Browse Prior Art Database

Autonomic self-updating software agent

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019945D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Oct-13
Document File: 4 page(s) / 118K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The autonomic self-updating software agent continuously gathers information about which applications are being accessed by users on a computer system, and then searches for fixes to recommend and/or download and install. The autonomic software agent covers a full range of software applications on the computer system, and selectively recommends and/or installs fixes only for applications that are relevant to the users.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

Page 1 of 4

Autonomic self-updating software agent

Disclosed is an 'Autonomic Self-Updating Software Agent' that discovers which applications are being used and searches for known fixes for those applications. It then offers to install them in order to "heal" the software on the system.

The autonomic self-updating software agent continuously gathers information on processes, and thus discovers which applications are being accessed by users on the system. Collecting this information over time, the agent is able to identify which applications are being used and at what frequency. It then generates a profile of all these applications, and does a 'smart search' over various servers or web sites that contain the fixes or updates for different components like the operating system, application server, and database server. The 'smart search' looks through fix information and identifies relevant fixes and updates for the given applications. It then is able to recommend and/or download and install the fixes to the server for every used software component. The self-healing agent does this by notifying the user or system administrator of these available fixes and updates. The user can choose to download them only, download and install, or download and install automatically without prompting. Currently available solutions have the following drawbacks: (1) they do not cover the full-range of applications on the computer system; and (2) they do not selectively provide fix update information for applications that are relevant to the users.

Why is such an agent needed? Frequently end users experience unanticipated crashes and other failures due to the need to apply upgrades and fixes to the system software. Users are often unaware that fixes and upgrades exist for all levels of software. Call centers of operating system vendors, middleware vendors, and application vendors experience a high percentage of calls that result from one or more back level components installed on the system. The problem is fixed by determining which component may be back level and applying recommended or critical patches to it. However, it is unnecessary to update all the installed software on the system as only a portion of it may actually be used by the users.

This agent would handle operating system components, middleware application components such as those of WebSphere* or DB2 and user application components. The self-updating agent is configurable so as to incorporate any new application when it's installed on the managed server(s). It can then run the analysis to determine new fixes at a fixed time interval or at user prompt. It can also automatically download and install patches and upgrades or simply download the patches for the system administrator to install manually at a later time. The agent only notifies, downloads and/or installs patches for applications which are used on the system.

The advantages of using this invention is that the critical software fixes will be dep...