Install and Open Builder
The first step is to download, install and open the MegunoLink Builder tool. Once the tool is opened it will look like it does in the screenshot below.
Open up the license file
When you purchased a license to Megunolink’s builder tool you should have been sent a custom license file (.x8lic) specifically configured with your details. Save this file somewhere safe. Click the “Open License” button on the main toolbar of Builder, navigate to, and select your license file.
Confirming your license details
Once the license is loaded you will see the details show up like in the screenshot below. The license allows for a few things to be specified including a department name, company name, common name, email address, and website. We will request this information from you after you purchase a license.
You will also see when your license expires and/or maintenance period ends. If your license has expired, you will need to renew it to continue building installer projects. When your maintenance period ends you’ll need to renew it to get the latest updates of MegunoLink.
Creating a new project
Now Builder is ready to go. The next step is to create a new Builder project. To do this click “New” on the main tool bar. We recommend you keep all your files in the same directory structure (since Builder uses relative paths). See the structure below used for this example. Files are housed in a project folder called “MyProject”. Inside we will put our MegunoLink interface file (save as menu in MegunoLink and specify MegunoLink Package type .mlpz), our Builder project file (.mdsx) and our logo (.png). We also create a Deploy folder where our installer will be generated.
Save your project (in your project folder) before moving on to the next step so Builder knows how to resolve relative paths.
Confirming project details have been populated
In this example I have named the new Builder project “MyProject.mdsx” (you can see this file in the folder screenshot above). Since the project has been created (or loaded) there are now more details that have been populated including the path to the just created project file, a product ID and version number.
You can also see below that if we navigate to the “License Details” tab there are details which are specific to your license. These can not be adjusted by you, the end user. If you really need them to be changed let us know and we can update and generate a new license file for you.
Updating the installer stub
The installer stub contains all of the MegunoLink interface files and the skeleton for the installer. This needs to be downloaded and updated using the “Update Packages” button on the main interface.
From the update sources menu hit “Check for Updates”. This will require internet access and will discover the latest installer stubs from our website.
Once an update is found click the “Download Updates” button. Let the download finish then close this window.
Preparing your MegunoLink interface
Now we need to prepare the MegunoLink interface file (or files, you can have multiple interfaces in an installer). This involves opening your interface in MegunoLink, configuring COM port settings, removing any incompatible interface elements, and saving it as a MegunoLink Package file (.mlpz).
We recommend moving your interface file into the same directory you are working on the installer in (see screenshot below).
Open the interface in MegunoLink. The first thing is to check the connection manager. Make sure the baud rate is correctly set and any advanced options specified. In the installed version these settings can not be adjusted.
Next, you need to remove incompatible visualisers. These are the Connection Manager, Startup, and Visualisers dock. If they are not removed they will appear as empty windows in the installed version.
Once done make sure you save any changes you have made. Its important the file is saved as a MegunoLink Package (.mlpz) file. Our legacy (.mlx) files are not compatible with Builder.
Adding the interface project to Builder
After generating the MegunoLink Package (.mlpz) file you can now add it to the Builder project. In the solution tab click “Add”. This will open up a window which you can use to specify your interface project details including the source file (.mplz), the destination folder, the shortcut text and description, the title bar text, and a logo. All paths are relative which is why if you put all your files in the same place this is simple. Just type the names of each file into the required box.
There is also an option to add a reporting menu to the toolbar. This allows the user to utilize MegunoLink’s reporting functions in their packaged interface. This allows data from, for example, tables and plots to be periodically saved to csv or image files.
You can add more than one interface project to the installer.
Once complete hit the OK button and you should see that your interface has now been added to the list.
Building the installer
You can see on the right there is a list of checkboxes. This indicates that all the required steps are completed to build an installer.
Simply click the build installer button. This will generate your installer inside the deploy folder (see below).
Running the installer
You are now free to copy the installer to wherever you need it. To install your interface just double click the installer and follow the instructions. The screenshots below outline the process.
For now it’s best to advise your users not to change the path where files are installed.
Running your interface
To run your interface simply locate your start menu entry and click it. Your exported interface should pop up. Below is our example interface. Take note of where the logo goes, where the COM port and connection buttons are, and where some of the text entries appear.
Once you have a basic installer up and running you can explore some additional features. These include:
- Using policy files to enable or disable gui features such as hiding the status bar, save report menu, removing properties options from plots etc.
This video shows a similar example where we generate an installer based on our MegunoLink interface.