5. Hierarchical File Server (HFS): Porting TSM client to Microsoft Installer
The HFS is a site-wide service allowing users across the University to backup their critical data to a central site. To do this requires the installation of a client software package onto the user's local machine.
With nearly 4,000 separate Windows systems using the HFS, we are now looking at investigating robust, standard package delivery mechanisms on Windows. The primary purpose will be to allow the easy installation of highly-configured software 'readymade' to use Oxford's HFS backup systems.
A secondary product may be the ability to allow local IT system managers to automate deployment of the configured software across hundreds of machines. In this way, clients’ machines will more easily keep their software uptodate, be ensured a working configuration and therefore be assured of working backups of their important work.
In the eight weeks of his internship, Mohamed fully investigated alternative packaging methods for the OUCS TSM client for Windows and recommended the use of Advanced Installer. This can be used to create an MSI wrapper package that can be used for a silent upgrade. He successfully developed and demonstrated this and created a template project for future use. Mohamed also prototyped the use of signing tools and additionally investigated and evaluated alternatives to VB6 for writing the OUCS TSM client package. We were very satisfied with Mohamed's work and plan to implement his recommendations when packaging the next version of the OUCS TSM client for Windows.