Auto-Update Options

JExpress can keep your customers up to date with your latest version. You can decide if you want your Java application to verify it is up-to-date every time the user starts your app or only when they want to check.

With JExpress, there's no API needed; no programming required; no background task to maintain. A simple selection on this dialog box configures your web site and your customers' machines to manage updates seamlessly.

If you are not using JExpress' upload feature, then you need to copy the directory tree from your build directory to the Update URL. It is critical that you maintain the same directory tree JExpress creates in the build directory for the autoupdate to work.

Look at the FAQ to learn how auto-updating works.

Important note: JExpress does not support updates for multiple target directories installers. If you are updating a multiple component updater, you will need to add a custom class to the Updater so it restricts which classes will be updated by component installed.

Click on the jump point or just page down to learn more about each setting on this panel.



Autoupdate application

Select Never if you do not want your customers to retrieve updates automatically from your web site.

Click the Every time program starts radio button if you want your app to first check with your web site and verify it has all the latest files before your application really launches. If JExpress discovers that any files that aren't current on your customer's system, then it automatically updates the files before starting your app. If the user's system is unable to connect to your web site, then your application proceeds as if every thing is up-to-date.

Use the On demand radio button if you'd like the user to decide when to get updates from your web site. The user simply selects the Update launcher whenever they'd like to verify all their files are current. If JExpress discovers any of the files on their system are older than the ones on your web site, then JExpress installs the new or more recent files.



Update URL

You can leave this field blank if you filled in your web site on the Welcome panel. JExpress defaults the URL to your web site followed by your application's name.

If you want to manually set the Update URL, then enter the complete http:// style URL where you'll store your updates subdirectory on your web server. Or, if you are distributing your updates via a local drive, then you should add the prefix file:// or local:// to the full pathname. If your distribution directory includes a drive letter, then change the : (colon) to | (vertical line). Auto-updates must be accessible from your web site or a local hard drive, not an ftp server. If the OS uses a forward slash as a its file separator, then you would use 3 forward slashes after the file: or local:.

The Update URL and the ftp directory on the Upload panel must reference the same place on your host, but you do not want to enter the same data in both fields. To clarify this let's look at an example:

  • your web site is known as;
  • your distribution files live in a ftp directory on your server called /var/www/Application
  • your web server maps the /var/www/Application ftp directory to url.

In this example, you'd enter /var/www/Application in the ftp directory field and in the download Update URL field. Both fields actually point to the same place on the Internet; you simply use different formats for ftp and the web.

The Update URL must start with http://, https://, or local://, but not ftp. If you use https:, be sure to review the secure updates requirements.

You do not want the same string in the ftp directory field and the distribution url field. Instead, you want both fields to point to the same place -- the same directory -- on the Internet. When JExpress uploads your files to your web site it uses the ftp directory name. When the auto-updater downloads updates to your customers' systems, it uses the Update URL.

If you're using JExpress' auto-update feature, it is critical that this URL include the directory name where the updates subdirectory resides on your web site. You do not want the Update URL to include the updates subdirectory name. For example, would be correct if updates is a subdirectory of Application. It would be incorrect to set the Update URL to

If you did not configure your project to automatically upload your files online, then you need to copy the directory tree from your build directory to this URL if JExpress is updating your customers. For more information about your distribution files, click here.



Status bar shows The user sees the progress of the update via the status or progress bar. Usually, the status bar shows the estimated overall progress of the update. You have the option of using the status bar to show the progress of each file.

We recommend that you use the overall progress if you distribute a lot of small files. The Updater will show how many files have been updated so far and the total the need to be updated when you select the overall progress.

If you distribute large files, then you'll probably want to use the file by file progress because the delays on feedback could leave your customers wondering if the Updater froze when it hasn't. When you elect file by file progress, each filename appears under the progress bar as it's being downloaded and the progress bar shows the status of that specific file being downloaded.



Update Updater Whenever you obtain a new version of JExpress from DeNova or you change any custom classes you've written for the Updater, then you should add a check mark to this field.

When there's a check mark, then the Updater downloads the JExpressUpdater.jar. At the end of the update, it sets up to update its own jar file. Whenever the JExpressUpdater.jar file is updated and an application runs with "auto-updating", then the program must be restarted after the update completes. The extra restart only happens when the JExpressUpdater.jar file is updated.