MBox v1.0


Batch files hold the computing world together. They are often the tool of choice when automating routine tasks. Most of the time these batch files work quietly in the background, often out of sight of our end users; but sometimes we create files that may need to interact with their users. Recently while creating such a file it occurred to me that instead of a simple text based interface I could use the Windows API to facilitate user interaction. MBox was the result, it displays a Windows(tm) message box in accordance with command-line input and returns an error code based on which button user pushes. Hopefully others will find it as useful as I have when creating batch files in a Windows-based environment.

mbox.exe Button_Type Message_Text [Title_Bar_Text] [Icon]
The Button_Type and Message_Text fields are required, the Title_Bar_Text and Icon are optional but if both are specified the Title_Bar_Text must be first. As you might expect any text field with spaces must be surrounded with double quotes.

Button Types:
   Button_Type   Resulting Buttons
        OK            OK
        OKCAN         OK Cancel
        YN            Yes No
        YNC           Yes No Cancel
        RC            Retry Cancel
        ARI           Abort Retry Ignore

   Icon    Description     Sample
   WARN    Warning          Warn
   INFO    Information      Warn
   QUEST   Question         Warn
   STOP    Stop             Warn

Return Codes:
The following error codes are used to indicate which button the user selected. A return code of zero indicates that the program was unable to create the message box.
   Return Code       Button Pushed
        1                  OK
        2                  Cancel
        3                  Abort
        4                  Retry
        5                  Ignore
        6                  Yes
        7                  No 

mbox.exe OKCAN "Continue with install?" "MyApp Installer" QUEST
mbox.exe RC "Files not updated." "Update Script" STOP
mbox.exe YESNO "Reboot System?" MyApp
mbox.exe OK "Go Vikings!"

Your batch file might look something like this:
@echo off
mbox.exe OKCAN "Continue with install?" QUEST
if %errorlevel% == 1 goto continue
if %errorlevel% == 2 goto end
echo Unexpected return value, abort.
goto end
echo Install commands go here.

Downloading: MBox is Freeware, see legal Mumbo-Jumbo below for details.
Source code is also available, just remember where it came from. :-)
MBox 1.0 (mbox.exe - 33,280 bytes)
MBox Source Code (in Visual C++ version 5.0)

Programming Notes:
Anyone familiar with Windows programming will quickly realize that the Windows MessageBox API code is doing most of the work here. But then again its a computer, its suppose to be doing the hard work for us...

Legal Mumbo-Jumbo:
Feel free to download, use, and distribute this software as you wish so long as the readme.txt document is included, both are unchanged, and no fee is charged. This software has been tested, but I am not responsible for anything that occurs to your computer.
Use at your own risk, yada, yada, yada.

Last Updated 5/1/1999 - anthony - ant@anderbergfamily.net