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Creating Packages That Install or Update MTS Components on a Client

When a client calls an MTS component, it is likely that the component will be running on another machine on the network. However, the client must maintain certain information about the component locally. For example, the name of the computer where MTS and the component are running is stored in the local Registry. That way, when a call is made to the component, the COM services know to forward the call to the appropriate server.

An example of information stored locally, which is more relevant to the developer, is the Components type library. As explained in previous chapters, the type library contains details about the properties, methods, and events exposed by the component’s interface. All the benefits associated with the type library in local components also apply to an MTS component. If a component is registered as a remote MTS component, for example, the VB developer can still take advantage of syntax checking, auto-list members, and other features in VB related to early binding. Also, having the type library local makes information about the methods, properties, and events of component running on an MTS machine readily available. Tools designed for viewing type library information, such as the Object Browser in Visual Basic, work in the same manner for MTS objects as they do for local objects.

The developer who wants to make calls to the MTS object is faced with the problem of bringing all the previously described components to the local developer machine. Luckily, MTS provides a simple way to configure the client computer whenever an MTS package is exported. You will recall from the preceding chapter that exporting a package is a simple process performed from the MTS Explorer. In addition to exporting a PAK file that can be imported into another MTS machine, the Package Export Wizard also creates a package to automate the configuration of clients. The client package is a single executable program that does the following:

  • It adds all appropriate and necessary settings related to the component’s class information to the client’s Registry.

  • The type library for each component in the package is copied to a local directory.

  • If the MTS computer is a not the same as the client, all the necessary Registry information to call the components remotely will be added.

The steps to create the client package are exactly the same as those to export an MTS package.

16.1 Creating a Client Package

  1. From the MTS Explorer, double-click the computer that contains the package for which you want to create a client package.

  2. Click on the MTS package.

  3. From the Action menu, choose Export. Again, you can right-click on the package while it is selected and then select Export if you want to. Either way will bring you to the Export Package dialog box shown in Figure 16.1.

    Export wizard used to export an MTS package will also build a client installation package.
    FIGURE 16.1 The Export wizard used to export an MTS package will also build a client installation package.

  4. Type in or browse to the destination path where you want the package file to be copied.

  5. With the desired path in the text box, click the Export button. If there are no errors, the wizard will display a message box indicating that the export was successful.

  6. Click OK

After these steps are complete, the client package is ready to go. If you want to verify the work that was done, all you have to do is locate the PAK file that was exported from the Windows Explorer. The client package will be found in a subdirectory called Clients, which will be adjacent to the PAK file.


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