Genuitec's Secure Delivery Center (SDC) is a software distribution manager that assists administrators in providing software to various groups in their organization with little to no intervention by end users. In the typical software lifecycle, you acquire software and its license key, install the software, and provide the license key to access the software. You then need to deliver this software to multiple users in your organization. Managing licenses, updates, rollouts, and standardization can be a time-consuming and costly process. Having a system that helps you manage software delivery, updates, and license renewals can save time that otherwise can be spent on more productive tasks.
With Secure Delivery Center, you have a centralized location for managing both the distribution and user access of MyEclipse IDEs, Standard Eclipse IDEs, or add-on software marketplace catalogs. For IDE management, you can choose to have software available on a web portal for download, or you can use the installer generated by SDC with an SMS system to silently push installations, including activation, to your users. For those wanting to add pre-defined Marketplace catalogs and/or security to existing Eclipse installations, administrators can use SDC to deliver private software catalogs to Eclipse users, and control security policies and add-on software in a secure manner. Using this system, administrators have absolute control over versions and release rollout without requiring developers to stop what they are doing to work on updating their development environment.
The Admin Console is where you manage all aspects of the software delivery lifecycle. Each step of the delivery lifecycle is addressed in the Admin Console and listed on the Dashboard. The flow for delivering IDEs includes creating installation packages, testing, and finally distributing software when you are ready. The flow for on-demand delivery to existing Eclipse installations includes setting security policies, creating add-on software libraries, and creating Secure Marketplace catalogs.
Licenses are maintained in SDC as a pool, so you are not required to keep up with which license goes with which desktop. You need only provide your license information to the system - SDC does the rest. As licenses expire, you simply add new ones to the pool.
For software delivery, you can create various packages depending on the needs of the user groups in your enterprise. Packages are used to deliver complete, custom IDEs, or to deliver secure, private marketplace catalogs to existing Eclipse installations. Packages can vary by who is allowed access, how updates and software are accessed, add-ons that are included, workstation preferences, etc. You can have as many packages as required to meet the needs of the different teams in your organization.
As you put a software package together, you can test the package before making it available to end users. For example, you can change which software you include and test the installer you build until you are satisfied that it is ready for rollout.
Committing changes indicates you are happy with a package and the corresponding installer or on-demand delivery settings. It is ready for other administrators to view and try. Committing saves packages, settings, and catalogs to the delivery hub machine and archives your work. You can revert to previous versions from the archive, if necessary.
Promoting package, policy, and catalog changes makes software available to your users. When you promote a new software package, SDC builds an installer for users. The package configuration determines if it is available as a bundled or network-based installer, and if it is available from the included software portal web page. If you use an SMS system for silent installation, this installer is what you use to interact with the SMS system.
When you make changes to a package, setting, or catalog, you go through the same lifecycle of testing, committing, and promoting the change. When you promote a package that has previously been promoted, users are notified that an update is available. When you update a package, you have the option to generate new installers for the updated package, or you can generate the installers at a later time.
In this step, you can access the Portal to view packages available for each delivery group. You can also login to the Administration section of the portal.
SDC allows for two types of administrators, SDC administrators and group administrators. This structure provides a balance between centralized and decentralized software configuration. SDC administrators maintain the high level packages, updates, policies, and licenses. They perform the initial configuration of packages. Group administrators are end users, such as team leads, who have administrative rights to tailor those packages to fit the needs of their team. Group administrators have rights to the Admin Console, but can configure packages only within their delivery group.
The Dashboard is the Admin Console's starting point for delivering software to your users. The steps of the delivery lifecycle are accessed from the Dashboard, as well as alerts and information about software usage.
The Delivery Center Jump Start gives you access to each of the steps for distributing software. From this Dashboard, you can manage staging, testing, and rolling out one or more software packages. The links below each step of the lifecycle give you access to the associated pages. For example, the installed software packs for which you can create packages are listed below the Create a New Package step. These are also listed in the Secure Packages list in the Admin Console navigation.
SDC is able to track metrics, including the number of installations by package, the highest use packages, and promotion dates. This information is helpful for seeing trends in the usage of your software and helps you project the number of licenses your organization requires. You can view overall metrics, license metrics, and package metrics depending on the page you are viewing in Admin Console.
System alerts are stored in the database connected to the delivery hub. Notifications display current system activity such as a status bar during system authentication, commits and promotes, and system start up. When you have changes to commit or promote, these appear in the Notifications section, as well. Many notifications then appear in a System Alerts list, which displays recent alerts. General system alerts appear on the System Administration page for 14 days. The Dashboard displays important alerts that require special attention, such as items to be committed or promoted, a failed promotion, or low disk space.
Two types of packages can be managed using SDC. First, On-Demand Delivery packages allow you to deliver Secure Marketplace catalogs and/or security policy enforcement to existing Eclipse IDE installations. In the On-Demand Packages diagram below, you see the Eclipse IDE is obtained from an outside source and installed apart from using SDC. An admin installs add-on software onto the secure hub machine and delivers Secure Marketplace catalogs of tested and approved software, as well as security policies, to Eclipse users.
A secure IDE software package allows you to tailor and deliver complete Eclipse or MyEclipse IDEs, including security policy enforcement, add-on software, and other customizations. In the Secure IDE Packages diagram below, the admin installs MyEclipse or Eclipse IDE software obtained from Genuitec, as well as add-on software, onto the secure hub machine. From there, complete custom IDEs and secure catalogs are created, maintained, and delivered to end users.
Both software and on-demand delivery packages are created in a similar way. By selecting an IDE software or On-Demand Secure Delivery in the Secure Packages list in the Admin Console navigation, you can see software details. The details page displays the packages you have created for the software, as well as usage and metrics information. From this page, you can add a new package by clicking the Add icon in the Packages section. Creating a package involves selecting software add-ons and/or third party software and selecting package policies. Each package can also be assigned to one or more delivery groups. The delivery group indicates the group(s) or team(s) in your organization for which the package is tailored.
When you create a new software package, you have the ability to choose the basic Eclipse package or default MyEclipse add-ons you want to install, depending on the IDE you are installing.
After you add a new package, the package overview appears, displaying your package title and description, a capability configuration summary, branding imagery settings, and usage metrics for the package.
On the Software tab, you can select extra add-on software that you want to package with your software or include a Secure Marketplace catalog. Extra software can include standard Eclipse or Java libraries, MyEclipse components, or you can import an update site into SDC from licensed or free third-party software. This gives you tighter version control over these third-party software packages because installation is managed through SDC. You can expose users to third-party updates after you've tested rather than having users potentially download as soon as a new version is released. The software settings vary depending on the type of package you are creating - MyEclipse, Eclipse, or On-Demand Delivery.
The Configuration tab allows you to set access control and select access and security policies. When you configure a package, you are tailoring it for specific roles in your organization, such as development teams that have different requirements. For example, you can create a package for the WebSphere delivery group that is configured differently than the package for the JBoss delivery group, and associate the package with an appropriate delivery group. You can also include projects and preferences in the package to further configure end-user workspaces.
Each package can have custom policies regarding security and accessibility. You also create delivery groups that organize packages for delivery to specific groups in your organization.
The security policy allows you to determine how the software can be used by members of your organization. The security settings give you the ability to restrict user changes to the software; therefore, users can't download from update sites or from public marketplace catalogs unless you specifically allow it. You can allow users to add third-party software via a dropins folder found in the IDE's installation folder, and you can give users greater control over application of updates by allowing them to see details of each package update. If you require more restrictions, you can choose to lock down the software completely, where users cannot use the software after expiration or make any modifications.
You can allow delayed application of updates if you want users to have control over when they install updates. You specify that users can apply when they want, or you can set a time limit in days.
The access policy defines how software is made available. You decide if users install via a network-based or bundled installer, or you can use the SDC portal web page for delivery. With the network-based installer, the software is downloaded from the Secure Delivery Center hub machine from behind your firewall. You are also able to restrict accessibility based on operating system for cases where a package is not compatible with some OSs.
If you are using an SMS system for silent installations, the installer created by SDC includes licensing information so that installation and activation occur without user intervention. See Appendix A and Appendix B in the Administration Guide for more information. Licensing in SDC is maintained as a licensing pool; therefore you aren't required to have different installers for each license key. As licenses expire, you add new licenses in SDC, and the system automatically manages the license pool to ensure all desktops are up-to-date.
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.
Delivery Groups organize packages for delivery to specific groups in your organization, thus simplifying sharing of packages with a team of engineers. When configuring a delivery group, you can set a delivery group web address, which gives each group their own portal page from which to access their specific software, e.g., http://hostname:port/groupname. Group and installer branding is part of delivery group configuration; therefore, the group landing page is easily identified by their group branding. The default access policy for packages displays packages on the portal home page rather than on a group page. If you specify an access policy that displays a package on a group page, the portal home page displays delivery groups that contain packages. Therefore, you can specify in the access policy that a package appears on the portal home page, on a group page, or both.
Groups can be either private or public. Users accessing a private group must enter their user name and password to enter the group portal. You can specify the group users in the group configuration. Users are set up on the User Administration page.
SDC's Secure Marketplaces give your end users the flexibility to install add-on software from a catalog that is securely accessed from behind your firewall. Because administrators can specify the software available in the catalog, you are able to control access to software, thus creating a marketplace catalog of approved add-on software.
Not only can secure marketplace catalogs be used with software packages you create and distribute using SDC, but you can include Secure Marketplace catalogs in on-demand delivery packages for use with Eclipse installations that aren't managed through SDC.
When software is added to the third-party software library by an administrator, the software update site is mirrored on the delivery hub machine. When administrators configure a Secure Marketplace catalog, they select software available from the third-party software library. With this configuration, when users select software from the secure catalog, they access only the delivery hub for installation and updates rather than accessing a site outside your firewall.
Before making new software available to your users, you have the opportunity to test it locally. The Testing tab contains four tasks for the testing phase.
The Verify function validates the files you included in the package to ensure they work together and on the specified operating systems. You should run the Verify function each time you make a change to the package. When verification is complete, the results are reported to you so you can see if changes need to be made to the package due to compatibility issues.
The Build function generates a local network-based installer. The Install function installs the package locally for your testing. As administrator, you can test, make changes to the package and test again until you the package meets your needs.
The Commit function makes the local version available to other administrators by saving it to the hub machine. Committing also archives your work. When the package has been committed, it is marked as pending promotion. When items are ready to commit or promote, a notification appears in the Notifications section. Click the notification to commit or promote changes.
When a new package or package update is ready for use, promote it to make it available to your organization. When promoting a new software package, installers are built based on the associated access policy. When you promote on-demand delivery packages, Eclipse users can update from an update site on your delivery hub machine or use a drag-to-install method to install the additions to their software, i.e. SDC policies, add-on software, or a Secure Marketplace catalog.
Promoting a new software package triggers SDC to build either a network-based or bundled installer, depending on your specification. The installer is built to instruct the installed software to look to the delivery hub machine for activation and updates rather than looking to update sites outside your organization. This installer can be paired with an SMS system for silent, push installations. See Appendix A and Appendix B in the Administration Guide for more information.
When promotion is complete and installers built, the portal web page displays links to installers if allowed by the access policy. Users can either download the appropriate installer for their operating system, or click Install Now to install directly from the web without first downloading an installer.
Note: When you promote changes to an existing package, you have the option to defer building installers. You can build installers later from the Timeline tab.