Testing Your Installer and Updater

After JExpress builds your installers, you can test them from the Test panel on the GUI or the desktop icon JExpress created.

If you want to test the installers on a different computer or more like your customers will, then follow these directions.

JExpress stores your distribution files on your local system under the build directory. Of course, if you use the Advanced interface and select distribute to web or ftp site, then JExpress also copies your installer and autoupdater to your web or ftp site. For a full discussion about the organization of your distribution files click here.

If you build an installer which can run on your computer, then you can simply click the Test button on the Status panel after you build to run the installer. If JExpress created multiple installers that can run on your system, then you're presented with a list. Select the one that you want to test and click the OK button.


Installation Instructions

JExpress includes installation instructions for the various installers in HTML format. The easiest way to test is to follow these step-by-step guides in index.html in your build directory. Another copy is on your web site in your Update URL if you used the Advanced interface to build your installer and let JExpress distribute your system online.

You're welcome to modify the web pages to fit your web site's design, but be careful not to change the "variables". A variable is any line with <!-- __ __--> on it. You can moves or delete these lines, but the content must not change and nothing else should be on the line with a variable.


Testing Online

You can test any of the installers from your web site or offline.

  1. If you are using the Wizard or you didn't configure the Advanced interface to distribute your files online, then you must first upload your distribution files to your web site.
  2. Start your browser and load index.html, or whatever web page you created, from the Update URL.
  3. Follow the instructions on the web page.


Testing Offline

You can easily test your Cross Platform and Native installers without connecting to the Internet.

  1. Make a copy of your build directory to a temporary directory.
  2. Start your browser and load index.html, or whatever HTML file you created, from the temporary directory.
  3. Follow the instructions on the web page.


Testing Updater

  1. Install your application using any of the JExpress installers.
  2. Add or change one of the files distributed with your Java app.
    You don't want to just erase a file because JExpress only updates new or modified files.
  3. Rebuild and redistribute your files.
  4. If you created an autoupdater, then select your app's menu item. Otherwise, select Update from your Windows menu or start the update launch script.
  5. Verify the file(s) were properly updated.
  6. If the update didn't work, the most likely cause is because the updates subdirectory isn't in the Update URL. Review the procedure for distributing the update files.

    Advanced Interface Tip

    If you're using the Advanced interface and you want it to upload your installers, autoupdaters, and Java app to your web site automatically after you've tested everything offline, then you can simply make these adjustments to your project before your test.

    1. In the Build panel and remove the check mark from Upload online.
    2. Click on the Build button until you successfully build.
    3. Make a copy of the platform's distribution files into a temporary directory.
    4. Install your application from the temporary directory.

    When you're satisfied that the installer is doing everything you want, then simply add a check mark back to the Distribute online field on the Build panel. Click on the Build button and JExpress will upload everything for you.