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Registering Your Components on NT 4 with ASP

by Jason Withrow

How many times has it been a complete pain to try to register your .DLL's on a remote server? For me it was just about an everyday issue. This article will explore how to register your DLL's on NT 4*, using ASP.

* NOTE: This code has been tested and verified on NT4; it has proven to be unreliable on the Windows2000 Servers I tested it on. I am pretty confident that if you play around with the Permission settings in Win2K, you will be able to have it working there as well, but for now, I am focusing on NT4.

OK, let's begin. There are a few things you will need before we start.

  1. The physical path to Regsvr32.exe on the remote computer (usually in \WINNT\System32 OR \WINNT\System32\inetsrv)
  2. Everyone Permissions for Execute on Regsvr32.exe (Default Setting)

Now we can begin.

Fire up your ASP Editor of Choice, create a new .ASP File and name it regsvr32.asp.

The interface I came up with, is to let the developer enter a directory path (C:\inetpub\wwwRoot\DLLs) of their choice, and then iterate thru all the files in that folder and it's subfolders building a list box of all DLL's found.

Regsvr32.asp Screen Capture

Let's start at the top and work our way down.

We need to set up our Form Post variables and increase the Script Timeout since it may take a while if you specify a directory that has many Folder to traverse (like say C:)

<% Response.Buffer = True %>
<% Server.ScriptTimeout = 500 
    Dim frmFolderPath, frmFilePath
    frmFolderPath = Request.Form("frmFolderPath")
    frmFilePath = Request.Form("frmDllPath")
    frmMethod = Request.Form("frmMethod")
    btnREG = Request.Form("btnREG")

We can now setup our Form. We will need a textbox to hold the directory path of the parent folder to start the search. This can be any valid directory. Since I am assuming you already know HTML and it is not in the scope of this article, I am just going to give you all the HTML and asp that makes up our page and then start up with building the functions.

<!-- Basic HTML Elements -->
    .Legend {FONT-FAMILY: veranda; FONT-SIZE: 14px;
        FONT-WEIGHT: bold; COLOR: blue}
    .FS {FONT-FAMILY: veranda; FONT-SIZE: 12px; BORDER-WIDTH: 4px;
    <LEGEND CLASS=Legend>Regsvr Functions</LEGEND>
    Insert Path to DLL Directory<BR>
    <INPUT TYPE=TEXT NAME="frmFolderPath" VALUE="<%=frmFolderPath%>">
    <INPUT TYPE=SUBMIT NAME=btnFileList VALUE="Build File List">
    IF Request.Form("btnFileList") <> "" OR btnREG <> "" Then
        Set RegisterFiles = New clsRegister
        RegisterFiles.EchoB("<B>Select File</B>")
        Call RegisterFiles.init(frmFolderPath)
        RegisterFiles.EchoB("<BR><INPUT TYPE=SUBMIT NAME=btnREG " _
             & "VALUE=" & Chr(34) & "REG/UNREG" & Chr(34) & ">")
        IF Request.Form("btnREG") <> "" Then
            Call RegisterFiles.Register(frmFilePath, frmMethod)
        End IF
        Set RegisterFiles = Nothing
    End IF

Now let's start coding!

I like to use properties to share methods across functions, so lets define a Class container to allow us the use of properties and set up a property to hold an FSO object.

Class clsRegister
    Private m_oFS
    Public Property Let oFS(objOFS)
        m_oFS = objOFS
    End Property
    Public Property Get oFS()
        Set oFS = Server.CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    End Property

I like to start with some Subs / Functions that make life a bit easier.

Writing out Response.Writes is a lot of extra typing, so I first create 2 Functions that automate the process a bit. The 1st just wraps a Response.Write and adds a Line Feed to the string, the 2nd does the same but also adds a <BR> tag.

Function Echo(str)
    Echo = Response.Write(str & vbCrLf)
End Function
Function EchoB(str)
    EchoB = Response.Write(str & "<BR>" & vbCrLf)
End Function

Destroying objects wastes a lot of coding as well, so let's automate that a bit too.

Sub Cleanup(obj)
    If isObject(obj) Then
        Set obj = Nothing
    End IF
End Sub

A quick Subroutine to build the radio buttons on the form so the developer can choose which method they would like to run (REG / UNREG)

Sub BuildOptions
  EchoB("unRegister: <INPUT TYPE=RADIO NAME=frmMethod VALUE=UNREG>")
End Sub

Next, we need a method to iterate the Folders of the path that will be passed in by our form text box. We will write a new subroutine that will set a reference to the parent Folder (The path passed in, and then it will call another subroutine to iterate through all those folders and files searching for DLL's.

Sub init(strRoot) 'Root to Search (c:, d:, e:)
    Dim oDrive, oRootDir
    IF oFS.FolderExists(strRoot) Then
        IF Len(strRoot) < 3 Then 'Must Be a Drive
            Set oDrive = oFS.GetDrive(strRoot)
            Set oRootDir = oDrive.RootFolder
            Set oRootDir = oFS.GetFolder(strRoot)
        End IF
        EchoB("<B>Folder ( " & strRoot & " ) Not Found.")
        Exit Sub 'Not Found - Get out Now
    End IF
    setRoot = oRootDir
    Echo("<SELECT NAME=" & Chr(34) & "frmDllPath" & Chr(34) & ">")
    'Call the sub to Build a list box of all DLL's found
    Call getAllDlls(oRootDir)
BuildOptions 'Call Sub that builds the radio buttons
End Sub

Next we need the GetAllDlls sub that is called from init.

This sub recursively loops through the subfolders and files of the path passed in. It looks for DLL and OCX files and throws them into a list box when found.

Sub getAllDlls(oParentFolder)
    Dim oSubFolders, oFile, oFiles
        Set oSubFolders = oParentFolder.SubFolders
        Set opFiles = oParentFolder.Files
        For Each oFile in opFiles
            IF Right(lCase(oFile.Name), 4) = ".dll" _
            OR Right(lCase(oFile.Name), 4) = ".ocx" Then
                Echo("<OPTION VALUE=" & Chr(34) & oFile.Path _
                & Chr(34) & ">" & oFile.Name & "</Option>")
            End IF
        On Error Resume Next 'Skip Permission Denied Folders
        For Each oFolder In oSubFolders 'Iterate All Subfolders
            Set oFiles = oFolder.Files
            For Each oFile in oFiles
                IF Right(lCase(oFile.Name), 4) = ".dll" _
                OR Right(lCase(oFile.Name), 4) = ".ocx" Then
                    Echo("<OPTION VALUE=" & Chr(34) & oFile.Path _
                    & Chr(34) & ">" & oFile.Name & "</Option>")
                End IF
            'Recursive Call to get all SubFolders in the Subfolder
            Call getAllDlls(oFolder)
        On Error GoTo 0
    End Sub

Now for the routine you have all been waiting for (Drum roll)... The Register Routine to Register /unRegister DLL's.

Make sure that you provide the correct path to your regsvr32.exe file in this sub.

Sub Register(strFilePath, regMethod)
   Dim theFile, strFile, oShell, exitcode
      Set theFile = oFS.GetFile(strFilePath)
      strFile = theFile.Path
      Set oShell = CreateObject ("WScript.Shell")
      IF regMethod = "REG" Then
         oShell.Run "c:\WINNT\system32\regsvr32.exe /s " _
            & strFile, 0, False
         exitcode = oShell.Run("c:\WINNT\system32\regsvr32.exe /s " _
            & strFile, 0, False)
         EchoB("regsvr32.exe exitcode = " & exitcode)
         oShell.Run "c:\WINNT\system32\regsvr32.exe /u/s " _
            & strFile, 0, False
         exitcode = oShell.Run("c:\WINNT\system32\regsvr32.exe /u/s " _
            & strFile, 0, False)
         EchoB("regsvr32.exe exitcode = " & exitcode)
      End IF
      Cleanup oShell
   End Sub
NOTE: Regsvr32.exe returns an exitcode of 0, regardless of whether it failed or succeeded. Also, some dll's will require either a restart of IIS, or a complete reboot of the computer. In other words, you may want to verify that the register completed by manually trying to call it.

That is pretty much it, let's just cleanup our OFS Property when the Class terminates.

Sub Class_Terminate()
    Cleanup oFS
End Sub

While this code can save a lot of time and frustration, I cannot guarantee that it will work in your environment. If permissions have been reset for regsvr32.exe, then it obviously will fail.

Here is a screenshot of calling a .dll from asp before using these functions to register it and after.

Before Registering:

Before Registering using Regsvr32.asp

After Registering try3.dll using Regsvr32.asp

After Registering using Regsvr32.asp

Getting The Code

You can download a zip file of the code discussed in this article from here.

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