InstallAnywhere Utility Updated with Significant New Features
March 2, 2010 Alex Woodie
Flexera Software (formerly Acresso) last month launched a major new release of InstallAnywhere, the software installation and management utility used by software developers that target Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, AIX , HP-UX, and (of course) i/OS. With InstallAnywhere 2010, Flexera gives developers more fine-grained control over the application features that customers choose to add or remove. New maintenance, rollback, build configuration, and instance management features were also added.
Flexera’s aim with InstallAnywhere 2010 was to give multi-platform developers targeting Unix, Linux, and i/OS the full range of application lifecycle management capabilities that have been available for Windows developers for some time.
In other words, by offering a single tool that delivered features such as installation, rollback, maintenance, repair, and uninstall, Flexera would eliminate the need for Unix developers to create their own homegrown installation routines, or to use Unix-specific packages, such as RPM or PKG. i/OS developers are expected to see similar benefits.
One of the new features of InstallAnywhere 2010 is a new maintenance mode that allows developers to add or remove features to previously installed products and repair broken installations. This feature, which works in graphical and terminal modes, is particularly useful for removing features without requiring the user to completely uninstall and re-install the program, the vendor says.
The software also gets a new instant rollback feature that automatically handles installations that were interrupted by errors or cancelled by a user. This feature returns the system to its original state and avoids an incomplete or corrupt product installation.
InstallAnywhere 2010 also gets new uninstall, build configuration, and instant management capabilities. The new uninstall capabilities allow developers to change or re-sequence uninstall actions, while new build configuration features allow developers to handle multiple configurations for different product editions with a single installation project. New instance management features give developers more control over end users, including the capability to restrict users from installing multiple copies of an application on the same machine, or to allow multiple instances or modified applications to co-exist on the same machine.
Last but not least, this release brings support for new operating systems, including: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, SUSE Linux 11.2, Ubuntu 9.10, and Mac OS X 10.6.
Maureen Polte, Flexera’s director of product management, says InstallAnywhere 2010 is a “breakthrough” utility. “For the first time, multiplatform applications can be managed through their product lifecycle, from install to uninstall, just like Windows applications have done for years,” Polte says in a press release.
InstallAnywhere 2010 is one of the most significant new product releases in Flexera’s short history. The company changed its name from Acresso to Flexera in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2009 (no formal announcement was made).
Acresso also didn’t have much time to make an imprint in the public’s conscience: It was formed in April 2008 following the acquisition of the business software unit of Macrovision by Thoma Cressey Bravo, now Thoma Bravo, the private equity firm that’s been very active in the i/OS software space. Macrovision, in turn, had acquired the original InstallShield company, which is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, back in 2004, and in 2005, Macrovision acquired InstallShield’s former competitor, Zero G Software, which made InstallAnywhere.
InstallAnywhere supports i5/OS V5R3 and V5R4; the software does not support IBM i 6.1. System i customers must purchase the Enterprise Edition.