Thursday, October 4, 2007

ClickOnce upon a time...

A long time ago, in a land far away.. Ok, so it was only a year or two ago and my desk hasn't moved, but it was a few projects ago. I had built a utility that processes the data we collect using our Faro measuring arms. The supplied software didn't have the ability to include the data we needed to filter the data, such as the operator, shift, etc. My utility program picks up the comma separated file that the Faro software saves and prompts the user for this information and appends it to the file before it sends it to the appropriate location. When I created this application we were only using it on one machine so updates weren't much of an issue. Recently we decided to start collecting data in our stamping department with a Faro arm and the request was made that we also collect attribute data along with the dimensional data (defects, number of holes, etc.). So I have been extending a copy of my utility to collect this information as well and store it in an Access database. Now that we will have an machine running this application on the opposite end of the shop floor (and I am lazy), deployment has come back to the front of my mind. I had considered using Microsoft's ClickOnce architecture with the last project, but at the time it was still new, I new nothing about it, and it wasn't really an issue. If you just mess around with ClickOnce without any reading, it seams like alot of smoke and mirrors (invisible directories, unreadable directory names, shortcuts to nowhere). But after some research, I think it will definitely be the way to go from now on. I will probably convert the original application over sometime soon as well. We have had several updates recently and it would be nice if I didn't have to do anything on my side, just click "Publish". And I lived happily ever after. THE END.

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