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Apparatus to Assist Users when Errors Occur During Software Installation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239266D
Publication Date: 2014-Oct-24
Document File: 4 page(s) / 67K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is an Intelligent Installation Assistant that supports the user/software installer prior to the completion of the installation by handling errors and providing links to co-requisite and prerequisite components, product help, and other externally available information, as well as offering methods for real-time support from the provider.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

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Apparatus to Assist Users when Errors Occur During Software Installation

Installation of a software package is a prerequisite toward its comprehensive support. However, during installations errors may occur that the user does not know how to resolve. As the product is not yet "live", the sundry set of problem determination tooling, error handling that installs as part of the product (typically inside the product), are not yet operational to help the user complete the task. The tools are meant for monitoring the product and providing snapshots and logs after the product is successfully installed . Online help or other help documentation is not yet available, though in some products the user is encouraged to search for product documentation in the web.

State of the art revolves around installation failure messages and prerequisite checking tools or graphical user interface (GUI)

wizards. The state of the art solutions often burden the user with the task of sifting through product documents across the stack of software to identify the problem, the solution, and next steps. Prior art manifests itself largely on GUI paced installs and prerequisite checking tools, but these do not go beyond a recipe of steps, pass/fail error messages, and do not help deal with failures of prerequisite and co-requisite components.

In addition, the installation process may uncover difficulties (i.e. error messages) from prerequisite or co-requisite components with

which the installer is unfamiliar or does not know exists. Complex, poorly designed, or delicately arranged product stacks make installation difficult for both the customer and the software provider. Designing for the successful installation of a stack of products is not often possible, as each piece of software is controlled or issued by different providers and works under the assumption that all other parts are stable and in working order. Prerequisite tools check for firmware levels, but cannot help the user from failing to install in the right place or in the correct way, from issuing commands from the wrong place, and then recover from said mistakes.

All these factors result in service calls, time lost searching for solutions on the Internet, and user frustration. On occasion, the user gives up on the product.

The novel contribution is an Intelligent Installation Assistant that monitors the installation process , detects and records errors, and automatically searches external repositories, documents, etc. to provide a solution for the user. An additional function of the Installation Assistant is to collect installation statistics (with permission from the user) and send the data back to the provider for analysis and product improvement.

The novel aspect of the Intelligent Installation Assistant is the ability to support the user prior to the completion of the installation . Error handling prior to the completion of a successful installation is not trivial.

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The Installation A...