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Integrated solution stack template

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016190D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Sep-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21

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This disclusure provides a mechanism to define a set of tested business patterns which can be applied to a industry solution product set. Software vendors often ship sets of products that, together, form a solution for a particular market sector. This solution stack often consists of a myriad of products with diverse and complex installation and configuration steps. An integrated solution stack template represents a set of products with a given configuration. Other templates provide for differing configurations of the same set or substitute component products to the set. Users of a solution installation tool have a set of predefined and tested templates that would be interchangeable and pluggable. Creators of a software solution (set of products that effectively perform a given task or handle a customer scenario) are able to ship with a set of templates and the deployer of the solution selects the template for the installation scenario that bests suits the environment. The template provides installation, configuration and topology specificaitons that drive an automated and optimized install. For instance, a topology could be suggested for a very small business (SMB) customer that has a goal of keeping costs and hardware requirements to a minimum. For that reason the solution might involve a minimum set of server boxes, each with a complementary set of the needed software products installed in a synergistic fashion, so that system capabilities can easily handle the configuration. A different topology using basically the same software set might be suggested for a larger customer, or one that has a different network type, such as many distributed nodes. Deployment of software solutions often presents the customer with a complex and bewildering set of specifications for installation, configuration, and topology requirements. This becomes a concern of both the designers of the solution and the implementers of the solution. Typically the stack solution incorporates rigid installation, configuration specifications while delegating topology decsions to the solution deployer. The templates absolve the deployer of the solution from having intimate knowledge of each product in the solution stack. Having a set of tested, canned installation routines saves time and aggravation for the solutoin deployer. It also frees the developers of having to create oversimplified, generic solution install routines in order to be "user friendly." Since solution installations can be pre-canned by a template, they are complex and specific and at the same time "user friendly." 1