10 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2014 8:45 AM by ssdev

    Creating runtime install for OS X


      I have developed a commercial runtime solution for Windows using FM Pro Advanced 13 that has been successfully deployed. I would now like to deploy on OS X as well. I have created the runtime on a MacBook which works fine but, having no experience as a Mac developer (or even a user), was hoping I could get some tips on the steps needed to create a package ready for download and installation. In the Windows environment, it was as easy as running Inno Setup on the app to create a setup exe. Is there a comparable process for the Mac or is it more complcated than that? I greatly appreciate any feedback.

        • 1. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X
          Stephen Huston

          It depends on what you want your Mac installer to do with the software and whether or not you have the installer application move the files, create dock aliases, etc., or whether you will rely on Mac users to know how to copy files from your installation source to the Applications directory (or wherever). I like to trust my Mac users to do most of the placement, though, with Windows, I want the installer to do it because I find most Windows users don't seem used to managing their own file structures, and they need tech support for many file management tasks which Mac users do without help. (I don't like to create tech support for myself by over-estimating user's skills.)


          So, for Mac, I generally use Disk Utility (go to Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility.app) to create a new blank Disk Image (on my Desktop) of sufficient size to hold the entire solution directory. This gives you a {myDisk}.dmg file you can rename, and into which you then copy the solution directory. I add a read me file telling the user to copy the directory to their applications folder, and then to open it there and launch the application. You can also put those simple instructions, along with how to get it into the Dick on the download webpage.


          As a final step, I zip the completed .dmg file, rename the zipped-archive to something web-safe and clear (ABC_installation.zip), and it's ready to upload for download.


          There are several utilities out there which will do more for you -- moving the files, run installer-like interface, create a Dock icon, etc., but it's been a while since I have needed that level of interface on for Mac. If you go to the Mac App Store and search on the keyword "installer" you will find both free and cheap items which can easily setup basic installers for Mac (i.e. "App2Dmg" and "ProductBuilder").

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          • 2. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X
            Stephen Huston

            And be sure to include the Minimum System Requirements with your download page. The FM Runtime requirements are basically the same as the FMPA13 sysReqs.


            It's always good to be sure users know system requirements. There are a LOT of old Macs still running out there. (One of my clients is still on OSX 10.5 and running an old FM5 runtime that he's had for ages because it does all he wants.)


            The App Store can often tell if the connected Mac will run an app, but with a private website download, warning before the download can save a lot of bother (tech support) after the download.

            • 3. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X

              The Apple XCode suite includes PackageMaker - this will make an OS X installer. There are a lot of options available for setting the minimum OS level, where things can be installed, pre and post actions. Its pretty easy to use and free.

              • 4. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X

                We actually use a FileMaker Runtime to install both FileMaker Pro, plugins, our product and any additional pieces.  We use Troi File to do the external file work.  It could easily be used for a runtime install as well.

                Kind of ironic . . . a FileMaker runtime installing a FileMaker runtime.


                We make whatever it is into a dmg as discussed above.

                • 5. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X

                  I second David Zakary's comment, PackageMaker is free and it works well. It's also the most familiar installation environment for most Mac users. Keep in mind that for some users on newer OS, when they try to downlaod and install Mac programs not available via the App store, they may need to change the "Security and Privacy" settings to allow apps to be downloaded from "Anywhere".

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                  • 6. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X

                    Thanks to all for your quick responses. They have really helped put me on the right track. Lastly, could someone direct me to the best place to download PackageMaker?

                    • 7. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X

                      You may need to sign up for a free developer account at Apple to get it. Or try the Mac App Store (try there first). If not, Apple.com and the developer section.

                      • 8. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X

                        When you download it take notice that there is more than one version. Mainly, pre/post Maverick.

                        • 9. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X

                          Great. Thanks, David.

                          • 10. Re: Creating runtime install for OS X

                            Will do, usbc. Thanks for the tip.