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Deploying customizations to the IBM Sales Center

Depending on the number of clients and frequency of updates required, you have several choices for installing and updating the IBM Sales Center.

The Quick Install installer provides a one-off install capability for the rich client and Sales Center components. Install scenarios requiring more scalability or automation will use servers that provide LAN booting, re-imaging, software installation, and inventory tracking so the software installed on a large number of clients can be fully remotely managed.

Updates are distributed and managed through a similar group of manual and automated technologies, as are client preference settings.

This table indicates the tasks for which the different technologies described here are suited:

IBM Sales Center Quick Install Image install mechanisms Manual install with Eclipse Update Manager IBM Tivoli Device Management Server Other software distribution systems
Initial client installation Easy, limited flexibility, manual Better for high volumes
Installing customizations Yes, manual Yes, automated Yes, automated
Applying updates Yes, manual Yes, automated Yes, automated
Centrally managing the client configuration Yes Yes

The mechanism for updating an Eclipse platform application is to use an Update Site. Eclipse is capable of installing or updating features placed on the remote servers. The features and plug-ins must be packaged in JARs and have a manifest (site.xml) file that links them together. These files collectively form an Eclipse update site.

The Plug-in Development Environment (PDE) provides support for building update sites directly in the workspace. Normally, update sites are placed on remote HTTP servers, but sites in the local file systems are also valid and can be viewed in update manager. The PDE uses this property to provide for building and previewing update sites directly in the workspace.

In order to use an update site to deploy an application, you must first organize your extension plug-ins and fragments into features. You can then create an update site project and define the features that should be part of the update site. The update site can then be built and deployed. The IBM Sales Center update manager can then access the site.