Self Extracting Setup


TPIM 7  Technical Details

Version 7 - This is a rebuild of version 6 with all system registry dependencies removed. Due to many institutions implementing mandatory profiles on their networks or restricted profiles of some sort or another many problems were related the software not being able to save its settings or registration information in the users registry hive. In the case of mandatory profiles the settings could be saved but would be lost when the user logged off. Although this is not the fault of this software, especially since Microsoft recommend the use of system registry it did mean that in these circumstances a network manager had to be involved in the installation and deployment of this product.


The removal of these registry dependencies has effectively made the software virtually self contained and installable by a normal user on the local computer, a network share or a removable drive such as a USB flash drive. All settings are now saved in files located in various locations depending on the installation type.


Default Installation:

By default the installation is set to install this product in "c:\Program Files\TPIM" unless you select a different folder. If the installation is a local drive folder then the program, its help file, ocx files and dll files will all be installed here. If you have problems with default installation under Vista or Win 7 then it is best to install the product in a different folder such as "c:\TPIM" because these operating systems can protect the creation of files in the program files folder.


The setup program will also create an Application Data folder to store all files that are related software but may need to be opened edited and closed e.g. your database. backups and template files. The default for this data folder is "c:\Documents & Settings\<your profile>\Application Data\TPIM

The data folder can be accessed from the TPIM folder button or the created start menu shortcut.


All settings related to the software usage (except the user menu settings) are either located in your database or the TPIM.ini file which can be found in your My Documents folder. You can however move this to the application folder or the Application Data folder if you prefer. The user menu settings are stored in a file called TPIM_menu.dat which should be found in the same location as the TPIM.ini file.


When you register the product a file called TPIM.lic should be created and saved in your Application Data folder. This file will contain your registration details.


If you install the Beta version on a local drive that already has a TPIM version 6 installed it is best to install it in a different folder for testing purposes. The setup program should detect your current installation and attempt to transfer the majority of your registry settings to the new TPIM.ini file. This installation should not effect your current installation assuming you don't overwrite the current installation.


Network Share Installation:

If you choose to install the Beta version on a network shared drive then all the files except your TPIM.ini file and the TPIM_menu.dat file will be installed to the network share folder you select. A templates sub folder will be created to store the template files. The TPIM.ini and TPIM_menu.dat file will be created in your My Documents folder and store all your settings for the use of this software.

If the computer you are using to install the software on the network share already has a version of TPIM installed then the setup program should detect your current installation and attempt to transfer the majority of your registry settings to the new TPIM.ini file. (user menu settings are not transferred) You may find that you need to re-enter your registration details when you run the software from the network share however.

This is because the registration information is drive specific.


When you run the software from the network share the TPIM Application Data folder will be created on the computer you are using if it doesn't already exist. You can register the software from each computer you log on to and the license file will be saved in your TPIM Application Data on that machine. If you have a site license for the software you can place the TPIM.lic file in the network share folder that the application is installed in and all users will be able to run the software as registered users.

By default any databases you create are created in the TPIM Data folder on the machine you are currently using. You want to change the location of your default database so that it is accessible from any machine that you are using or use the network synching facility built in to TPIM to create a master database on the network.


Removable Drive Installation:

When you select an installation location that is on a removable drive (e.g. a USB Pen drive) the setup program should detect this and install ALL files and folders to this removable drive location. No files or folders should be installed or created on the local drive of the computer you are using.

If you do this using a computer that already has TPIM installed and registered locally you should find that the majority of the current TPIM settings are transferred to the TPIM.ini file that resides in the installation folder. Although this can be beneficial it also means that when you first run the software from this new location the registration information will be incorrect and and will need to be re-entered because the registration information is drive specific, plus your default database (if you had one) will be loaded automatically from the local computer. You will need to copy your database to the removable drive location and reset the settings in TPIM for the location of the default database.


One of the most difficult problems to overcome when using TPIM from a removable drive was the dynamic path allocation to the drive when connected to different computers. TPIM now saves all its external file paths including the location of the default database, relative to the location of the application or the database itself. In this way TPIM can still find file links that are also stored on the removable drive even when a different drive letter is allocated to the removable media.


When you install this product to removable media, no shortcuts are created on the desktop or the start menu for obvious reasons.


A Word of Warning: if you intend to use TPIM from a removable drive on a regular basis (as I do!) you should be aware that there is more risk of corrupting your database and as such you should make regular backups to another drive other than you one you are running TPIM from. By default your backup folder will be set to the same removable drive since this is also your TPIM data folder. Also please be aware of the potential for your data to end up in the wrong hands and password protect your database.


OCX files:

TPIM requires the use of 2 ocx files in order to operate correctly. OCX files are like DLL files and need to be registered with the operating system. Normally these are stored in the windows system directory and registered during the setup process. In order to make TPIM usable from any location the ocx files are now kept with the program  executable and when the program is started it first checks the system that it is running on to see if the same files are already located in the system directory, if they are it registers them from the system directory but if they are not it registers them from its install directory. In this way TPIM will not break any other applications that use the same ocx files and require them to be registered from the system directory.

It does appear that some systems (Win 7 and network restricted systems) do not allow these OCX files to be registered from an external drive. In Version 7.0.04 onwards, manifest files were added to the installation package in order to use Microsoft Side-by-side assembly technology. this technology allows the OCX files to be used without having to register them will the operating system. So far all test on XP, Win 7 and Win 8 machines have shown this to be an effective method for the use of these controls without registering them, if you find that the controls do not get registered then the only option is to install the software locally prior to using the software on removalable media. 




 TPIM is a visual basic 6 application and as such can never truly be a Standalone application,  all VB6 applications require the vb6 runtime files to be installed and this application also requires the DAO 3.6 installation files HOWEVER both the vb6 runtime files and the DAO 3.6 files are normally installed by default with the windows operating system and as such this is about as close to a self contained version as I can get. You could if you wished just carry the installation for these required files around on the same removable media just in case you came across a machine that wasn't able to run the software.