AUTOMATED SOFTWARE PATCH DISTRIBUTION
Original Publication Date: 1995-Aug-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-07
Xerox Disclosure Journal
Modern document production equipment commonly employs data processing hardware to control the equipment operation in accordance with software loaded therein. Generally, the distribution and installation of patching software (e.g., problem fixes, version updates, or functional upgrades) for such data processing systems is limited to document production equipment allowing soft-loadable upgrades, for example, printing systems having the capability to read removable media. Even in system having soft-load capability, such an upgrade commonly requires the writing of the tested upgrade software to disk (or tape), the mass reproduction of the disk, the distribution of the disk to technical service personnel, and the actual upgrade installation during a scheduled maintenance period. This manual process has several drawbacks. First, the process itself is time consuming - requiring the presence of a technical service representative for installation of the patch. Second, the time required for the installation of patches generally involves a disruption in the operation of the document processing equipment. Moreover, the process becomes particularly cumbersome when an "emergency" patch is necessary.