The Distributed Deployment Model
(or DDM for short) is a 3-tier system for deploying software products using Microsoft ClickOnce technology
. Its principal advantages over standard ClickOnce deployment are a greater degree of product customisation and the ability to integrate enterprise-level licensing into the deployment process.
At the top level, Overtech
maintains a public-facing web service
that maintains customer information and product licenses. This information, as well as product version history and release notes are accessible through Overtech products such as ContactsLaw
. The web service also provides the means to create digitally-signed
distribution packages which are made available to the lower tier.
At the middle tier, a customer's application server runs a management utility that interfaces with the web service. This utility allows customers to customise their products, receive updated software and view their current licenses. It also communicates with a Windows service
that enforces product licensing and provides session management (including peer messaging) to applications at the lower tier. When products are downloaded from the upper tier, they are published to an intranet site
At the bottom level, individual client computers can navigate to their company's intranet site to install products. Since ClickOnce technology is in use, software updates are automatically managed and reinstallation/repair is greatly simplified. Additionally, products may include DDM client components, which take advantage of the network services provided (as well as further enforcing licensing rules, such as concurrent usage).
The DDM is a highly-scalable system that will be used to deploy all current and future Overtech software products.
Client PCs download and install software from a local intranet server instead of the web, saving bandwidth.
Software packages can be customised, with specific components included/excluded according to the customer's needs.
Application settings can be pre-configured, removing the need to separately configure each machine.
Access to downloads is restricted to valid license-holders only.
Different update channels can be created, allowing customers to choose between stable releases or more frequent updates.
All software packages are digitally-signed, making installation more user-friendly and allowing administrators to grant special privileges.
Software can build on top of the included network service to enable peer messaging, update notifications and administrative functions.
The client and intranet components of the DDM are included in the purchase price of any Overtech product that requires them. These components are provided on an unlimited-use basis, regardless of the licensing model which applies to the distributed product(s).