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Running a Sample Installer

To see a sample installer, change directory to a folder in your AntInstaller folder called demo\artifacts. Next, double-click the file called demo-installer.jar and you should see a small progress dialog appears as illustrated in Figure 1.

If you don’t like insects, you might not like this dialog but I have to say I think it’s kind of cute—software developers with a sense of humor!

Figure 1

Figure 1 The signature ant in AntInstaller

The ant in Figure 1 obviously signifies the heritage of AntInstaller—it’s based on the Apache Ant project. After Figure 1, the first interactive screen appears next, as illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2

Figure 2 The first interactive screen

Not too much of interest in Figure 2. As you’ll see when we look at the scripts to generate the installer, each of the items in Figure 2 (as well as the other figures) is controlled by a corresponding script element.

The beauty of AntInstaller is that you don’t have to learn any complex installer programming language. If you understand Ant scripts, you should have little difficulty coming to grips with AntInstaller.

In Figure 2, you can click the Cancel button to exit or click the Next button to proceed to the Apache License page illustrated in Figure 3.

Figure 3

Figure 3 The Apache license

Notice that AntInstaller enables you to go back (via the Back button), Reject, or Accept. So, it’s all very intuitive. Clicking Accept brings us to Figure 4.

Figure 4

Figure 4 Select the destination folder

You can accept the suggested folder in Figure 4 or select another one by pressing the Select Folder button and browsing to the required location. You can also create a new folder if you want and you will be prompted to allow creation by AntInstaller, as illustrated in Figure 5.

Figure 5

Figure 5 Create a new directory

Selecting Yes brings you to the required installation components, as illustrated in Figure 6.

Figure 6

Figure 6 Installation components

Figure 6 enables you to select program installation, source code, and documentation deployment. Assuming that you’re happy with the selected components, you can click the Next button to display Figure 7.

Figure 7

Figure 7 Component installation configuration

Figure 7 illustrates some more of the user-configurable items in the installer. You can enter text, modify a true or false (that is, Boolean) property, choose a radio button option, or select a file. If you change your mind, you can always go back and make a change (via the Back button). You’ll see the code that creates these elements when we look at the scripts.

Clicking the Next button brings you to Figure 8.

Figure 8

Figure 8 The last user-configurable point in the installation

Just before pressing the Install button, you can click the Show Details button to view a more detailed installation progress. It is when you view these details that you can really see exactly what goes on during the heavy lifting phase of the installation.

So, pressing the Install button brings you to Figure 9.

Figure 9

Figure 9 Progress as the installation occurs

The image just under Show Details in Figure 9 changes dynamically as the install occurs. This is because the words "default", "tgdoc", and "cleanuptarget" are in fact targets in the Apache Ant sense. You’ll see more about them shortly.

The installation is now complete. Let’s now look at how this is all done.

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