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Browse Prior Art Database

Enhanced Product Prerequisite Processing at Installation Time

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019156D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Sep-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Sep-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Proposed is a database, and an associated program, to allow software products to supersede other products when installed, even though they were created with no knowledge of the product(s) that they supersede. This is done by placing records in the database describing which products supersede which others.

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Enhanced Product Prerequisite Processing at Installation Time

Disclosed is a proposal for a database system which contains knowledge about installed products, to allow software products to supersede other products when installed, even though they were created with no knowledge of the product(s) that they supersede. This allows older products to supersede newer ones, a common situation when reduced-functionality version of products are released after the original version.

    Consider an example, where a vendor has shipped product X. Suppose a new product, Y, is then developed. Y is a 'light' version of X and the vendor hopes that customers who might not initially want X would buy Y instead and possibly upgrade to X later. It is required that X, when installed, should replace Y and uninstall it automatically, but when X was shipped, Y was not planned, and so X knows nothing about Y and cannot uninstall it.

    This invention proposes a program (henceforth called P) and a database that solve the problem posed by the example. The program would be shipped with all products and run in the initial stages of installation. In the example the program would be shipped with both X and Y. The program inspects and updates a database on the target system and changes the behaviour of the installation process that invoked it. In this way the installation behaviour of products that are already shipped can be later modified, providing those products have been designed to use the program and the database.

    There are four cases which would need to be covered in our example. Taking each of these in turn:
1. Neither X nor Y is installed. X's installation is then started. The program P inspects the database, finds nothing relevant and so X's installation proceeds as normal.
2. Neither X nor Y is installed. Y's installation is then started. The program P inspects the database, finds nothing relevant, inserts a record indicating that X replaces Y, and then Y's installation proceeds.
3. X is installed, but not Y. Y's installation is then started. The program P inspects the database, finds nothing an...