For the management of Open Source in the Enterprise, SDC has come a long way in a short time. In this first update of SDC 2012, we’ve got a number of features our customers requested. So let’s jump right in to the summary, with details and graphics below:
1. New End User Catalog
From the SDC help menu, this new feature allows end-users easy access to approved software within the enterprise. Software can be prominently listed as “featured” when SDC launches so it’s easy to find or is searchable within the help menu. Using security policies, administrators can make this new software visible to some or all team members depending on the scope of their projects. Third party libraries are now visible in the SDC catalog as well. **Details below.
2. New End User Menu
Again, using the help menu end-users now have a simplified menu for accessing additional software, checking for software updates, and logging in for package administration. **Details below.
3. More Detailed Third Party Libraries
Beyond adding additional software and simply sharing it, new third-party software capabilities include software branding, titles, and descriptions. **Details below.
4. New Delivery Groups
Delivery Groups are a new requirement when creating packages. Delivery Groups organize packages for delivery to specific groups in your organization, thus simplifying sharing of packages with a team of engineers. Each package is assigned to a single Delivery Group. **Details below.
5. New Environmental Policies
Environmental policies allow you to set common configurations that apply to multiple packages, keeping you from having to duplicate company-wide preferences in each package. **Details below.
6. New Web Installation Flow.
Packages can be installed directly from the web portal page without first downloading an installer. **Details below.
7. Enhanced Web Portal
The server now has an integrated rich portal to ease distribution in your organization. **Details below.
8. Automatic Update of Admin Console
When a server update is installed, the Admin Console can remain open and the console update is triggered automatically after the server builds the Admin Console installer. **Details below.
9. Improved Server Performance
Improvements have been made to the SDC server to make processing more efficient. *Details below.
10. New Authentication Extension
The Admin Authentication Extension allows you to use your company’s name lookup service, e.g. LDAP, instead of having the SDC server keep track of your administrator accounts. **Details below.
Lastly, there are many additional enhacements to SDC that you can find at the bottom of this post. So grab a cup of tea, and check out how SDC can help you today.
New End User Catalog
SDC administrators can expose an easy-access software catalog to end users. The catalog is available to end users from the Help menu in their software package.
End-user catalog accessed from the Help menu
Third-party libraries can be tailored to appear in the catalog by selecting the Visible in Catalog if Security Policy Allows checkbox.
Third-party library set to be included in the end-user catalog
Catalog visibility is controlled from the package’s security policy. You can disable the catalog so it is not available to end users.
End-user catalog setting
However, if you enable the catalog, you can chose to make only certain software visible in the catalog via the package’s security policy. For example, if you set a third-party library to be available in the catalog, you can set the software’s visibility in the package’s security policy to available or not available. Catalog software can also be set as “Featured.” Featured software appears when the catalog is first opened by end users.
Catalog visibility control with featured software set
New End-User Menu
End users have a simplified menu for accessing additional software, checking for software updates, and logging in for package administration. These menu items are accessed from the Help menu. Install from Catalog allows end users to install from a software catalog. Install from Site allows end users to install software from an update site. Administer Package opens the Package Admin view (formerly called Software Configuration). These are all available only if you allow them in the package’s security policy.
More Detailed Third-Party Libraries
Administrators can add third-party software library details to simplify software selection by administrators and end-users. New third-party software details include software branding, titles, and descriptions.
Third-party library software details
When you expose a third-party library that requires additional software to be installed, such as with Subversive, you can include the additional software as part of a single catalog entry so end users are not required to know to install the additional software separately. Additional software to be installed in conjunction with selected third-party software is added via the Also Include box of the software details.
In the example below, the Subversive library includes software from two update sites. You can select one to expose in the catalog, and then include additional software to be installed along with the one appearing in the catalog. In this way, you can have a single Subversive entry in the end-user catalog, and it will install all required software with a single installation.
Including additional software from the Subversive library to be installed along with SVN Team Provider
New Delivery Groups
Delivery Groups are a new requirement when creating packages. Delivery Groups organize packages for delivery to specific groups in your organization, thus simplifying sharing of packages with a team of engineers. Each package is assigned to a single Delivery Group.
By setting a delivery group web address, each group has their own portal page from which to access their specific software, e.g., http://server/groupname. Group and installer branding is part of Delivery Group configuration; therefore, the group landing page is easily identified by their group branding.
Delivery groups – group branding
Delivery groups – installer branding
Portal displaying multiple delivery groups
New Environmental Policies
Environmental policies allow you to set common configurations that apply to multiple packages, keeping you from having to duplicate company-wide preferences in each package. These global configurations can include command line and VM arguments and package properties, as shown below. Each environmental policy setting can have separate configurations for each operating system, if necessary.
Besides command line and VM arguments, you can set global config.ini settings, workspace settings, and software in the Environmental Policies. The default environment policy included when you install SDC has no configuration. It is ready for you to configure as required by your organization.
Properties, Workspace, and Software environmental settings
New Web Installation Flow
Packages can be installed directly from the web portal page without first downloading an installer. When viewing a group’s portal page, the browser detects the operating system and displays an installation link to install direct from the web. Downloadable installer files are also available.
Available packages on a group portal page
Clicking Install Now begins the installation process directly from the web browser. After the installer is prepared, the process is the same as installing from a downloaded installation file.
Enhanced Web Portal
The server now has an integrated rich portal to ease distribution in your organization. End-user access to packages is simpler due to package grouping, the ability to filter the package list, and more detailed package information. The Learn More About this Package link opens the package details.
Package details on the portal page
The portal’s Administration page is more robust, showing license usage, system information, and server activity, in addition to access to Admin Console installers.
Admin portal page
Automatic Update of Admin Console
When a server update is installed, the Admin Console can remain open and the console update is triggered automatically after the server builds the Admin Console installer. You no longer are required to download the installer to update the Admin Console. When you click the Update Now link, the installer begins automatically. If the Admin Console is out of date, server operations from the Admin Console are blocked until the console is updated.
Admin Console update notification
Improved Server Performance
Improvements have been made to the SDC server to make processing more efficient.
- Supports multi-threaded downloads using multi-threaded download tools like DownThemAll!.
- More efficient file transfers, keeping CPU usage down while servicing many clients.
- Lower memory usage while working with manu files simultaneously.
New Authentication Extension
The Admin Authentication Extension allows you to use your company’s name lookup service, e.g. LDAP, instead of having the SDC server keep track of your administrator accounts. By using SDC extensions, administrators can customize how SDC runs. To make extending SDC easier, you are provided with the following:
- Example source code
- A jardesc file for easy JAR creation
- An exported example extension that you can install onto your SDC server
- The sdc-extensions.jar against which you can code your extension
- JavaDoc for the extensions API
Several smaller additions and fixes are included in Update 1.
- Eclipse Discovery 3.7.2 Pack now available. This pack is used by MyEclipse 10.1.
- Sun Java Pack, now referred to as Oracle Java Pack, updated to 1.6.0 u31.
- New ability to enter username and password when importing from authenticated update sites.
- New license expiration warnings prior to and after expiration.
- Better notification when server access is unavailable when attempting a process that requires server access – adding a third-party library, committing a change, promoting a change, changing an admin password, and adding an admin.
- SDC server control scripts on Linux now more compliant with the Debian Linux distribution.