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In the Trenches

Joe's Thoughts

Happy Holidays and about that Updater Block!

Hi everyone, it’s been a while, these holiday seasons can be something else huh.


In today’s world, we should all be very thankful for being able to alive and to see the New Year.


Well I have a couple things to say, I will be presenting a topic (don’t know which one (submitted a couple different ones)) at Nova University on the 5th of February. There is a free Code Camp event sponsored by Microsoft to be held on the school grounds.  


Please register if you want to attend this event.


For any of you in the Jacksonville area I will be in presenting a topic on DALs (Data Access Layers) on the 26th of January.


I would also like to take the time and talk about the application updater block (found here at: ). This block is very useful and I encourage others with WinForms projects to seek it out. This one tool I found to have a weakness. Let’s say you have a central portal type application that uses a menu and late binds to forms in separate DLL’s. Each DLL has forms in them and the forms are shown though the portal. Well if you wanted to be able to auto update the DLL’s the portal uses and each one has a different vendor or source then you are SOL. The way the updater is built it pulls information from the app.config of the portal. That information has nothing to do with each DLL app. My solution was to change the source code so that I could spec what configuration file to use and I have a configuration file for each DLL. Then I activate the Updater block on the portal and have it go though each DLL and check for updates (loop). This has been the solution to this problem.


Another problem I ran across is the fact that the autostart.exe will set the files to be put in another folder and then run the app from that folder, well I have apps with configuration settings that are pointed to a set folders off the root. So if I now run the app from Folder 2.0.0 then those folders don’t exist. I base this as the root being application.startuppath. Of course there are a number of ways to work around this, I could always assume that root is one folder down from the path and put all the folders the app uses there. What I did was change the source for appstart to where it will copy the files from the new version folder to the root (where app start is) and then run it from the root. So yea I still have those version folders but it makes it easier to just copy the contents of a version folder if I needed to go back a version.


Over all it’s a very good resource and well worth the time to learn how to use it.


Also as for personal notes: I went to Miami this Xmas and played in the pool and ate roasted big at the annual Xmas party. Look for pictures (none of my pig brain eating aunt, she didn’t feel well enough to come this year) to be on the site before long. I still have another vacation to go and we are spending new years in Orlando.


Happy Holidays!


Joe Fuentes

Published Wednesday, December 29, 2004 1:19 PM by jfuentes
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About jfuentes

Jose Fuentes is the Co-Founder of the Capital City .NET Users Group of Florida, he helped organized and build the community and community web site ( He’s an active MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for Microsoft, and strongly involved in the .NET community. He gives presentations and loves helping others with problems. You can find many of his posts and work on, and He’s an active columnist for the asp alliance and Co-Authored in the ASP.NET Cook Book and currently working on a Smart Client book. His experience in .NET spans back to the early days of the first beta and he has a passion to spread the word to as many welcoming and un-welcoming ears that he can. Specializes in VB.NET and windows applications (rich client/smart client), also very knowledgeable of VS 2005 (been in beta since July 2003, after being invited to Microsoft). He’s very handy with MS SQL server 2000 and MSDE.