Today’s rapid product cycles, security vulnerabilities and short turnaround times make it more important than ever to get new software versions into the hands of users quickly and efficiently. The Internet has created a highly competitive market where users expect immediate results; the prize often goes to the company that reacts the most quickly to changes in user needs and perceptions. In order to streamline software deployment, it is becoming increasingly desirable for software authors to incorporate automated updating abilities into their software.
1. What Is Automatic Software Updating?
Automated updating is the ability of software to handle some or all of the update process so the user doesn’t have to. The update process consists of all the steps required to determine whether a newer version exists for a given piece of software, as well as all the steps required to bring an older version up to date. Automating the update process allows software to keep itself current after it has been deployed to users.
2. Who Benefits from Automatic Updates?
Software developers, network administrators and end-users alike share in the benefits of Internet updated enabled software. Developers appreciate it for the control it gives them over software that has already been deployed. Network administrators benefit from improved security and better control of network nodes. End-users see live update enabled software as an assurance of quality-a symbol that the developer is there to stand behind their product.
Any company who develops software applications or distributes data needs to add automatic updating to their applications. Any organization that needs to ensure its network is secure and updated with the latest patches needs automated software updating.
Ensuring that everyone is using the most recent point release of a particular package makes good sense. It eliminates legacy technical support calls, and corresponding user frustration. It ensures that data is current. It also serves to maintain customer satisfaction. And that’s something everyone can appreciate.
3. What’s Wrong With Manual Software Update Methods?
One of the most serious problems with traditional update methods is that they require users to do most of the work. The problem with relying on an update process that demands too much user involvement is obvious; the users might decide it isn’t worth the hassle to keep their systems up to date. This results in a higher incidence of legacy support issues, more security holes and other related problems. Additionally, when users don’t update, they don’t benefit from bug fixes and product improvements. Automatic software update systems help solve all of these problems.
4. What Can You Do With An Automatic Software Updating System?
Software products and network clients that have been auto-update enabled can quickly and efficiently determine if they are out of date. Embedding into a software product makes it extremely easy to manage, control and update “in the field”. Likewise, deploying a TrueUpdate client to computer systems throughout your network gives you a fast and manageable way to ensure that each node is current with the latest patches, documents and data that your company requires.
5. Why Add Automatic Updating To Your Software Applications?
In a traditional release cycle, once your application or data files are released to customers, clients or other end-users, they are static, expensive and time-consuming to alter. However, once you distribute an automated update client with your application, you’ll be able to easily update your product or data as often as you require.
From the developer’s point of view, when a new software release is available-perhaps a bug has been fixed-an automated software updating system makes it trivial to publish the changes and bring all of your users up to date. The next time the user runs the application, the Internet update client will detect that a new release is available and take steps to handle it.
Today’s software users are savvy; they demand responsiveness from software companies and they want tools that meet their needs and make them more productive. In order to maintain customer loyalty and maximize the user’s experience with your software, you need to make updating your software as easy as possible. In any case, the benefits include lower technical support costs, faster time-to-market, more frequent bug fixes, hassle-free security updates and quicker feature additions.
From a software development perspective, it’s easy to add these benefits to your applications. There are excellent software development tools available for adding a sophisticated software updating and patch management solutions to both software products and network infrastructure. Whether you’re a software developer needing to add a “Check for Update” feature to your program, or you’re a network administrator wanting to automate the detection and application of system patches to hundreds or thousands of computer systems in your organization, the value will far outweigh the upfront costs.