6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 18, 2008 2:19 PM by Mike_Adams_Productions

    How to launch a program from Director?

    davdavdavdav Level 1
      Hi, I'm new to Director.

      I want the user of my Director movie to click on a button that launches Adobe Acrobat and a help file (external to the Director movie).

      How do I do this?
        • 1. Re: How to launch a program from Director?
          Level 7
          The easiest way is to use the buddyAPI xtra. It has a command

          baOpenFile()

          Which is a one liner that will do what you need. You can download it
          from www.mods.com.au/budapi. It is free to use up to 2 functions.
          • 2. Re: How to launch a program from Director?
            Level 7
            davdavdavdav wrote:

            > I want the user of my Director movie to click on a button that launches Adobe Acrobat and a help file (external to the Director movie).

            Openinga PDF in Director is very much a FAQ. I have it covered in more detail in my PDF FAQ at:
            http://www.deansdirectortutorials.com/FAQ/pdf.htm

            As Mike said, the easiest way is with buddyAPI. baOpenFile() Buddy Lingo will open a specified file with the application associated to the
            file.

            regards
            Dean

            Director Lecturer / Consultant / Director Enthusiast
            http://www.deansdirectortutorials.com/
            http://www.multimediacreative.com.au
            email: d.utian@unsw.edu.au



            • 3. Re: How to launch a program from Director?
              Mike_Adams_Productions Level 1
              I have a similar question... can Director be used to launch a program? I understand that you can tell it to open a file, in which case the default application is automatically launched, but can you give it a specific command line to execute?

              I have SCALA MM200, and it can execute command lines from within Windows, but as I recall it wasn't a very seamless transition between the presentation and the launched program. I hesitate to keep using MM200, since it was designed for Win 98/NT, but rather than buy new software it might be best to stick with what I've got if it still works under XP.

              Seems to me a lot of current "multimedia" software is great for animations and presentations, but there's little consideration for creating a true GUI with it that will do stuff outside of the presentation itself. I suppose I should go with VisualBasic or something like that, but my programming days are 20 years behind me, and there's still the issue of buying new software (unless VB is free, which I doubt).

              I plan to try MM200 under XP, but if it doesn't work, or doesn't perform quite as I'd like it to, it would help to know that Director could work. However, if there's no way to execute a specific command line, it probably isn't the right choice for me.

              A quick summary of my planned application is to present a menu of choices to the user, and then execute certain programs depending on the choice. The presentation will probably hide in the background while these programs run, so another consideration is avoiding any conflicts. The programs are video game emulators, and certain options are set in the command line, so simply telling Director to open a game file may not work, even if the emulator is set as the default application to open that file. I'll still need to pass certain command line switches to the app, and I'm not sure I can do that in Director.

              Thanks in advance for any help! :) (I never visit the forum, so it's best to e-mail me at planetdust1@gmail.com)
              • 4. Re: How to launch a program from Director?
                Level 7
                If you know where the program is on the hard drive, then you can simply
                use the built-in 'open' command. For example, if the program is named
                "program.exe" and it is in the same folder as the Director movie, then
                you can do this:

                open the moviePath&"program.exe"

                or you can do something like

                open "c:\program files\program.exe"

                With an xtra, you can do much more. There is BuddyAPI's baShell()
                command which lets you do pretty much anything you want with command
                line calls.

                www.mods.com.au/budapi


                There is also Valentin's free shellXtra which lets you do asynchronous
                command line calls and even get the replies back, so it is almost
                exactly like using the command line.

                http://staff.dasdeck.de/valentin/xtras/shell/
                • 5. Re: How to launch a program from Director?
                  Level 7
                  > I have a similar question... can Director be used to launch a program?

                  Yes - you can (again) use Buddy API and the baRunProgram() or baShell()
                  methods to run an application and optionally send it parameters on the
                  command-line. It's a matter of locating the app you want to run then,
                  starting with the full path to the application, adding a SPACE followed
                  by whatever parameters you need to send it (delimited with QUOTE
                  characters if they contain SPACEs)

                  > Thanks in advance for any help! :) (I never visit the forum, so it's best to
                  > e-mail me at planetdust1@gmail.com)

                  I hope you make it back because it's more useful for all concerned
                  (archiving questions and answers) if responses are kept to the forum.
                  • 6. Re: How to launch a program from Director?
                    Mike_Adams_Productions Level 1
                    Yeah, I agree that keeping answers here helps others who may have similar questions. I also found the "Subscribe" feature upon posting, so that was all I really needed. The reason I never visit is because I don't have many Adobe software packages, and almost never have questions about them.

                    Thanks for the responses... seems Director will do what I need, now it's just a matter of whether I really need to upgrade or if MM200 will do. If it doesn't work under XP, there's my answer, but if it does, it would seem silly to get brand-new software to do the same thing, especially since MM200 is something I'm familiar with and seems more powerful in terms of making things happen outside the presentation. As I said, my programming days are far in the past, so adding an API, etc. and really even learning new software isn't something I'm anxious to do. Actually though, Director may do what I need without the API.

                    Anyway, the program I had used most was Formula Graphics, and I really liked it. Unfortunately it requires that you e-mail the makers of it to get a new unlock code every time you change machines (meaning even a new motherboard would necessitate e-mailing people who may no longer be in business when you need them). The next step was MM200, but I never used it all that much. I will definitely think about Director, though.

                    Thanks again!