Using the Launch Application action to run third party Windows applications

    Description

    The Launch application action can run any locally installed application and pass in predefined parameters. For example, your experience can call Windows Media Player and have it play a specific audio file whenever a particular button is pressed.

    NOTE:

    • The Launch application action is only available in Composer and Player for Windows.
    • By using the transparent background feature, you could make your third party application appear to be integrated in your IntuiFace experience. Use of a transparent background would also make it easier to come back from the third party application to your IntuiFace experience.

    Launch a third party application

    In the Actions panel, in the "ACTION target" column, expand the "Scene Structure" section. Then 1) select the experience itself, 2) select Overall experience in the "ACTION category" column and, finally, 3) click Launch application in the "ACTION" column.

    The Launch Application action has two parameters:

    1. Application: Enter the full path and file name of the executable you wish to run. You can either type it in manually or browse to the executable by clicking the Folder button to the right of this field.
    2. Parameters: Enter the various parameter values. Values are separated by spaces. If any value contains a space then it must be listed in quotes.

    The following illustrates how to run the application myApp.exe with an image passed in as a parameter:

    Application: C:\Program Files\MyApp\myApp.exe
    Parameters: "C:\User\FirstName LastName\My picture.png"
    

    This next example illustrates how to launch the Windows virtual keyboard:

    Application: C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ink\tabtip.exe
    Parameters: [blank]
    

    The following example illustrates how to open Google Chrome with command line arguments such as position and size on the screen.

    Application: C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
    Parameters: --chrome-frame --window-size=800,600 --window-position=580,240 --app="http://www.google.com/"
    

    NOTE:

    The Application parameter does not recognize system variables. However, a full path is not required for any application located in the folder C:\Windows\System32.

    Close an opened third party application

    Once you have opened a third party application, you can close it using another call to the Launch application action using the DOS command taskkill. For example, taskkill /im YourExeName will force the app YourExeName to quit.

    Note: Use of taskkill is a brute force method for exiting an application. Use it with caution. For more information about taskkill, see this Microsoft article.

    Continuing the earlier example about the Windows virtual keyboard (tabtip.exe), the following will close it:

    taskkill.jpg

    You can also wrap this command in a batch file (.bat) and launch the bat file itself. Some tools on the Web enable you to run batch files in silence - i.e. without showing the DOS prompt window.