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  • Split this into multiple pages.
  • Add testing, testability and QA.
  • List the stakeholders.
  • Add "few deliverables as possible" goal.
  • Add 3rd party staff to be separated.


Some clarification is needed regarding the terms to describe how to deploy, update, maintain and configure a particular software program.


A product consists of a particular set of features and localizations targeted to a particular set of platforms and deployment systems. A product is a set of bits provided by a medium such as a CD, a floppy disk or as a download. A product typically has a brand as well as predecessor and successor products and may require other products to be installed. Independent Products assembled of other (sub-) products may share these (sub-) products, even if these (sub-) products are implementation details only.


As OOo is cross platform (Operating System / Machine Architecture), OOo installation sets need to integrate with different deployment systems.

These deployment systems can be categorized as to be

  • package oriented (such as RPM) and / or
  • product oriented (such as MS Windows Installer).

Package Support

Package oriented deployment systems typically lack product support, e.g. in a package oriented deployment system, the user typically only sees the deployed packages in the systems configuration and is neither able to directly see which products are represented by which packages, nor which additional features are available. To remove a particular product the user needs to find and to remove all belonging packages (sometimes even the indirectly installed packages) typically by searching the package database.

Package oriented deployment systems enable sharing of packages between products, allowing for re-usage of particular files or functionalities.

Packages can typically be set into relationship to one another. The following are typical relationships,

  • one package may require on one or many another packages,
  • one package may conflict with one or many other packages,
  • one package may replace one or many other packages,
  • one package may suggest one or many other packages.

Program updates may be deployed at least on a package granularity, while some deployment systems even support patch packages (packages which only contain the differences between a particular package and its successor).

Product Support

In a product oriented deployment system, the user sees the installed products in the systems configuration. Customization is typically supported by product, offering not yet installed features as well as allowing to remove the product as a whole.

Product based deployment systems may allow sharing of entities (e.g. files) on some level (e.g. "component", see below).

Product based deployment systems typically allow to set products into predecessor / successor relationship.

Product based deployment systems mostly only support product updates on a product level, e.g. as new products or as product patches, which may only be applied to one particular product.


Over time, new versions of products are released, providing bug fixes, additional features, usability improvements etc. During the deployment of product updates the older versions may be de-installed or altered respectively completed. Updates may be provided as dedicated products or as implicit downloads.



As a product evolves, its interfaces may change in an incompatible fashion. For binary packages mostly interesting are

  • ABI (Application Binary Interface) incompatible changes, as well as
  • structural incompatible changes (removed / renamed files).

Some installation units try to stay compatible, expressing any change of compatibility in their version numbers, while others may change incompatible with every version.

Version numbers expressing compatibility are typically used as follows,

  • a change in the micro version signals for bug fixes only,
  • a change in a minor version signals additional features,
  • a change in the major signals an incompatible (API / ABI etc.) change.

The OOo productizer needs to support compatibility changes, such that different versions and derivatives may be installed without conflict side by side.

Deployment Systems

Deployment systems to be supported by OOo are at least


Support for Changes:

  • updated package(s)
  • (automatically) remove package(s)
  • add package(s)
  • rename package(s)
  • remove file(s)
  • add file(s)
  • move file(s)

Program Management

In a perfect world, program management would be able to create any kind of product, only depending on business needs, not restricted by technical constraints.

Program Management basically mediates between marketing / market requirements and the pool of available technologies.

Program management requires the following product relationships to be supported:

  • No relationship -> self contained
  • Update relationship
    • update only (e.g. add-ons, localizations)
    • self contained (e.g. OOo 2.1 updating OOo 2)
    • Multi-update relationship
      • Cross version (major / minor / micro)
      • Cross language
      • Cross brand
      • Cross variant
      • Cross platform


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