Emailing: HFAform_20091022.doc

Downloadable installer is a .exe. I build the .jar then convert it to a .exe using launch4j.

Ok, sorry, I must not have noticed. This makes me even more eager to look at your work and combine it with what we plan for the Public Health Information Toolkit overall. I am now diverting this discussion to both the OXD and DHIS 2 mailing list.



On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 10:45 AM, Ronald Kayondo wrote:

On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 8:39 AM, Ronald Kayondo wrote:


Sorry for the time lag, been having internet problem.

Now about IzPack:

It is a cross platform installer which builds all components in a single jar file.Though my my case it only runs on windows since i bundled it with a the windows mysl version.

Here is the link to the documentation:

The strongest feature is that it is Java based so it is easy to port your own classes into the installer.To validate data, validate JDBC Connections and control version updates.

Another feature is varible substitution.So it is easy to edit to set variables or configuration paramaters on the dynamically.

IzPack is uses XML configuration files.It has a web installer version(Which I have not looked into and am not sure how it works).And a command line version.

To set up an Installtion script you use the an Install.xml file which defines panels required for the installer plus the packs(or files) and resources required.

User Input is supported through another XML file called an inputspec.xml. Input here is like writing html.

e.g for a textbox you could have ….This copies the bind the textbox contents into the username variable.

Shortcuts are defined in the shortcutspec.xml

If want to execute external scripts or classes then then those are defined in the processSpec.xml. All these scripts external processs are executed by the process panel.

All these XML files are referenced in the Intall.xml in the “resources” tag.

**One of the weaknesses IZpack has is updating.It has no auto updater.**So u have to write a separate installer script to handle updating. :frowning: The way I did it was to check if some files exist then execute a script to stop the the services, replace old files and finally start services.

To avoid confusion in case u look at the source files, all files that end with *.update.xml are for the update Installer and the rest for the Generic OXD Installer.

Regards Ronald.

On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 12:43 PM, Knut Staring wrote:


This looks promising. Of course, a quick explanation of key steps/features would be helpful. Ola reminded me that there is work ongoing by one of the PHIT partners (iHRIS) to create an installer that pulls the latest versions of the various components from their websites. I am not sure about the status of this or what tool they are using. Even so, if I can find the time, I will have a look at the IzPack scripts. One difference between our projects that I remarked upon is that you just place the hibernate properties file at the root of the openxdata webapp, whereas we set an environment variable to point to an external folder (which also holds other files like report designs and GIS resources). Both approaches probably have their merits.


On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 11:23 AM, Jørn Ivar Klungsøyr wrote:


The sourcecode of the installer is available at the following subversion URL:

There maybe connection problems at Makerere as I can’t see Ronald online today.

Ronald was working on a document describing what he had done, but atleast the source is on the above URL.

use guest as both username and password.

If you want to have write permissions to the openxdata repos then go to (:=

Best regards,


Jørn Klungsøyr -

Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway - Member of:

Mobile: +4791365731, Office: +4755588574, Skype/GoogleTalk: jornklung Alternative email:

Post: Postboks 7800, 5020 Bergen, Visit: Årstadveien 21, Bergen, Norway


From: Knut Staring []

Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 9:52 AM

To: Jørn Ivar Klungsøyr

Cc:; Ola Hodne Titlestad

Subject: Re: Emailing: HFAform_20091022.doc

Good morning Ronald,

As Jørn says, I am interested in building on your work with IzPack to create a similar installer for the DHIS system, and potentially for the whole Public Health Information Toolkit (, which we would like openXdata to be part of. Since these system all require Mysql, and also Tomcat (except for iHRIS), it is hopefully quite straightforward to adapt it to this wider use.

Of course, a crucial factor is to update the installer with the latest versions of the applications, and you seem to have a kind of packaging batch script to do that. Would you be willing to share this with us?

Best regards,

Knut Staring