Note – Builder is a companion utility to MegunoLink. It can be purchased separately and used with commercial versions of MegunoLink.
Builder is a utility to package MegunoLink project files. It creates standard installer files to distribute your MegunoLink creation. Other people won’t need a separate MegunoLink license to use the projects you distribute with Builder. So it is a great way to share your MegunoLink tools with friends and colleagues. Builder supports most MegunoLink visualizers.
There are three main steps to follow:
- Prepare your MegunoLink Project
- Create a Builder project
- Use Builder to create the installer
Prepare your MegunoLink Project
The first step is to prepare your MegunoLink project. Either create a new project or load an existing project. Then close any visualizers that are not supported. Most visualizers are supported including:
- Interface Panel
- Log to File
- Message Logger
- Message Monitor
- Program Devices
- Time Plot
- XBee Series 2 Configuration
- X-Y Plot
The following visualizers are not supported and must be removed from your MegunoLink project before packaging. To remove the visualizer, simply close it.
- Connection Manager (replaced by a simpler method)
- Visualizers Dock
Once you are happy with the layout of your project save it as a MegunoLink Package file in the directory where you are preparing the distribution. Choose Save As... from the MegunoLink toolbar and select
MegunoLink Package (*.mlpz) from the Save as type just below the filename box in the save dialog.
Create a Builder Project
After you download and install the MegunoLink Host Builder, you can launch it from the Start menu using the MegunoLink Host Builder icon.
Use the Open License button to load the license information you received after purchasing Builder.
Create a Solution File
Builder uses relative paths to find your files, so first you need to create a new project and save it in the folder where you are preparing the distribution.
You’ll need to give your product a name. This is used to name the installer and as part of the the default install folder. So the installer will be Install <Product Name>.msi. The default install folder will be
%ProgramFiles%\<Company Name>\<Product Name>\
You’ll also need a version number. Version numbers are used when updating your product to make sure the latest version is installed. Use the Auto button to automatically generate a version number using the current date. The automatically generated version number will have the form
DD are the current two-digit year, month and day respectively.
RR is a revision number. Add one to this if you want to release a new version on the same day as a previous release.
You can change the output file as well if you like. This is where the installer will be created. It should normally be a sub-folder of the directory where you are preparing the distribution.
Save the solution file before you add MegunoLink projects.
Add MegunoLink Projects
Click the Add... button to add a MegunoLink project to your distribution.
Fill in the properties for the MegunoLink project you want included in the installation:
- Source File: the name of the MegunoLink project file (including the extension). Builder uses relative paths to find files so the MegunoLink project source file should be in the same folder as the distribution project.
- Destination Folder: leave this blank for MegunoLink project files.
- You’ll need to create a shortcut for MegunoLink projects otherwise users won’t be able to start your project.
- Create Shortcut: make sure this is ticked.
- Shortcut text: this is the text which will appear on the start menu when the project is installed.
- Shortcut description: this is the text Windows will show in the tool-tip when the user hovers over the shortcut
- Application Settings control the behavior of MegunoLink Host when the installed project is loaded:
- Title bar text: will be shown in on the title bar
- Logo filename: a custom logo that will be shown in MegunoLink Host when your project is loaded. This must be a
.pngfile that measures 180 pixels x 48 pixels.
- Show Save button on toolbar: when checked, a save button will be shown on the toolbar. The user can save settings (such as the active COM port) by clicking on this button.
- Auto-save user configuration on exit: when checked the user’s settings (such as the active COM port) will be saved whenever they close the program. The settings will be restored next time they start the program.
You can include as many MegunoLink project files in the distribution as you like. Each will get its own short-cut in the Windows Start menu.
Add Other Files
You can include additional files to be installed. These might be
.hex code for programming devices or documentation files that you’d like to bundle with the project.
Other file types are added pretty much the same way you added the MegunoLink project files. The main differences are:
- Use the Destination Folder to place the source file in a sub-directory during installation. This directory is relative to the folder the chooses when they install your package.
- The Application Settings section only applies to MegunoLink project files. It won’t have any affect on other file types.
You can include as many additional files in the distribution as you like.
For more detail check out our builder step-by-step guide.