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Author Topic: calling programs from a web page  (Read 1310 times)

Steven Avery

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calling programs from a web page
« on: August 17, 2011, 09:42 AM »
Hi Folks,

Here is a question about browser environment utility in calling programs on your disk, other than any built-in stuff like email using :mailto .

Browser security by default limits access to the disk.
So eg. if you have a url like:

C:\Program Files\TaskCoach\taskcoach.exe

Placed in a browser bar, it will ask you if you want to save or cancel the file, it will not run the file.
However, on your own system, with your own decisions this is a bit of overkill.

e.g. if you had a Linkshelf, Symbaloo, Netvibes or your own custom web-page, you can not, by default, open the program. (Or go to, focus on, the program already opened.) You can of course use the Start Menu or the Desktop or Linkman. However, a web page has advantages, grouping things together, little notes, etc. .. possibly this advantage exists in some specialty program launchers, but that involves a special install, training and a customization. If you have multiple PCs using the same general c:\program files locations, a web page would work for all of them). 

Now I was researching this for work, since some programs these days will take mini-computer apps and run them inside a browser, and thus you can have decent PC integration with programs running off a totally different system (e.g. iSeries RPG-Open Access apps, maybe a Linux box with Oracle, or Magic Software running on various platforms). Once you bypass the security limitation you can call your word processing program for that customer, or any other program. (Generally it will be a one-way call, but that is sufficient.)  This local integration is on top of the web integration of Google maps and docs etc.  One of the advantages of these programs working as an RIA, rich internet apps.

So, after a little discussion, I saw that it is not so difficult, but slightly techie to bypass those limitations.  This is an example of what I found:


Your default email program opens from a browser with the mailto: protocol.
More involved interaction, to work with the security controls on browser limitations to local files, probably involves:

Register protocol

@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Application\\program.exe\" \"%1\""

Registering an Application to a URL Protocol


Do our techies here work with this, or something similar, to use a web page as the front end to their programs.

Your thoughts and insights appreciated.


Steven Avery