Software Technology Tips

When we are creating any Filemaker database application, it is in .fp7 or .fp5 file. To run a .fp7 file, we need Filemaker to be install in our system otherwise the file will not run. But if you want your Filemaker application to be run without having Filemaker Pro software then we can generate a Run time solutions of that application which will create some set of .dll files, .exe file, .USR file and some necessary folder where the .USR file version is the actual run time solution file. Further if we want that our application should be a Windows installer package (Setup.msi format ), so that when you will double click it, It will install the application first in your machine through a windows installer and then the application starts, then we have to follow certain steps to convert the runtime solution files to a windows installer package (.msi) as described below.

 

  • Create your own Filemaker application (.fp7).
  • Create the run time solution of this file and save it in a folder.
  • Generate Setup.msi file from the run time solution files using Inno script and your Setup.msi file is ready to install. So when we will double click the Setup.msi file it will install our application in the system without installing Filemaker software. Let us have a look to step by step procedure to perform it.

1.  Create your own Filemaker application (.fp7):

First of all create your own Filemaker application (.fp7) file, which is to be used to generate a run time solution.

 

2. Create the run time solution of this file and save it in a folder:

Filemaker Run time solution will generally create a filemaker run time environment by which it install the necessary components of Filemaker which is used to run a Filemaker application. So to create a run time solution of any Filemaker application we have to perform certain steps as mentioned below.

  •  Open Filemaker Pro and go to Tools > Developer Utilities. Click Add button to browse your .fp7 file  you can include more than one file). Specify your project folder by browsing the location.
  • Then in Solution option you have to check the first option i.e. “Create Run time solution application(s)”.
  • Now after selecting this we can give any suitable name for runtime name. Now by pressing “OK” and then “Create” button, will generate the runtime solution of the application.

 

3 > Generate Setup.msi file from the run time solution files using Inno script:

To generate the .msi file, we will have to use the “Filename.exe” file generated during the runtime solution. There may be other ways to generate a .msi file from an .exe file but I have used Inno script solution to do this.

 

Inno script is an application which will help us to generate our .msi package from .exe file in step by step through a wizard. We can download Inno script software by below link http://www.jrsoftware.org/download.php/is.exe?site=2.

 

After downloading this we have to install this software so that we can able to create our .msi package. To do this please follow below steps

 

1. Now Go to Start menu and select Inno Setup 5 > Inno Setup Compiler. It will show you a Welcome dialouge

2. Select “Create a new script file using the Script wizard.” radio option and press OK and then click Next.

3. Now we have to give Application Information like Application name, Application Version, Application publisher and Application website. By giving these info click Next.

4. Now we have to give Application Folder option on where the application will be installed. We can give default Program Files folder or can give Custom folder where user will decide on which folder they want to install the application. Also we can give application folder name. Uncheck allow user to change application folder and then click Next.

5. Now we have to select the files which are going to include as .msi package. In “Application main executable file:” box browse the filename.exe file of the stored runtime solution folder. Then click “Add File(s)” button to select the .dll files and other supported files of the runtime solution folder. Select all the files (not the folders) except the .exe format file inside the runtime solution folder. All these files will be added in the “other application files” box.Then we have to select the folder by clicking “Add folder” button. Now to add folder we have to add the folder one by one not by selecting all. So to add one folder like “Extensions” folder, browse the “Extensions” folder of runtime solution folder, then add it after that click Yes to include all of its subfolder. Then scroll down to the last of “other application files” box , select the last one and click edit button. Now in the “Destination subfolder” box we have to give the subfolder name same as the folder name i.e. “Extensions”. So one by one we have to add all the subfolders of the runtime solutions folder to include in our .msi package. When it will be done click Next.

6. In The Application Icons dialouge give “Application start menu folder name” and uncheck “Allow user to change start menu folder name “option. Now we have to check three options “Create an internet shortcut in start menu folder”, “Create an Uninstall icon in start menu folder” and “Allow user to create a Desktop icon” and then click Next.

7. Application Documentation dialogue is the optional part. If we want then we may skip it or can add our documentation if any.

8. In Setup languages we can select only English language or can select multiple or all the langauges.

9. In the Compiler Settings option we have to give “Custom output base file name” like “Setup” or anything by which user can able to understand that it is the Setup file to install the application. Icon file is optional.

10 > Now clicking on Next > Next > Finish will complete the step by step dialogue procedure and then will ask for “Would you like to compile the script now”. Now click Yes and save the script in somewhere to utilise same in future.

11 > Run the same script to generate the windows installer package (.msi).

 

Now your Filename.msi

The file is now ready to be installed in your system.


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FileMaker

Author: Dillip Mahapatra

Filemaker

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