• Distribution —The distributor organization releases the software to endusers.
• Installation —All the needed pieces are properly placed on the client platform, left ready
to be launched by endusers.
• Running —Finally, the installed software is launched on the client platform.
The word circuit is not chosen casually. The concept of a deployment circuit is similar to the
steps of delivering a milk bottle to a house. After the production and the packaging, bottles are
transported to consumer homes, happily emptied by customers, and left outside the door to find
their way back to the factory. A whole organization with its costs and benefits is behind this
Another implicit concept is the cycle-ness inherent to the fact that updates will follow installa-
tions and so on, just as empty milk bottles are followed by filled ones. Therefore, a
Deployment Circuit must be set up by means of Web servers and such, and maintained. The
period of these cycles has been shortened with the advent of new distribution channels, in other
words, the Net in all its forms, and the evolution of the software industry, is heading toward
integrated, up-to-date services rather than standalone, once-for-all installed applications. In
addition, competition presses to shorten these cycles. If software vendors can rely on more
effective deployment circuits, they can afford more releases with shorter time-to-market, and so
on. We will discuss the potential benefits of deployment circuits shortly.
The interactivity between clients and distribution servers is also required, in its roughest form,
in milk deliveries too. For example, when the family components vary in number there's the
need to adjust the number of delivered bottles. With software, appliances are much more criti-
cal, because we must know exactly what is already installed on client machines, together with
other data like the identity of each enduser, the hardware platform they are using, and so on.
Previous definitions and approaches to the software deployment issue in literature were less
aware of the real overall processes taking place in the software industry with the advent of the
Internet, in all its forms. As a result, we saw cycle-ness, interactivity, and the establishment and
maintenance of the whole circuit related to the software deployment as a sophisticated service,
offered by a distributor entity to both a software producer and an enduser .
Deployment Circuit Issues
Let's examine in detail what this approach entails.
A deployment circuit has a series of costs associated with it. These costs are as follows:
• The cost of setting up the circuit . Buying distribution servers, connecting them to the
Net, or hiring skilled personnel to take care of installing the software on your