Systems Management: Distributed Software Administration
Copyright © 1997 The Open Group
that use implementations of this Software Administration specification.
Such executable programs can include
canAn indication of a permissible optional
feature or behavior
The implementation must support such features
or behaviors as mandatory requirements.
implementationAn object providing the services defined by this Software Administration specification.
is to be interpreted to mean that object, after it has been modified
in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions to
configure it for conformance with this Software Administration specification, or
to select some of the various optional facilities described by this Software Administration specification
through customization by local system administrators or operators.
An exception to this meaning occurs
when using the term
implementation definedAn indication that the implementation provider must
define (and document) the requirements for
correct program constructs
and correct data of a value or behavior.
When the value or behavior in the implementation
is designed to be variable or customizable
on each instantiation of the system,
the implementation provider
must document the nature and permissible ranges of this variation
in their submission claiming conformance.
mayAn indication of an optional
feature or behavior of the implementation
that is not required by this Software Administration specification, although
there is no prohibition against providing it.
A fully conformant implementation (see
is permitted to use such features, but must not rely
on the implementation's actions in such cases.
To avoid ambiguity, the reverse sense of
is not expressed as
mustA mandatory requirement on the implementation if it is to be
obsolescentAn indication that a certain feature
may be considered for withdrawal in future revisions of this Software Administration specification.
shouldWith respect to implementations,
an indication of an implementation recommendation,
but not a requirement.
analysis phaseThe steps a software administration utility performs, before modifying
the target, while attempting to ensure that the execution of
operations on the target will succeed.
APIApplication Programming Interface
attributeA component of an object, possessing a name and one or more values.
autoselectThe automatic selection, within a utility, of software beyond that
directly specified by the user in order to meet the dependencies of
the user-specified software.
autorecoveryThe process of restoring installed software to the state it was in
prior to the invocation, and subsequent failure during execution, of
bundleA software object
used to build groupings from
a grouping of other software
objects, such as all or parts of other bundles and products.
catalogThe metadata describing all the
software objects that are a part of
classUsed to describe the structure and attributes of
each level of the software hierarchy that is used
to organize and manage software files.
client roleWhere the software is actually executed or used (as opposed to
the target, where it is actually installed).
The configuration of software is performed by this role.
command line interface (CLI)A means of invoking utilities by issuing commands from within a
POSIX.2 shell, implying that neither graphics nor windows are required.
common classUsed to define those aspects of different
software objects that are the same.
The common classes for this Software Administration specification are software_collections,
software and software_files.
The names of
these classes are also used to generically describe any object
that shares that common class.
compressed filea file that has been transformed in a manner
intended to reduce its size without loss of information.
containmentA relationship between two objects such that one is said to belong to,
or form part of, the other.
All objects except software_collection objects must be contained
within exactly one object.
The containment of software_collection objects is undefined within
this Software Administration specification.
control directoryThe directory below which the control_files for filesets and products
are stored within exported catalogs for installed software.
control_filesThe control scripts executed by the utilities,
the INFO file describing the files in a fileset, and
other files associated with a software object.
control scriptA control_file associated with a software
object that is executed by the software administration utilities.
corequisiteThe specification in a software object that another software object
must be installed in conjunction with the installation of the first
and configured in conjunction with the configuration of the first.
CRCCyclic Redundancy Check
decimal character stringA sequence of characters from the set of decimal digits
the first of which
not be the digit zero.
default optionThe value for an extended option as defined in a defaults file.
defaults fileA system specific or user specific file that contains the default
values for extended options used by the software administration utilities.
dependencyA software object that is a prerequisite, corequisite or exrequisite
for a software object.
dependentA software object which specifies a prerequisite, corequisite or
exrequisite on another software object.
developer roleWhere software is developed, tested, and maintained.
directory mediumA medium which contains a distribution in a POSIX.1 hierarchical file
An example of this is a distribution contained in a POSIX.1 file
system format on a CD-ROM.
distributionA software_collection containing software in the
software packaging layout.
distribution catalogThe catalog of metadata for a distribution software_collection.
Unlike a catalog for an
object, a distribution catalog is stored in a particular exported
catalog structure that is part of the software packaging layout.
distribution pathThe pathname below which
the catalog describing the distribution
If the distribution is on a single medium,
all software for it is located below this path.
downdateInstalling an older revision of software than one that is currently
installed, into the same location.
This is also referred to as downgrading or reverting.
eventAn occurrence which may require reporting
by the utilities defined in this Software Administration specification.
to describe a significant occurrence.
The reporting of an event may cause data to be written to stdout,
to stderr, or to a log file.
execution phaseThe operations a software administration utility performs that modify
exported catalogRefers to information organized in the exported catalog structure of
the standard packaging layout.
It is used for distribution catalogs as well as exporting installed
exrequisiteThe specification in a software object that it must not be installed
if one or more specific software objects are installed.
extended optionThe options that can be specified with the
These options may be defined in defaults files or options files.
filenameA POSIX.1 filename with characters drawn from the POSIX.1 portable filename
character set (see POSIX.1).
filename character stringA sequence of characters from the portable filename character set
(see POSIX.1 below),
not including the
filesetDefines the files that make up a software object,
and is the lowest level of software object that can be specified as
input to the software administration utilities.
file storage structureThe storage directories in the
software packaging layout
under which the actual software files for each fileset
fully qualified software_specA
which always identifies a software object unambiguously.
graphical user interface (GUI)A means of presenting function to a user through the use of graphics.
hostA machine that contains software managed by this Software Administration specification.1
INDEX filean exported
catalog containing the metadata describing
the software objects and attributes for all bundles, products, subproducts
INFO fileFor each product and fileset,
the file within
catalog containing the metadata describing
objects and attributes.
inheritanceThe way in which the attribute definitions of a common object class
are used as a part of the definition of other object classes.
The definition of the new object class includes the definition of
the common class plus the additional definitions specific to the new
installed softwareAny software object created by the use of the
installed_softwareA software_collection containing
This software is in a state ready for use,
to be shared by client systems.
A directory path on a system and an installed_software catalog together
identify a unique
installed_software catalogThe catalog of metadata for an installed_software software_collection.
Unlike a catalog for a distribution object, the storage and format of an
installed_software catalog is
this Software Administration specification.
The ability to dump and restore all or part of an installed_software
catalog into an exported catalog structure is included in this Software Administration specification.
installed_software pathThe root directory of an installed_software object.
The pathname below which all software for that object must be
integer character stringOne of
a decimal character string,
an octal character string,
a hexadecimal character string.
interactiveThe behavior of a utility or control_script which requires input from
the user during its execution.
kernel filesetA fileset in which one or more of the referenced files forms part of
the kernel, and denoted by having the value of its
attribute set to
locatable filesetA fileset for which
permission is granted to
install the files in a different location
as specified by the user,
and denoted by having the value of its
attribute set to
locatable softwareSoftware that contains locatable filesets.
manager roleWhere each task is initiated.
is concerned with taking appropriate action at the completion or
failure of a task.
metadataThe information kept about software.
It consists of the values of the various attributes of each of the objects.
newline stringA white space string (see below),
consisting only of the
character, which is defined in
objectAn instance in the software hierarchy
that can be operated on using the
software administration utilities.
octal character stringA sequence of characters from the set of octal digits,
the first of which must be the digit zero.
options fileA file that can be specified with the
This file contains extended option definitions that override default
patchA fix to existing product that does not provide significant new
functionality and is to be installed over an existing installation.
This is also refered to as fixing. See also
packager roleWhere software that has been developed is organized in a form
suitable for distribution.
pathnameA POSIX.1 pathname with characters drawn from the POSIX.1 portable
pathname character stringA sequence of characters from the portable filename character set
portable character stringA sequence of characters from the portable character set as defined in
prerequisiteThe specification in a software object that it must not be
installed until after some other software object is installed, and
configured until after the other software object is configured,
The manner of honoring such a prerequisite is described in
productA software object used to define a set of related software.
Filesets are contained within products.
product specification file (PSF)The input file used to define the structure and attributes of
software objects and related files to be packaged by the
proxy installA proxy install uses an alternate root directory as the target path.
utility, for a failed software install, to return the system to
the state that it was in before the failure, including restoring the files.
reboot filesetA fileset which, if installed, requires reboot of the operating
system to complete its installation,
and denoted by having the value of its
attribute set to
rebootingAn implementation defined procedure generally used to terminate
and then restart operations on the target system.
roleThe context in which an operation is executed.
The utilities in this Software Administration specification
require the ability to perform
operations on more than one system, perhaps by more than
These operations are separated into distinct roles
developer, packager, manager, source, target, and client.
selection phaseThe set of steps performed by software administration utility to
process selections and options.
serial mediumA medium which contains a POSIX.1 extended
sessionAn execution of a software administration command from initiation to
completion on all applicable roles.
shell token stringA sequence of shell tokens.
Shell tokens are defined in
softwareA generic term referring
to software objects or a structured set of files.
This term can refer to the objects forming the hierarchical
structure (software objects),
or to the actual files and control_files (software files).
software_collectionA grouping of software objects
that are managed by the software administration utilities.
Software_collections are the sources and targets of these
This Software Administration specification defines two types of software_collections
installed_software and distributions.
software common classThe common class describing the common attributes associated
with the hierarchical structure of software objects defined by this Software Administration specification.
software definition filesThe files containing the software structure and
detailed attributes for distributions, installed_software,
bundles, products, subproducts,
filesets, files, and control_files.
To communicate metadata information relating to both distributions and
installed software, software definition files serve as input to, or
output from, the various software administration utilities.
The format used by software administration utilities to store metadata
relating to installed software is undefined.
software fileA generic term referring to the files and control_files
that are contained within
software objects and managed by the utilities in this Software Administration specification.
software_file common classThe common class that relates the two types of files defined by this
Software Administration specification, namely the actual files that make up the software, plus the
control_files that are executed by the utilities when
operating on software.
software_filesA generic term referring to file and control_file objects (those
that share the same software_file common class).
software hierarchyHierarchical organization of objects that
are managed by the software administration utilities.
software locationThe directory relative to the installed_software root directory where
the relocatable files of the software have been located.
software objectAn object which inherits attributes of the software common class,
meaning a bundle, product, subproduct or fileset object.
software packaging layoutThe format for software in a distribution.
It contains the metadata for the distribution catalog in a
well defined exported form, as well as the files for the
software objects in that distribution.
software pattern match stringA sequence of one or more
strings, each made up of a sequence of one or more
characters from the
shell "Pattern Matching Notation" strings described
If there are two or more strings, the strings are
separated by the
The match is true if any of the
sequences of strings match according to
A software pattern match string must be portable character string.
software_specA string that is used to identify one or more
software objects for input to a software administration utility.
sourceThe specification of a source distribution object for a software
The source host provides a means to locate the source role and the
source path is a path accessible to the source host.
source hostThe host portion of a source specification.
source pathThe pathname portion of a source specification.
source roleWhere the software exists in a form suitable for distribution,
forming a context for the establishment of a repository of software
from which the manager may choose to distribute to targets.
Software exists in the source until it is removed by a task
initiated by the manager.
The source role provides a repository where software may be
stored, and provides
access for those roles that require the software.
subproductA software object
which is a grouping of
and other subproducts within a product.
symbolic link (symlink)A type of file that contains a pathname.
Rather than containing data itself, this type of file resolves to
another, as defined by the contained pathname.
The way in which this type of file is handled by implementations of
this Software Administration specification is undefined.2
systemAn implementation of this Software Administration specification.
targetThe specification of a target distribution object, or installed
software object, for a software administration utility.
The target host provides a means to locate the target role and the
target path is a path accessible to the target host.
target hostThe host portion of a
target pathThe pathname portion of a target specification.
target roleWhere software is installed, removed, listed, and otherwise operated
on by the utilities.
For example, when installing software, the target is where software is
installed after having been delivered from a source.
As another example, the target for a copy operation command refers to
the distribution to which products are added.
For management operations like removing software, the target refers to
either the installed_software objects or the distributions from which
software is being removed.
updateInstalling a newer revision of software than one that is currently
installed, into the same location.
This is also referred to as upgrading.
This implies that two filesets that have the same tag and same
product tags can not be installed in, or exist in, the same location
at the same time (with the exception of patching enhancements).
generally involve software releases providing
significant new functionality that can be installed for the first
time or can update an existing installation. Patches (or
generally involve fixes to existing products that do not provide significant
new functionality and are to be installed over an existing installation.
Updates generally involve software releases providing significant new
functionality. See also
UTF-8UCS Transformation Format 8, as defined in
ISO/IEC 10646-1: 1993, See referenced documents.
vendorAn item, such as a nonstandard attribute, that is defined by the vendor that
created (packaged) the software.
vendor-suppliedAn item, such as a control file, that is supplied by the
creator (packager) of
versionA unique identification of software based on the attributes of the
Version differentiates software objects with the same value of the
Versions of bundles or products have
the same value of the
attribute and will differ by the value of at least one of
attributes only apply to software in installed_software
A fileset is considered a
version of another fileset if they have the same
tag and their respective products have the same
white space stringA sequence of one or more white space characters (as defined in
wildcard characterOne of
* ? [
(asterisk, question mark, open bracket).
Such characters are used in
software pattern match strings
- A host may contain both installed_software and
The name of the host is the starting point for finding all software on
that machine managed by this Software Administration specification.
attribute of a software_collection, along with the specification of a
host, can be used on the command line to identify a particular
software_collection to be managed by this Software Administration specification.
- It is not the intention of this Software Administration specification to define symbolic links in a
manner inconsistent with POSIX.1.
However, no approved POSIX standard currently contains symbolic links.
This definition is a placeholder until such time as an approved
standard provides the definition.
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