POLYCENTER Software Installation Utility Developer's
The POLYCENTER Software Installation utility is a complete software installation and management
tool for OpenVMS systems. It can package, install, remove, and manage
software products on Alpha, Itanium® or VAX systems. It can also
save information about software products such as system requirements
and installation options.
The POLYCENTER Software Installation utility is intended to be used by people creating (packaging)
kits for software products and by system managers who install and
maintain these products. This guide describes how to package software
products using the POLYCENTER Software Installation utility. It
describes the product description language, product description files,
product text files, and other relevant concepts.
System managers should refer to the OpenVMS System Manager's
Manual for general use information.
1.1 Features for Software Providers
The POLYCENTER Software Installation utility improves the task of
packaging software for software providers in the following ways:
- Reduces effort
Installations require less packaging effort than
most conventional installation methods---resulting in performance gains
and reduced development time over conventional installations.
- Provides more user information
You can include both brief and
detailed installation text to guide users through an installation---
resulting in a higher installation success rate.
- Simplifies installation
Related products can easily be packaged
as a product suite---resulting in one operation installation.
- Version tracking
The utility tracks which products and which
product versions have been installed and removed. You can design your
installation procedure to check for and manage version
dependencies---resulting in easy version tracking.
1.2 Coexistence with VMSINSTAL
The POLYCENTER Software Installation utility is integrated into OpenVMS and coexists with the
VMSINSTAL utility. Today, you use the POLYCENTER Software Installation utility to install the
OpenVMS operating system and many layered products on Alpha and I64
systems, and to install some layered products on VAX systems. The
POLYCENTER Software Installation utility is the preferred installation mechanism for future layered
product and OpenVMS releases.
The POLYCENTER Software Installation utility offers the following features:
- Typically faster installation and upgrade operations than the
- Removal (deinstallation) of previously-installed software products
- A query-capable database of information on installed products
- Dependency checking of software products based on the product
If you currently use VMSINSTAL to package your software product, see
Appendix A for information about migrating from VMSINSTAL to the
POLYCENTER Software Installation utility.
1.3 Creating an Installable Kit
As a software provider, you can use the POLYCENTER Software Installation utility to create an
installable kit for your software product. This kit may be either a new
software product or an update to an existing product; the POLYCENTER Software Installation utility
provides features for each case.
Once you have created an installable kit, your OpenVMS user will be
able to use the POLYCENTER Software Installation utility to install your product with a minimum of
documentation and effort.
Generally, the installable kit you create is packaged in one
"container" file. This container file has a file extension of
.PCSI and is in the binary format recognized by the POLYCENTER Software Installation utility. The
person installing your product issues the PRODUCT INSTALL command to
install the .PCSI file on their OpenVMS system.
The following sections describe the main steps to create an installable
1.3.1 Step 1: Make A Plan
To create an installable .PCSI file, you must determine the required
characteristics of the execution environment for your product or
platform. Questions you need to consider:
- Where will the files be placed?
- Will DCL tables or help libraries need to be updated?
- Will system or process parameters need to be checked?
- Will you need to provide any command procedures to perform product
When you have the answers to these questions, proceed to Section 1.3.2.
1.3.2 Step 2: Gather the Product Material
Next, you need to gather all the product material.
Locate all product-related files that will be installed on the user's
system. Collect any command procedures you may have written to perform
product-specific tasks. These include command procedures that will
remain on the user's system and those that will be executed from a
temporary directory and then deleted. Together, the product files and
any associated command procedures are called the product
You can organize the product material for input to the packaging
operation in any way that is meaningful and convenient for you. For
example, you can organize the material in one of the following ways:
- Keep the product material in the directory structure used by the
software engineering team.
- Organize the product material into one or more staging directories
that mirror the directory structure of the product on the user's disk
- Place the product material in a single directory tree.
Each approach has its merits and limitations. However, if you have
special requirements, such as the need to install different files with
the same name in different directories, your options for organizing the
files before packaging might be restricted.
1.3.3 Step 3: Create a Product Description File
Create a product description file (PDF) using a text
editor. This step is discussed in more detail in Chapter 3. PDF
files do the following:
- Identify all of the files and other objects (such as directories,
accounts, library modules, and others) that the product provides
- Specify configuration choices the product offers, including default
- Specify product requirements (such as dependencies on other
software products, minimum hardware configurations, and system
PDF files use Product Description Language (PDL) statements (described
in Chapter 7) to convey all of the information the POLYCENTER Software Installation utility
needs for installing either a software product or a set of software
Example 1-1 shows a sample PDF. Chapter 7 describes each PDL
statement in detail.
|Example 1-1 PDF for Software Kit TNT
product DEC VAXVMS TNT V3.0 full ;
if (not <software DEC VAXVMS VMS version minimum V6.2>) ;
error NOVMS ;
end if ;
execute install "@PCSI$SOURCE:[SYSUPD]TNT$BACKUP.COM"
remove "" -- nothing special to do on remove
uses [SYSUPD]TNT$BACKUP.COM ; -- will not leave file on system
execute start "@PCSI$DESTINATION:[SYS$STARTUP]TNT$STARTUP.COM"
stop "@PCSI$DESTINATION:[SYS$STARTUP]TNT$SHUTDOWN.COM" ;
execute test "@PCSI$DESTINATION:[SYSTEST]TNT$IVP.COM" ;
directory [SYSTEST.TNT] ;
directory [TNT] ;
file [SYSHLP]TNT030.RELEASE_NOTES generation 50084697 release notes ;
file [SYSHLP]TNT010.RELEASE_NOTES ;
file [SYSHLP]TNT015.RELEASE_NOTES ;
file [SYSHLP]TNT020.RELEASE_NOTES ;
file [SYSHLP]TNT021.RELEASE_NOTES ;
file [SYSEXE]TNT$POPULATE.EXE ;
file [SYSEXE]TNT$INITJOURNAL.EXE ;
file [SYSEXE]TNT$DUMPACS.EXE ;
file [SYSEXE]TNT$DUMPJOURNAL.EXE ;
end remove ;
information RELEASE_NOTES phase after ;
information POST_INSTALL phase after ;
file [SYS$STARTUP]TNT$STARTUP.COM generation 50084697 ;
file [SYS$STARTUP]TNT$SHUTDOWN.COM generation 50084697 ;
file [SYSMGR]TNT$UTILITY.COM generation 50084697 ;
file [SYSTEST]TNT$IVP.COM generation 50084697 ;
file [SYSEXE]TNT$SERVER.EXE generation 50084697 ;
file [SYSEXE]TNT$HELPER.EXE generation 50084697 ;
file [SYSEXE]TNT$UTILITY.EXE generation 50084697 ;
file [SYSEXE]TNT$EXCLUDED_SYMBIONTS.DAT generation 50084697 ;
file [SYSTEST.TNT]TNT$SERVER_IVP.EXE generation 50084697 ;
"@PCSI$DESTINATION:[SYSMGR]TNT$UTILITY.COM UPDATE ALL" ;
end product ;
1.3.4 Step 4: Create a Product Text File (Optional)
Create a product text file (PTF) with a text editor.
This optional step is fully described in Chapter 4. The PTF provides
information about the product in brief and detailed formats. The
information includes product identification, copyright notice,
configuration choice descriptions, and message text used primarily
during product installation and configuration operations.
The PTF file format is similar to that of modules used with the
Librarian utility (LIBRARY) to create, modify, or describe a help
library. Example 1-2 shows a product text file.
|Example 1-2 PTF for Software Kit TNT
=PRODUCT DEC VAXVMS TNT V3.0 Full
=prompt This product uses the PAK: VAX-VMS
This product is contained within the Product Authorization Key for
=prompt Copyright 2003 Hewlett-Packard Company. All rights reserved.
Unpublished rights reserved under the copyright laws of the United States.
This software is proprietary to and embodies the confidential technology of
Hewlett-Packard Company. Possession, use, or copying of this software
and media is authorized only pursuant to a valid written license from HP
or an authorized sublicensor.
Restricted Rights: Use, duplication, or disclosure by the U.S.
Government is subject to restrictions as set forth in subparagraph (c)(1)(ii)
of DFARS 252.227-7013, or in FAR 52.227-19 or in FAR 52.227-14 Alt. III, as
=prompt Hewlett-Packard Company
This software product is sold by Hewlett-Packard Company.
=prompt HP OpenVMS Management Station
The OpenVMS Management Station is a client-server application which
provides OpenVMS system management capabilities via a client application
on a Personal Computer running Microsoft Windows; the server application
runs on OpenVMS systems.
=prompt Minimum OpenVMS software not found on system, abort installation
This kit requires a minimum OpenVMS version of V6.2.
=prompt See the installation guide for post installation information.
Postinstallation tasks required for OpenVMS Management Station.
For more information, refer to the installation guide.
=prompt Release notes for OpenVMS Management Station available
The release notes for the OpenVMS Management Station are available in
the file SYS$HELP:TNT030.RELEASE_NOTES.