Generate a NetBeans Platform Installer with NetBeans IDE 6.9

If you've been looking through the last few development builds of the upcoming NetBeans IDE 6.9, this'll not be news to you:

Yes, you'll be able to use the IDE to generate the installers of your NetBeans Platform applications.

After making a selection in the above dialog, you'll right-click on the application's project node in the Projects window and then choose this menu item:

And then, after a few moments, you'll have a new installer ready to be distributed to your end users:

The installer is created on the same infrastructure as the installer used by NetBeans IDE, so you'll not be surprised at the result:

In the end, your users will have your application installed via this installer generated by NetBeans IDE.

The one remaining question I have is to what extent the installer can be customized—can the icon be changed, can the text be modified, can additional panels be added to the generated installer? Hoping to find out soon.

Comments:

That's a really nice feature !! I have been waiting for this for some months :-)

Posted by RunningTracker on March 05, 2010 at 03:38 AM PST #

This is great news! I have been fighting with izpack for many years and have wished netbeans had for about the same amount of time. It is nice to see that new things like this are being included, now if only we can get some public apis for other things, like the bugtrackers, so the community can add support for those other than jira or bugzilla. I have wanted trac integration since this feature first appeared, but, it seems the apis are not public.

Posted by adam on March 05, 2010 at 12:49 PM PST #

Hi Geertjan!

This is an absolute fantastic news. I followed the changes in source and wiki in the past. And I've been waiting for this for a long time.

seeU in weihenstephan, next week :-)

br, josh.

Posted by Aljoscha Rittner on March 05, 2010 at 08:22 PM PST #

Am I correct, that this will create a wizard based installer, similar to the one netbeans comes with?
While this seems acceptable for windows users (they don't know better), it is not the way things are done on Linux. Linux has got a package management system and bypassing this should always be the last option for installing any programs.

Posted by lumnis on March 06, 2010 at 11:39 PM PST #

Can this feature enable in stand alone swing project not just in NB Platform Application ? :D

Posted by Martinus Ady H on March 07, 2010 at 11:15 PM PST #

Is this a port of the openinstaller project?

Posted by jack on March 10, 2010 at 02:53 AM PST #

So, I no longer need the Open Installer Generate Suite Installer plug-in?
cool!!

one question:

When I distribute the installer, do I need the zip it generates, or just the executable. I mean, the Windows executable is self-contained, I guess, and the zip is just a Zip like NetBeans' zip I download to update.

And, talking of other subject (in Spanish you'd say <spanish>"hablando como los locos"</spanish>, literally "talking like crazy people" when you want to change to a unrelated subject in the very moment, but I know not a slang for that in English) Do you have plans to train on the NetBeans Platform here in Argentina?
Sorry if this is not the place to ask for.

Thanks for showing me the path. It is now my task to go through it.

Posted by Alied Pérez Martínez on March 16, 2010 at 03:12 AM PDT #

Is this the build-launchers target in suite.xml?

Posted by Javier Ortiz on March 16, 2010 at 04:55 AM PDT #

> Can this feature enable in stand alone swing project not just in NB Platform Application ?

Not yet, probably in next NB release. Or on 6.9 Beta UC one day... who knows:)

>Is this a port of the openinstaller project?

No it is not related to openInstaller. It is built based on NBI, the installer framework used for NetBeans IDE (http://wiki.netbeans.org/NBI).

> When I distribute the installer, do I need the zip it generates, or just the executable.

Yes, you need just the executable to distribute the installer.

> I mean, the Windows executable is self-contained, I guess, and the zip is just a Zip like NetBeans' zip I download to update.

Right.

> Is this the build-launchers target in suite.xml?

No. Unfortunately it can't be built now from command-line in a straightforward way - and there is no target in suite.xml for that.

Posted by Dmitry Lipin on March 28, 2010 at 06:14 AM PDT #

Cool thing.... Now NetBeans platform developers feel home !!

Posted by Vadiraj on April 14, 2010 at 02:17 PM PDT #

How about Free BSD and PC BSD for generating ports and PBIs. That would be cool. And plus Free BSD is a lot more popular than Solaris!

Posted by Benjamin Klass on April 16, 2010 at 08:27 PM PDT #

> How about Free BSD and PC BSD for generating ports and PBIs.

That would be interesting :) Please file an enhancement
https://netbeans.org/bugzilla/enter_bug.cgi?product=installer&component=code

Patches or additional info about how to generate "port" is welcome :)

Posted by guest on May 28, 2010 at 07:39 AM PDT #

for web applications are you able to create installers also and can you be able add external files in the installer?

Posted by Victor Hokonya on July 01, 2010 at 06:10 PM PDT #

I am using NetBeans 6.9. Here i am able to create installer of some netbeans module applications i.e i want to mean
File->NewProjects->NetBeansModule->PaintApplication-> Here i can see in Project Window 1)Paint module 2) Paint Application.
When i right click on Paint Application one option is there that is Build Installer.

But this process is not suit for any other application which i have developed earlier except those are form NetBeans Modules.
Please help me. I am in a serious problem.

Posted by Partha Pratim Baral on July 01, 2010 at 09:22 PM PDT #

Read the blog entry again. It is specifically about NetBeans Platform applications. Not any other applications. If you want to find out about installers for other applications, you're in the wrong place. From now onwards, questions that do not relate to this blog entry (i.e., this blog entry is about installers for NetBeans Platform aplications) will be ignored and the person who asked the question will be blacklisted so that you will not be able to leave comments in this blog ever again.

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on July 01, 2010 at 09:35 PM PDT #

Hi Geertjan,

I'm using Netbeans 6.9 to create an application with the Maven Netbeans Platform Application Archetype but this option doesn't appear to be available. Can it only be used with Ant based projects? If so then is it going to be possible for me to run it using Maven Ant Run or something else?

Many Thanks,

Ewan

Posted by Ewan Heming on July 05, 2010 at 07:46 PM PDT #

Their is an experimental Maven version for the suite installer in the hg repository.

br, josh.

Posted by Aljoscha Rittner on July 05, 2010 at 08:23 PM PDT #

In fact, after looking into this further I can see that the final release doesn't have this feature for Ant projects either. There's just Ant targets to build either a zip, jnlp or mac distribution. Do you know why the Linux, Solaris and Windows installers were pulled in the end?

Posted by Ewan Heming on July 05, 2010 at 10:54 PM PDT #

Don't understand your question. Installer support is fine. For Maven, "NetBeans Plugin Development" should be installed and activated. Please make sure org.netbeans.apisupport.installer.maven is listed among started modules in messages.log.

Posted by Geertjan on July 05, 2010 at 10:58 PM PDT #

Thanks for that. The module wasn't activated. Do you mind answering these types of newbe questions or is there a forum that would be more suitable?

I've been using Netbeans IDE for 6 years but It's taken me some time to get into RCP because of the high learning curve. It seems like a great platform that has some elegant solutions to the long standing problems that usually make me cringe whenever I think about UI development. The Lookup pattern is particularly useful but taken me some time to get my head around.

Posted by Ewan Heming on July 06, 2010 at 02:08 AM PDT #

Yes, the forum is MUCH better. dev AT platform DOT netbeans DOT org. Thanks.

Posted by Geertjan on July 06, 2010 at 02:12 AM PDT #

Geertjan, This is great, but there is something I am having trouble with. When I run the installer for my NB RCP app on a client machine, the Install To folder name defaults to the app.name=value, that is entered in the Branding Name in the Project Properties.

The problem is, I can't format this field. For example my app is called "My App", but the Branding Name field does not allow for upper case letters or spaces. So my app installs to "C:\\Program Files\\my_app" but I want to install to "C:\\Program Files\\My App"

My RCP app uses the file path to find files located in the "C:\\Program Files\\My App" folder, so when I install on the client machine my app does not work.

I am probably just missing something? Is there a way I can specify a Install To folder like "C:\\Program Files\\My App"

Thanks. Netbeans is awesome!!!
Tom

Posted by Tom on July 27, 2010 at 02:28 PM PDT #

this is very handy, but couldn't the setup be crossplatform? So that I distribute a single jar?

Posted by Gabriele on August 07, 2010 at 04:37 AM PDT #

"No. Unfortunately it can't be built now from command-line in a straightforward way - and there is no target in suite.xml for that."

Are there any near term plans to expose that function as an ant target? If not, is the not-so-straightforward way documented anywhere?
Dan

Posted by Dan on August 17, 2010 at 04:52 AM PDT #

Respected sir,
I created desktop application using netbeans platform application 6.9.1(having some modules). I created installer of it using Build Installers option in netbeans. All things are fine.When i do the setup using this installer it creates many folders in the specified location. Many of these folder contains jar files of the application modules and platform jar files. My question is any one can decompile the jar and see the code. so how to prevent it? Is there any option in Netbeans Platform application or is there any setting so that we can stop this or we can do something so that we can create the exe like Visual studio. As in visual studio we create setup but there is no source file. I want something like that. Is it possible? Please Help.
Thanks in Advance.
Regards,
dev_prob

Posted by dev_prob on January 04, 2011 at 08:07 PM PST #

Go here to ask your questions: dev@platform.netbeans.org

Posted by Geertjan Wielenga on January 04, 2011 at 08:08 PM PST #

Geertjan , to what extent the installer can be customized ? My requirement is to copy certain files from pre determined folders to target folders during netbeans installation - how do i do that?

Thanks
Karthik

Posted by karthik on February 28, 2011 at 08:48 PM PST #

i am working on netbeans platform application. Firstly i used build installer option and created a setup file for windows now for second time i did some changes in some modules and again created the installer for windows but when i use to run it,it shows me error that "the setup cant be installed because c:/program files already contains terminal folder" "terminal' is my project's name is there any method to upgrade the pervious setup or i have to uninstall the pervious one and install it again........

Posted by arya on May 08, 2011 at 08:58 PM PDT #

What about the uninstaller?
I created a Netbeans module suite application and I created the installer.
When I try to use the uninstaller, the uninstaller starts but when I click the "Uninstall" button nothing happens.
What can I do?
I'm working on windows XP.

Thank you for you help

Fabio

Posted by Fabio on February 08, 2012 at 01:12 PM PST #

i m not able to see the build installer option on my 6.9 IDE.. What to do sir.....??

Posted by Ankur on March 07, 2012 at 10:12 PM PST #

Stop using 6.9 and use 7.1. Anyway, right-click the application and you'll see a menu item for generating installers.

Posted by Geertjan on March 07, 2012 at 11:54 PM PST #

Hi! :)

I already knew that Netbeans IDE has the capability to generate Netbeans Platform installers. However, I don't know how to change the LAF of the installer. I tried to find any instructions on how to do it but so far, there are no available resources that discusses my dilemma. I want to know if it's possible to use Netbeans IDE to generate an installer that uses Metal Look & Feel, and even allow customized themes. If it's not capable then what are the alternatives?

:)

Posted by naselay88 on October 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM PDT #

Hi Geertjan,

I dont see installer category in the project properties.

How to I enable it?

Thanks
Ajai

Posted by Ajai on March 14, 2013 at 12:07 AM PDT #

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About

Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.

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