I need to open a windows application.

Asked By 270 points N/A Posted on -
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I have seen websites that contains special links, that when you click on them, it opens up your email program. Some open up Skype, and some opens up Yahoo messenger. Is it possible for me to create such a link so that I can make Internet Explorer open up the program I want?

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Best Answer by Edvard
Answered By 0 points N/A #101775

I need to open a windows application.

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Internet Explorer links work on a set of "protocols". There are native protocols that come pre-registered with Internet Explorer. A anchor text contains a link to another resource. If the resource is prefixed by the "http" protocol, it tells Internet Explorer to fetch the resource from the internet. For email programs Microsoft Internet Explorer as well as other web browsers have a built in protocol called "mailto". When you want to invoke the mail program on a users computer you need to create a links with the following code.

mailto:[email protected]

ymsgr:sendIM?yahooid

skype:skypeid?call 

The protocols are specified at the beginning before the colon symbol. These need to be registered with the web browser in order to use it. Dependent on the protocol you can also specify additional parameters that you can pass onto the program.

Answered By 0 points N/A #101776

I need to open a windows application.

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The respective programs need to be installed on the client machine. Otherwise it will not work. For example if you require the Yahoo messenger link to work, you need to have Yahoo messenger installed. When you install programs such as Yahoo messenger and Skype, it installs a special library in Internet Explorer. These are called add-ins.

These add-ins help Microsoft Internet Explorer interpret the protocols designated for each of the installed applications. These add-ins are also commonly known as Browser Helper Objects (BHO). These libraries extend the function of Microsoft Internet Explorer, enabling feature rich content.

When a link contains a non-built in protocol, Internet Explorer checks for its installed add-ins to see if they support interpreting the same. If it does, the additional parameters and data is passed onto the add-in. The add-in then takes over and executes the relevant program with the parameters.

The attached screen shot shows some browser helper objects in my Internet Explorer. These add-ons help the browser do things such as open up Live Messenger on clicking a link.

Answered By 0 points N/A #101777

I need to open a windows application.

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You can also host a resource, that can only be opened by your program. For example you may have noticed that Microsoft Excel opens up when you click on a link that points to a file that is supported by Microsoft Excel. Likewise, you can register your own file type with Windows Explorer and then host a resource terminating by the relevant file name.

When you install applications, each application registers its file types in the windows registry. In event Internet Explorer could not find an add-on that supports the protocol, it forces a file download. At that moment, the file download window does a lookup to see what application supports the intended file type of the file download. It does so by scanning the Windows Registry "classes" sub tree to find out if a relevant program is associated with the file type.

If a program is found to be associated with the file type, Internet Explorer gives the option of saving to a file or opening it with that detected program. This might be an easy way of going about your solution.

Answered By 270 points N/A #101778

I need to open a windows application.

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Browser helper objects is something new to me. I checked my own Internet Explorer settings and yes indeed I found a list of add-ons. I disabled the Acrobat add-on and sure enough, Internet Explorer now prompts a file download instead of opening the file with Adobe Acrobat! Thank you experts for the information! Writing a browser helper object is way beyond me! But I think I can do the file type registration thing. How do I get about it?

Answered By 0 points N/A #101779

I need to open a windows application.

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Adding an entry to the Windows Registry is one way of configuring a file type association.  All file type registrations go to a special branch in the Windows Registry. This branch is called "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT".  As it's name implies, this branch contains all the root extensions of file names. I have attached a screen shot on the ".bmp" file extension. As you can see it contains a sub-key called "ShellNew". The "Item Name" key inside it specifies the program to execute.

Like wise you can decide on a filename extension, for your program. It can be anything as long as it does not have any spaces. You then create a sub-key under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT corresponding to the file extension. Then you create the "ShellNew" key and punch the path of your program to open. Finally all you need to do is to place a dummy file, with the extension on the server and create a link to it. When you click on this link Internet Explorer will open the file download dialog box and show your program as the default program.

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Answered By 0 points N/A #101780

I need to open a windows application.

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You can also make use of the Windows Explorer "Open With" Wizard. This is a safer way of associating file names instead of directly editing the Windows Registry.

  • You create a filename with the required extension.
  • Double click on the newly created file name.
  • You will see a message stating "Windows cannot open this file" with 2 options.
  • Select "Select program from specified list".
  • Then browse to your application executable.
  • Tick the "Always use the selected program to open this kind of a file".
  • Press ok.

You will see the icon changing to your programs icon. Test it by double clicking the file. Your program should load. Now your program is fully associated with the file extension. This is really safer than editing the windows registry!

Answered By 0 points N/A #101781

I need to open a windows application.

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You need to know that you have to do the file type association in each and every computer. It is similar to running an installation program or installing a browser plug-in. It has to be done at each client work station. To eliminate this problem, you can educate your users to press the "open" button on the file download. 

This will pop the similar dialog box that Edward is referring to, in his post. Following the same set of instructions, is a simpler way of deploying the file type association, across multiple workstations! Please note that this is a crude way of getting the job done, but it works. Please note that the solution outlined, will only work with Microsoft Windows based operating systems and not on other operating systems. You need to check on a suitable protocol on other operating systems.

Answered By 270 points N/A #101782

I need to open a windows application.

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File type association with Windows Explorer is the solution! I tested it out and it works. I just created dummy files on the server. Then I edited the web pages and created links to the hosted files. When I clicked on it, Internet Explorer prompted to open the file with my application! Wonderful! Thank you experts for your advise!

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