Browse Prior Art Database

User Interface Design for Product Installation Ordering with a Software Configuration Product

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112654D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 112K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Shrader, TJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a design for an externalized, user-definable installation ordering of products for Software Configuration (SC) products with open architectures. Many SDM products provide a graphical interface to allow network administrators to graphically represent and configure nodes and products within their network. Administrators can then create the appropriate product installation and configuration files for use with their Software Distribution Mechanism (SDM), such as the LAN CID Utility (LCU) or the NetView* DM/2 product. This process is known as "transforming".

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

User Interface Design for Product Installation Ordering with a Software
Configuration Product

      Disclosed is a design for an externalized, user-definable
installation ordering of products for Software Configuration (SC)
products with open architectures.  Many SDM products provide a
graphical interface to allow network administrators to graphically
represent and configure nodes and products within their network.
Administrators can then create the appropriate product installation
and configuration files for use with their Software Distribution
Mechanism (SDM), such as the LAN CID Utility (LCU) or the NetView*
DM/2 product.  This process is known as "transforming".

      Many SC products hardcode the installation ordering of products
on a workstation, as well as any IPLs (or reboots) that need to occur
before or after a product is installed.  This ridged sequence works
well for a fixed set of products; however, it does not provide enough
flexibility to the administrator for new or upgraded products added
to the SC-supported suite.

      Whether the administrator uses LCU, NetView DM/2, or some other
SDM product, the order of installation of products on all the
workstations in a network needs to be defined.  For example, product
A may need to be installed before product B.  The distribution
mechanisms will need to know if the installation of the product
requires an IPL before the product is installed or after it is
installed.  SC products can no longer hardcode this information
within the internals of the product, simply because such a scheme
would not support new applications (other than placing the product at
the end of the installation list).  Administrators may also have
different needs that they need to customize.

      One solution to allowing the administrator to specify the
installation ordering of applications is to present a list pane, text
pane, or some other heterogeneous presentation control that allows
the administrator to specify the installation order of all the
applications that the SC has loaded.  (Naturally, the transforming
operation will only order those products that the administrator has
targeted on the workstation node.)  They also need to specify if a
mandatory reboot needs to take place before or after installation.
This presentation can take the incarnation of a free form text pane
that the SC will check for syntax and semantics after the
administrator finishes modifying it:  the administrator finishes
modifying it:
      ES10
      IPL       <- Administrator indicates that an IPL needs to occur
      LS30
      APPX

      A text pane or multiline entry pane would be easy for the SC to
implement, but it would be prone to user error - not typing in the
right product name (or handle), putting two products on the same
line, etc.  The SC would have to parse the information and report
errors to the administrator.  Multiple cycles of definition and
correction...