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Method of installing products spanning multiple machines and components using a single user interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131999D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Nov-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Software "solutions" sold today which are products that are built from a number of component products. Often these products can be distributed across multiple machines or use components that are distributed across multiple machines. Products may need to be distributed across multiple machines for performance or security reasons, or to satisfy prerequisites. An example "solution" such as a document management system may require an application server and a database and several adapters installed on each of the component systems. Currently, if the user wants to install a distributed product, he needs to install each of the products on each machine, and then configure each product to work with each other afterward. The products are typically designed in isolation, which means that the user has to switch between installation programs, configuration programs and different machines. This means that the user often has to enter many redundant parameters and perform several independent dependency checks. This invention provides a way to streamline the installation process by providing a single user input interface, reducing the entry of redundant parameters and providing validation and dependency-checking across all of the components of a multi-machine product.

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Method of installing products spanning multiple machines and components using a single user interface

Software "solutions" sold today which are products that are built from a number of component products. Often these products can be distributed across multiple machines or use components that are distributed across multiple machines. Products may need to be distributed across multiple machines for performance or security reasons, or to satisfy prerequisites. An example "solution" such as a document management system may require an application server and a database and several adapters installed on each of the component systems.

Currently, if a user wants to install a distributed product, he needs to install each of the products on each machine, and then configure each product to work with each other afterward. The products are typically designed in isolation, which has several implications when the products are assembled into a solution:

1. The user has to switch between multiple installation programs, configuration programs and different machines.

2. Often this means that the user enters the same parameter several times, or enters parameters that are not needed by the larger solution but are part of the installation of the individual products. For example, if the user needs to create a database that is accessed by products on different machines, he might type the name slightly differently, by accident. Each of the individual products should work, but they will not be able to work together properly.

3. Similarly, dependency checking is performed for each of the component products, rather than across all of the components, and component products may have different dependencies. For example, the application server may have a dependency on one level of Java Virtual Machine (JVM), while the whole system may have a dependency on a later JVM.

4. Often a user is required to edit configuration files, or at least specially configure a product to be part of the larger solution.

This invention provides a way to reduce the entry of redundant parameters and to provide validation and dependency-checking across all of the components of a multi-machine product. This invention addresses these issues by doing the following:

1. Presenting a choice of installation topologies based on information obtainable from available machines, including capacities, installed products, etc. This also requires providing a way for users to enter machines that are not currently connected and discovered.

2. Providing a list of values that can be optimized, such as speed, security, etc, based on the available topologies.

3. Providing multiple methods of repackaging and installing installation packages for install on remote machines:

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a. Ability to push to the agent on the target machine which in turn initiates the install
b. Ability to build a package that can be installed from removable media.
c. Ability to build a file, such as an XML file, that specifies w...