how can i open a file without having the opening program?

I have a web application that uploads and downloads files in different formats.

My question is:
Is there a way for the user to download and open a file in specific format (i.e. PDF format), without dealing with the installation of the program that opens that format (i.e. the user doesn't have the acrobat reader program)?
Is it possible that the downloading process of the file will also download and install the appropriate opening program?

0
shir
2/3/2005 3:25:56 PM
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Browsers can't go around installing things on people's computers without their permission, so no, this isn't possible.

I would suggest putting a link on your page to the Acrobat Reader installation page, etc, so that they'll be able to read all the different formats that are put up there. You can't just get their computers to install things behind the scenes, though
0
Tom
2/3/2005 4:53:58 PM
Isn't there another way? maybe activex or COM can do things like that?
0
shir
2/3/2005 5:10:51 PM
If your application is a program installed on their computer, it can install other programs on their computer (depending on the security settings, etc).

Applications on the internet cannot do this, however, no matter what the program is, since programs on the web that install code on a computer without the user's permission are called viruses. Even if you could develop a component that would get around this (which would actually be a virus), most firewalls would try and block it and you could get arrested for putting it there, so there's not much use in basing your functionality on that happening.
Really the only way to let users view files in a format they don't have on their computer is to give them the option to download it or have your application convert it into a different format that they can view.
0
Tom
2/3/2005 5:44:05 PM
If that is the case ,how do you explain what happens when, for example you enter an internet site where you need for example flash program to view the page and then it asks you wheter you want to install it on your computer? and if you select "yes" it installs the flash program automatically?

thank you
shir
0
shir
2/3/2005 7:07:02 PM
I'm not sure about the flash question, but this may help.

We were having problems with IE opening excel files in the browser. After alittle work, I found a way of forcing the browser to let the user choose between opening the excel file in excel, or saving it. This is how:
Dim filename as string = "myfiles.xsl"
Response.Clear()
Response.AppendHeader("content-disposition", "attachment; filename=" & fileName)
Response.WriteFile(Server.MapPath(".") & fileName)
Response.End()
Intelligence is a burden.
Jagdip Singh Ajimal
Manchester (and yes, I am a Manchester United fan)
0
jagdipa
2/4/2005 9:14:29 AM
The Flash program did not get installed automatically though did it?  You clicked 'Yes' when asked if you wanted to install Flash, meaning you had to agree to the installation manually.

In response to your subject 'Re: how can i open a file without having the opening program?' - this is not possible using any popular browser. A web application simply cannot install a program on your computer as Tom has already pointed out.
0
kingofcolly
2/4/2005 9:31:56 AM
Reply:

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