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Can the Java browser plugin also run a jar file as a standalong app?

Ralph Caraveo

Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 2
Please this question is special. I have a good amount of programming experience with the Java platform but I am by no means a guru.

We are dealing with a company that 'claims' that their standalone java application in the form of .jar file can be run on ANY computer.

His argument is that you can pretty much garauntee that all computers will run this application as a standalone app by using the browsers Java plugin. Now I know most all browsers come with the Java plugin to run as an applet.

But his claims are for running this not in a browser but as a standalone executable if you will.

In all my years of programming Java I have always known that if you run desktop applications you need to have at least the Java Runtime Environment.

I realize I could be wrong but his solution is not special by any means. He's not even going to compile an .exe wrapper around these files that he delivers to us...he's just going to be giving us JAR files.

Is this method possible? Is it recommened for mass distribution with end users with very limited skills?

I'm just looking for answers if anybody could help!

Thank you!

Ralph Caraveo
Layne Lund
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 06, 2001
Posts: 3061
As far as I know, the plug-in that runs in the browser cannot run a stand-alone JAR. However, this doesn't completely invalidate the company's claims because I think there is a misuse of terminology here. The Java Runtime Environment CAN run a stand-alone JAR without creating a exe wrapper around it. I have used such a means for distribution before. As long as the end-user (you, I presume?) also installs the JRE, the stand-alone JAR can run just fine.

I hope this answers your questions.


p.s. In the early days of Java, the Runtime Environment was built into many Web browsers. However, since the browsers quickly fell behind in supporting the most up-to-date features, Sun decided to create a separate JRE download from their site. This download includes a "plug-in" that allows any web browser to run Java applets. I'm not completely sure about the current distribution situation other than that the JRE is still a separate piece of software. As far as I know, most modern browsers DON'T come with a Java Runtime Environment. You typically have to download it separately.

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Ralph Caraveo

Joined: Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 2
Hi Layne,

These are my feelings as well. Here is a case example of how this company 'claims' their solution will work.

A CD-ROM will be distributed with an .exe program that will run as a brochure. Fine. Then this program will call a java based JAR file when it runs and the JAR file will run in the background (no gui). What will be distributed on this CD-ROM? Just 1 executable brochure...written in a different laungage....and 1 JAR file without any additional software such as the JRE installer, not even the Plugin.

I don't feel competely safe about this banking and hoping that every end users computer will be able to run this JAR file just because they might have the Java browser plugin (which is designed to run applets).

Still if anybody can shed more light on this situation please do so. I'm still looking for answers and I'm not entirely clear yet.

-Ralph Caraveo
I agree. Here's the link:
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