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Default jvm modified by user install

 
Kathy Doto
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Our program sets the default jvm in the registry to version 1.4. when it was installed. Later a user installed another product that set the default to version 1.3 which caused our program to fail. The registry could be reset to correct the problem, but we wanted an automatic way of dealing with this. What are options for solving this problem?
 
Chris De Vries
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Java Web Start offers a way around this sort of problem. The version of java required is specified in the jnlp file.
 
Kathy Doto
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Thank you for your reply. However, I don't understand since we are building applications with JBuilder, and I am not familiar with Web Start. Our install program, by the way, is InstallShield. I am trying to find out if InstallShield can help with this problem, perhaps by packaging the JVM as someone suggested for another product.
 
Chris De Vries
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Web Start is a method for distributing java programs and an application for launching them. It has been included with the jdk since version 1.4 I believe. Java Web Start is described here.
Alternatively, and I believe these all to be suboptimal solutions, you can write a program which checks the version of java in the registry and sets it to 1.4 if it is set to 1.3, but you may also want to check that 1.4 is really installed. You can ask that people reinstall java 1.4 which should also adjust the registry, or presumably reinstall your software, though that might break the other software. You can distribute your software with a private java runtime and force that runtime to be used for your software, but that will take up more space and would ignore other possibly viable runtimes on the system.
InstallAnywhere (which is similar to InstallShield) has a pane which allows the user to select the java runtime they want for the program, so you could leave the decision up to the user with the advise that it had better be 1.4 or higher using that installation system. I believe InstallAnywhere will also make sure the program runs with a hard link to the jre selected at install, and will not depend on the default java version in the registry, though I am not sure.
Chris
 
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