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  1. #1
    kelliel
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    Almost Real Time Updating of AddIn files

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  2. #2
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Almost Real Time Updating of AddIn files

    Lawrence,

    The only part that I'd improve on is the autoexec in normal.dot. What happens when the normal gets corrupted, deleted or otherwise disfunctional?

    I would guess you have already thought about setting the user's Startup folder to the network folder containing the global add-in. The advantage is you never mess with Normal.dot. This technique has only one draw-back that I can think of: you have to code for the inclusion of 3rd party addins (like Acrobat, Dragon Naturally Speaking and lots of others that use .dot files) that want to install their .dot file(s) to the user's Startup folder (but cannot since it's a network read-only folder).

    It's a pretty simple work around, but it does mean user's cannot just run the setup.exe for these apps unless your code is aware of them.

    Thanks for this post. Nice to see the sharing of good ideas.
    Kevin <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Kevin_sig.gif alt="Keep the change, ya filthy animal...">
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  3. #3
    kelliel
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    Re: Almost Real Time Updating of AddIn files

    Thanks for the thoughts.

    The normal.dot only contains one line of code in it (unless the user creates some macros), which starts the process referenced to in the earlier post. The normal.dot also contains all of our default defined styles; though we do not base any firm-related documents on the normal.dot.

    What do we do when it goes corrupt? (Which, as you are aware, occurs with some regularity.) We have a firm-default normal.dot which we just copy over to user's User Template directory (which is also on the network).

    We haven't really considered using the startup folder. Hmmm. Sounds interesting. I believe I will make some explorations into that possibility.

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Re: Almost Real Time Updating of AddIn files

    Lawrence,

    Since I have adopted the practice "minimalist" use of Normal, I have had NO problems with Normal.dot related problems. I killed weeks of good programming time learning the pitfalls of Normal.dot.

    I used to do the styles thing too, thinking that if a user creates a new blank document, I don't want them to be using MS defaults, etc. But I've coded around that, using a company Normal (called FirmNormal.dot) located on the network as well. The New button and the File>New menu item are both programmed to use the FirmNormal. There is no way for the user to create a MS Normal document unless they start Word with /a.

    Take care.
    Kevin <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Kevin_sig.gif alt="Keep the change, ya filthy animal...">
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  5. #5
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    Re: Almost Real Time Updating of AddIn files

    Lawrence,

    I've gone down a long and painful raod as well with normal.dot. Even the minimalist approach had problems- people had their own macros and customisations, and didn't take kindly to losing them all completely. And it tends to be the people higher up in the organisation who do these things. In fact, I lost some macros myself in the same way when I was a mainframe programmer and somebody else was doing the Word programming.

    For a while, we had an add-in in the startup folder which copied the "minimal" code into normal.dot if it did not match what was in the add-in. That worked OK until a new virus-checker flagged it as a virus for performing illegal activities. So now everything is in the add-in. It does delete old code from normal.dot- but that's not a dangerous activity according to the checker.

    There was a bit of work to be done to get it going- but it's looking good now.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Almost Real Time Updating of AddIn files

    A method that has worked well for others is to put the add-in on the server but have each user's login script check it against a copy in the user's startup directory. If the add-in has changed, copy to the startup directory. This allows you to easily update the add-in since it will be the copy on each user's computer which is locked.

    If the update is urgent, simply send out a system message requesting users to logout and then back in again.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  7. #7
    kelliel
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    Re: Almost Real Time Updating of AddIn files

    It was decided before I became involved in this system to keep addins on the network. Why? Good question.

    Your other suggestion, ask everyone to log off, we save for *really* serious emergencies. With 193 people trying to meet deadlines, they get a little cranky with being asked to log off the network. [img]/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Almost Real Time Updating of AddIn files

    You could get almost the same effect, I guess, making your updates to a copy of the global template and having the system overwrite the original with the copy in the middle of the night.

    I guess I like having the template on the local drive because it cuts down on network traffic. I have no idea how much it cuts down on it, though. Once a global is loaded, is the complete global stored in memory? I don't think so, but I could be wrong. (It wouldn't be the first - or last - time!)
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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