Software Updaters

I’ve been dabbling lately in the idea of putting out some tools for game developers since I’ve already traveled that road. One tool I was thinking about was an application updater – to auto-detect when new versions are available and allow the application to download and install the latest version. This is something that I created for EoS and it would be useful for other developers.

The first thing I needed to do, though, is see if there are already some good updaters out there on the internet – either for free/open-source or for sale. I quickly came up with a link to the Google Updater – which is open-source. That’s cool. Google usually makes some pretty good stuff and it’s free/open-source, so, I checked it out. It doesn’t make sense to re-invent the wheel, afterall.

After digging around, it looks like Google has only released the source-code to the client side of the updater. An updater needs both client-side and server-side code. You have to write your own server from scratch. Ugh. Seriously, Google? Why even bother open-sourcing the client side? It’s pretty useless without a server.

From the Google Updater page:

Omaha, otherwise known as Google Update, is a program to install requested software and keep it up to date. So far, Omaha supports many Google products for Windows, including Google Chrome and Google Earth, but there is no reason for it to only support Google products.

We know that keeping software updated is both important and hard, and so by open-sourcing this project, our hope is that perhaps we can help others solve this problem. So, if you’d like to get involved, or even use Omaha to support your own software projects, then just follow the instructions in the Getting Started guide below, and you’ll be good to go!

This needs a “by the way — we aren’t actually giving you the server-side, so you’ll have to write it yourself and that’ll probably take months of work, so we aren’t actually being that helpful”.

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