Reliable deployment idea: JNLP Launcher exe/dmg
jeff at reportmill.com
Thu Dec 13 15:36:32 PST 2012
So here's an idea for reliable deployment. What if we build a Netbeans JNLP launcher project that you customize with just a link to a JNLP and a splash image, and it builds your GreatApp.exe and GreatApp.dmg. The launcher app would simply fetch the JNLP, download the jars (if newer than cache), load them, and invoke MainClass.main().
Then on your website you can say,
If you have Java, try the Web Start link [ here ] or
Download [ GreatApp.exe ] or [ GreatApp.dmg ]
So the benefit over plain web start is that your GreatApp would have a consistent, self-contained execution environment, in the event that the target system doesn't have an installed JRE that is the right version or uncorrupted. You also don't get scary warning panels or signing issues. And you wouldn't be susceptible to surprise JRE update problems. But you would still get the benefit of simple upgrades that WebStart gives you. And you wouldn't have to constantly generate a new .exe/.dmg (maybe once or twice a year if you decide a new JRE update would benefit your app).
Such a Netbeans project would probably only be a dozen pages of code. Here's an even better idea - Oracle sets up a server that will take any JNLP link and dynamically generates a .exe/.dmg for us. :-)
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