
    My client wants to distribute information operated by a menusystem to be used by his clients only for a short period. He is afraid HIS customers might think a complete 150MB installation is not in their interest for any reason and that they just won't do it, and through it away.
    He wants a menu-structured info system available to his customers fast to be thrown away after a day or two.
    So that's why I thought about the disk.
    Other storage facilities might be to expensive (memory stick solutions) or not covered on every system.

    I have given it some more thoughts based on all of your reactions and decided to create a browser based info system in HTML with Flash Technology, though I would have preferred the A5 solution much more.
    Pitty, but you just can't have it all, can you now?

    Thanks again.

    Marcel

  11. #11
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    Marcel,

    We can't have it all, at least not yet. However, read-only databases have considerable use (I've done one, but it was to show off my DBMS :-)) and perhaps Alpha will allow us to do this one day. Makes a good way to do searchable catalogues, etc.

    ===Blake===

  12. #12
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    It would be a bit of work, but you could make a small experiment with hard coding the path to all the db's with a variable, which would be set as the drive letter for the CD. But you would have to install the program to the main computer. Make a small experiment to see if it would work.

    If it did, you would likely have to be sure all your forms were set to read only, etc.

    Since runtime installs itself automatically, the first time you use it, you could have a batch file that copied a folder containing runtime and the app and a shortcut to the main computer.

  13. #13
    "Certified" Alphaholic Tom Henkel's Avatar
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    Default RE: App independent running on CD

    If the release of version 6 is reasonably soon, what about using ver 6 to create a web-enabled system? Then the customer will only need to give his clients a URL address and they can view his menusystem.

    I would think that the folks at Alpha would be willing to assist you with a beta copy.

    Tom

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