Software deployment – Understanding configuration management


A user needs a large number of programs for his work nowadays. For each user or PC thus, a list of the packages must be stored to be installed by the software distribution.

Furthermore, the parameters must be entered to configure the applications. It is very helpful to group the users of a computer. The administrator then has considerably less effort than if he had to configure for each computer or user individually.

The Administrator shall at all times quickly determine the current setpoint and actual configuration of a computer to ensure that it is working. Since these are often a large number of computers, powerful query tools are required.

These also provide statistical information, such as a list on how many computers a particular software is installed.

Quality assurance measures such as the documentation of the configuration, training of administrators, the four eyes principle, operational monitoring and statistical analyzes support the reliability of the software distribution system.

Software distribution systems

Examples of software distribution systems are:

OCS Inventory NG
FAI open source software for installing and configuring Linux systems
M23 Open Source Software Distribution for Linux
Open PC Server Integration (opsi) open source software distribution and operating system installation, inventory (Windows clients), the main developer : uib GmbH
RPM using YUM repositories and server : Open Source Software Distribution for Linux
System Center Configuration Manager ( SCCM) for all versions of Windows including CE and Tablet – Former System Management Server ( SMS) Manufacturer: Microsoft
HP OpenView , Hewlett- Packard
Tivoli Provisioning Manager and / or Tivoli Intelligent Orchestrator , Manufacturer: IBM
DX-Union , Manufacturer: Materna
Novell ZENworks – Zero Effort Networks, Manufacturer: Novell
Garibaldi (software) , Manufacturer: INOSOFT AG
Altiris Server / Client Management Suite, Manufacturer: Symantec

Examples of software distribution systems for mobile devices ( Mobile Device Management ) :

MDS Suite, Manufacturer: BlackBerry
Intellisync Mobile Suite , Manufacturer: Nokia
Mobile Device Manager 2008 Manufacturer: Microsoft
ubi- Suite, Manufacturer: ubitexx ( Adapted from Research in Motion , BlackBerry today )


Java Web Start allows the download of Java applications and their automatic installation on the client machine . Each time you call such a Java application Java Web Start checks whether the server there is a newer version and install it if necessary.

In contrast to the other systems mentioned but it is not controlled from a central location , but initiated locally from the client. Therefore, it is not a software distribution system in the strict sense.

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