I am almost done with a small (under 8kb) utility that checks a special web page for product updates. It downloads a formatted text file from a web site (configurable), like this one:
EDGEUPDATE VERSION TRACKER rev. 2
!latest "Crystal Edit" 100 http://somepage.cjb.net/
!latest "Other Product" 24 http://otherpage.cjb.net/
If it doesn't begin with a !, its a comment.
Blah blah blah.
!latest "Other Product 2" 19 http://thirdpage.cjb.net/
I would upload this .txt file to any web host (lets say http://io.spaceports.net/~edge/database.txt). Now I call EdgeUpdate as follows:
EdgeUpdate http://io.spaceports.net/~edge/database.txt "Crystal Edit" 98
So EdgeUpdate downloads and scans the text file, and sees that the latest version of Crystal Edit is version 100. The command line said that the user's version was only 98, so a dialog box pops up and asks, "There is a new version of Crystal Edit available. Would you like more information?". If the user clicks yes, a new internet window opens to http://somepage.cjb.net/. If the user clicks no, nothing happens.
I am working on adding automatic patch downloading before I release this program.
Note that this program does not pop up a dialer window - if there is no existing internet connection, it returns silently without annoying the user.