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Uniform approach for adding components to a system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019898D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Oct-08
Document File: 3 page(s) / 106K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a process and mechanism for installing software components that makes it easier to install software components as part of an overall software solution. Software components are packaged into "installable units", which contain the "artifacts" (e.g. code) to be installed, together with an install descriptor containing the information needed to install it. An installer installs "installable units" into a target hosting environment, such as a Linux* or Windows** operating system. The key part of the technique is the application of this design pattern at different levels of the software stack For example, the installer installs a J2EE application into a J2EE application server, rather than into the operating system. To support this, the install descriptor describes the artifact to be installed and its install dependencies in a generic way, so that the installer can handle new types of installable unit and new types of hosting environment without any changes to its logic.

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Uniform approach for adding components to a system

In this article, the software component to be installed is packaged as an installable unit, which contains the "code" to be installed, together with a descriptor containing the information needed to install it. The key part of the technique is that installable units are installed not into the operating system, but rather into a corresponding target hosting environment. For example, the installer installs a J2EE application into a J2EE application server, rather than into the operating system.

    The following diagram illustrates the contents of an installable unit and how installable units are installed into an appropriate hosting environment.

The design pattern can be used at all levels of the resource stack.

DCreate TableDB2

DEJBWAS

Operating

System

DOperating SystemHardware

A "package" structure like a JAR file that includes a descriptor and some collection of files.

Installable Unit (IU)

    The following diagram illustrates one implementation of the concept of an installable unit. The descriptor includes:

  Identity - the unique identifier for this component, manufacturer, version, compatibility with other versions, etc Environment checks and requirements - describe the required properties and conditions of the hosting environment for this component, or of other resources in the environment. Signatures - describe how to determine if and installable unit is installed. Instance properties - key properties relating to the install - such as install path, port number. The details of exactly what information is stored, or how, is not important to this article.

A descriptor the describes the content of the installable unit.

This is a hosting environment or container that can accept an artifact.

An artifact that can be installed.

D

A

D

Software Product

In general, things that gets installed or created can fit into the "IU - HE" design pattern.

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P a cka ge d IU

Instan ce P roperties

D escriptor

Id e n tity

R equirem ents

E nvi...