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Non-default Software Installation Technique

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020584D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Nov-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Nov-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to bypass the system default package manager when installing product packages. At times it is necessary to provide an alternative means of installation as a work around to any limitations imposed by the package manager.

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Non-default Software Installation Technique

Different installation and package managers have different capabilities and limitations. For instance, Installp package manager on AIX does not support relocation of product filesets nor does it support installing multiple instances of a given fileset on a given system, a feature that is important in allowing customers to perform compatibility tests before integrating new versions of a product into a production environment.

Obvious solutions would be to choose an installation and package manager that provides all the necessary features required by the target customer. However, to comply with corporate guidelines and 'cultural' conventions on a given platform, at times one does not have a choice in package managers. For instance, if it is a product policy to provide installation packages in the standard format supported by the operating system (for example, RPM on Linux, InstallShield on Windows, Installp on AIX, etc), deviating from the standard package manager is not an option.

A solution is required to allow a product to distribute its packages in the standard format that is supported by the standard package manager, and while still have a means to provide alternative means of installation using the same product packages.

The non-default software installation (NDI) technique provides the user the flexibility to use an alternative means of installing product packages. By bypassing the default package manager, the developer is able to work around any limitations imposed by the package manager. For instance, using the NDI installation facility, one is able to bypass AIX Installp's restrictions on relocation and installing multiple instances of product packages by not logging entries into the AIX ODM (Object Data Management) database.

Essentially NDI works by manually extracting files from the product packages and stores them on the system as appropriate for the product. Wrapper scripts are created around the product executables to export the necessary en...