Run only one instance of your application

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The question on how to make sure that your application is only started once by your users can be approached in several ways.

  1. Using mutexes
  2. Using FindWindow WinAPI

Using mutexes

Dalton Pulsipher says: "We use a MuteX object to do this. Just attach one to your program and on startup check if it already exists on the system. Here is the code if you want to go that route."

In the SRC file within the panel object put this piece of code:

Procedure Exit_Application
    integer iVoid
    If (ghMuteX) Move (CloseHandle(ghMutex)) to iVoid
    move 0 to ghMuteX
    Forward Send Exit_Application

And in a package that gets hit on startup:

// Constants
Define ERROR_INVALID_HANDLE        for 6    //  taken from error.h of VS7
Define ERROR_ALREADY_EXISTS        for 183

Handle ghMuteX

// external functions
#IFNDEF Get_CreateMuteX
    External_Function CreateMuteX "CreateMutexA" Kernel32.dll Integer i1 Integer i2 Integer i3 Returns Integer
#IFNDEF Get_CloseHandle
   External_Function CloseHandle "CloseHandle" Kernel32.dll Integer i1 Returns Integer

// function to create a mutex
Procedure Create_MuteX_Object
   Integer iVoid iErr
   String sID
   Move "Unique String For My Application" To sID
   Move (CreateMuteX(0,1,AddressOf(sID))) To ghMuteX
   If (ghMuteX <> ERROR_INVALID_HANDLE) Begin
       Move (GetLastError()) To iErr
       If (iErr = ERROR_ALREADY_EXISTS) Begin  // program is already 
                                               // running
           Move (CloseHandle(ghMuteX)) To iVoid
           Move 0 To ghMuteX
           // kill the application here if you do not want to allow 
           // multiple instances
       Else Send None  // program is not already running
   Else Send None  // rare error; object could not be created
End_Procedure  // Create_MuteX_Object

// create the mutex
Send Create_MuteX_Object

Using FindWindow WinAPI

Leslie Brennan says:

Usage in SRC:

 Use myPanel,pkg
 Object Main is a myPanel

Source myPanel.pkg

 // 05/24/2007 
 // Panel Class from Pieter van Dieren to check
 // to make sure program is only run one time.

 Use dfPanel.pkg

 Class myPanel is a Panel
    // DoCheckProgramActive
    // Checks if the program already is active.
    // If so, it activates the running application and closes this one.
      Procedure DoCheckProgramActive
        String sTitle
        Handle hWnd
        Integer iVoid

        Register_Object Main
        Get Label of Main to sTitle
        Move (FindWindow("",sTitle))  to hWnd
        If (hWnd) Begin
          Send Stop_Box (sTitle + " Already is Running and Can only be Started Once.") "Error:"
          Move (ShowWindow(hWnd,SW_MAXIMIZE)) to iVoid  // 9 =SW_RESTORE SW_NORMAL
          Move (SetForegroundWindow(hWnd)) to iVoid
      End_Procedure // DoCheckProgramActive

      // End_Construct_Object
      Procedure End_Construct_Object
        Send DoCheckProgramActive
        Forward Send End_Construct_Object
      End_Procedure // End_Construct_Object

The FindWindow technique is also discussed in the book Mastering Visual DataFlex from Starzen.