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Also, a log is written of all users that have updated, just so we can check.We have an option to force a specific user to re-install an update in case the program gets corrupted ('the program' being an Access database in this case, the pre-loader is written in Delphi).You can't pass the handle in the command line because it'll be available only after the process starts. To pass the list of updates you may use the command line, a temporary file, interprocess synchronization etc.DIY approaches are doomed to fail as soon as users understand that allowing everything to write into "Program files" is bad - as much as having executables file in "free for all" folders.We used a service or another executable to detect upgrades, download them and then launch the installer, that took care of detecting running applications and locked shared files, now we're using our install tool update feature.I wrote an article for the UK Bug magazine several years ago that used a similar strategy.Using either HTTP or custom protocol it would contact server, request a new file and download it (supported multiple files).
One user might say OK, but what about the other users who are still running the application? It would be better, imho, if you created a custom MSBuild action incrementing the version number appropriately and then FTPing the new file on the Linux server. So when new update is found it downloads it, unpacks it, and executes the updater placed in the package.I have the need to deploy a program that can update itself. When the program starts it downloads a file from the web, which contains the version number of the latest edition (this file is maintained manually, I though about extracting the version number but the site is deployed on Linux and it needs to be very fast in case many users download the program). There is a little extra code I'm adding for to comply with Vista protection, but more or less it works.If the number there matches the internal version (extracted from the version information), that's OK. Now I know I have to update this strategy a little, as I might need to update other files like DLLs that are statically bound, so again they can be replaced only by stopping the program. and will soon let you know about this "soon-to-be-free-for-all" program I resumed working on...I don't work with Delphi anymore for a long time, but once I used the following a approach: 1.Have an "updater" application, just like that you described. When the main application detects there are some updates it launches the updater, passes its process handle and the list of files to be updated and exits. The updater waits on the process handle of the main application.
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Also, all this download-and-compare logic before even showing the "New update available" dialog is done by the installer itself, in invisible mode.