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A Graphical Method for Distributing New and Updated Files to a Large Installed User Base in a Limited Bandwidth Environment Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013999D
Original Publication Date: 2001-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19

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System administrators often face a large and difficult task in the distribution of new or updated program files to a large client group. Ideally, the administrator would be able to automate this task, using a rule set to create a standard methodology for the target computers to use in upgrading themselves at a time convenient for the end user. If this could be done, it would be possible for the administrator to simply install on one machine, define this methodology, and initiate the distribution process. A previous invention disclosure created the functionality involved in distributing the files to a partially connected (i.e. wirelessly or sometimes disconnected) set of users. The problem in using this invention arises when you begin to consider the necessary complexity of the instruction set for this type of distribution. This is the scenario in which there has been a need for a new invention. Clearly, to deal with the many types of files, differing situations in the current state of the target machine, and the different ways in which files must interact with the system registry, the administrator must be quite knowledgeable and proficient. This is a process that is quite time consuming and error prone. A typical upgrade of a program can easily net hundreds of discrete, complex steps; an error in any one of these will lead to a failed install. This invention automates the creation of these instruction steps, each of which is an object (hereafter referred to as a document) containing a predefined set of data governing the installation process. Each of these documents must be designed in a way which will allow for a complete undo if an error is encountered at any step in the process. 1 Start