New WINDEV 2024 feature!
Help / WINDEV Tutorial / Tutorial - Deploying an application
  • Creating the executable and the setup program
  • Overview
  • Creating the executable file
  • Creating the setup program
  • Installing an application
  • Further information...

Tutorial - Deploying an application

Creating the executable and the setup program
We will cover the following topics:
  • Creating the executable file.
  • Help about the new features.
  • Creating the setup program.
  • Running the setup program.
Durée de la leçon 30 min
At the end of the development process of a Windows application, the aim is to create an executable file and distribute the application. WINDEV provides you with all the tools you need to create the executable and the setup program.
To follow the steps in this tutorial, we will use the "WD Full Application" project.
Opening the example project
  1. Go to the WINDEV home page (Ctrl + <).
  2. On the home page, click "Tutorial", then in "Tutorial - WINDEV Application: Manage data", double-click "Full application - Answers".
Creating the executable file
You can easily create the executable using a complete wizard. By keeping the default options in this wizard, you can quickly create an executable.
Here, we will only present a few important steps of the wizard. For more details, see Creating an executable file.
To create the executable file of WD Full Application, follow these steps:
  1. Expand Create executable in the quick access area, and select "Generate 64-bit Windows executable (.exe)".
    Generating the executable

    The executable creation wizard starts.
  2. Describe the general options of the executable:
    • the executable name: we will keep the default name.
    • the name of icon associated with the executable: you can select an icon from the image catalog.
    • the splash screen. Several types of splash screens are available.
      This option is not available in the Express version.

      Executable creation wizard
    Keep "No splash screen" and go to the next step.
  3. Keep the default options for the operating mode of the executable. Go to the next step.
  4. Click "EXE content" on the left of the wizard.
  5. This step allows you to define the languages available in the executable. Go to the next step.
  6. This step displays all files that will be included in the executable library. Those are the project elements that can be handled by the end user. Keep the default options. Go to the next step.
  7. This step concerns the directory of HFSQL Classic data files used by the application.
    Executable creation wizard
    Select "Automatic (recommended)" if necessary. This option is used to install the data files:
    • in the application data directory (if the executable is installed in "Program files").
    • in the executable directory.
  8. Go to the next step.
  9. We will enter the executable information. This information is displayed in Windows explorer when you select the file properties.
    Enter the following information:
    Executable creation wizard
    This step can also be used to sign the executable if necessary.
    Go to the next step.
  10. Click "Finish".
  11. The executable file is created. It can be run immediately to check its operating mode. To do so, click "Run executable".
That's it, the executable file has been created. In this first configuration, we defined several options, but next time you will be able to validate all the steps of the wizard from the beginning.
Creating the setup program
As with the executable, a wizard simplifies the creation of the setup program.
Here, we will only present a few important steps of the wizard. For more details, see Creating the setup program of a WINDEV application.
To create the setup program:
  1. On the "Project" tab, in the "Generation" group, expand "Setup procedure" and select "Create setup procedure". The executable and setup creation wizard starts.
  2. The executable file has already been created: the selected options were saved.
  3. In the wizard, click "Additional information" in the "Executable" section.
  4. The wizard proposes to make a backup copy of the project. Select "No: Don't make a backup copy of the project" and go to the next step.
  5. The wizard proposes to create the new features page.
    This option is not available in the Express version. In this case, go to step 8 directly.
    New features documentation
    This option is used to create a help file in order to present the new features to the end users. During the first setup, it can be the software help.
    Select "Create a documentation for the new features" and go to the next step.
  6. You have the ability to define the elements that will be automatically included in the help file. Keep the default options and go to the next step.
    If the application already contains a help system, you can use it and include the new features page in it.
  7. Validate the message and the help file save window.
  8. The executable file is automatically created (with the options defined when creating the first executable file) as well as the help system. You can enter specific information in the help system. In this case, keep the default information. To resume the creation of the setup program, click Continue the creation of the setup procedure, which corresponds to "Continue the creation of the setup procedure".
    Setup creation options
    The help is automatically compiled.
  9. Let's now go to the "Setup" section of the wizard. There are different installation modes in this first step:
    • Individual setup for an independent application, installed and started on each computer.
    • Setup with automatic update, for a setup on a server. The applications will be installed from the server. If an update is available, only the server must be updated. The applications installed on the computers will be automatically updated.
    • Setup on a Private Store, to deploy the setup to a previously defined Private Store. Users will be able to install the application from the Store.
    Select "Individual setup" and go to the next step.
  10. Choose a standard setup. Go to the next step.
  11. We will not change the default installation directory. Go to the next step.
  12. Keep the files that appear in the list of installed files. By default, WINDEV shows the Executable file and the help file (created by the new features help). We are going to add the data files:
    • Click "Add". The Windows explorer displays the content of the application generation directory.
    • Select the Customer, Order, OrderLine, PaymentMethod and Product data files (files with ".fic", ".ndx" and ".mmo" extension).
    • Validate. The files are automatically saved in the application data directory.
      Creating the setup program
  13. Go to the next step.
  14. Uncheck all options from the database parameters. Go to the next step.
  15. Keep the following options in the additional modules:
    Setup - Additional modules
    We will choose the optional tools to install and include the uninstaller. The uninstaller will allow the users to uninstall the application from the Windows program manager. Go to the next step.
    The optional tools are not available in the Express version. In this case, go directly to step 17.
  16. We will select WDOptimizer. This tool optimizes the application data files on a regular basis.
  17. Click "Medium" on the left of the wizard. The setup will be generated in a single directory. By default, the setup program is created in the project "Install" subdirectory. You can:
    • Specify a password for the setup. In this case, only the user who knows the password will be able to install the application.
    • Sign the setup with a certificate. This option is used to ensure the integrity of the installation package.
  18. Validate. The setup program is automatically created.
  19. A window appears, allowing you to test the setup or open the generation directory. To continue this tutorial, click "Test".
Installing an application
Now, we will test the setup program by using it like an end user would. We will go through the different steps of the "WD Full Application" setup program.
  1. On Windows Vista (or later), a window requests the authorization to run the program. Validate this window.
  2. The setup wizard starts.
    You can change the setup language via a combo box at the upper-right corner of the wizard.
    Setup wizard

    Two setup modes are available:
    • Quick setup: The setup is performed with the parameters specified by the application provider.
    • Custom setup: The wizard asks the user to define the parameters of the application setup.
  3. Choose "Custom setup". The wizard asks for the application installation directory.
    Setup wizard
  4. Keep the default directory and go to the next step.
  5. Finish the application setup wizard.
  6. The application setup starts. Validate the different setup steps.
Further information...
We have just deployed a simple application with a stand-alone setup program. The setup creation wizard also allows you to create setup programs with automatic updates.
This type of setup program automatically checks for updates when the application is launched. If an update is available, users can update immediately.
This type of setup is available over the network or from the Internet. You can also create a multisite setup.
For more details, see Setup mode.
WINDEV features a specific editor to fully customize the setup program: The WDInst setup editor.
Table of contents
Minimum version required
  • Version 2024
Click [Add] to post a comment

Last update: 12/04/2023

Send a report | Local help