WinInstall Gains Patch Management

Along with patch management, OnDemand adds inventory capabilities to its WinInstall software packaging and distribution program.

OnDemand Software Inc. is bolstering conflict assessment and patch identification in its latest WinInstall software packaging and distribution program.

WinInstall is best known for its Management System Information packaging capabilities. But in Version 8 it gains a centralized database and inventory collection capability that allows desktop administrators to compare MSI packaging data with hardware and software inventory data down to the file level. Microsoft Corp. distributes an earlier version of the MSI packager with its Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

OnDemand, which was spun off from Veritas Software Corp. in 2002, provides in WinInstall integration of desktop management functions, including the packaging of files and executables, remote software installation, patch management, and hardware and software inventory.

"The major feature were interested in is the inventory. This gives us more detail per machine," said beta tester Roland Knowlden, regional manager at Automation Edge International Inc., in South River, N.J. Compared with more comprehensive desktop management suites, WinInstall is much less resource-intensive and quicker to install, and it has a lower learning curve, Knowlden said.

Jack Palmer, president and CEO of OnDemand, in Bonita Springs, Fla., said the new functions bring the product in line with competitive offerings from Symantec Corp., LANDesk Software Ltd. and Altiris Inc.

The new integration comes via support for a centralized database, which can be based on Microsofts SQL Server or products from Oracle Corp., along with a new lightweight agent for collecting inventory data and scheduling distributions.

OnDemand also added patch management functions to WinInstall, allowing users to determine remotely which machines have which hot-fix patches. "We can drag and drop and automatically update to a patch level, and its the same with anti-virus patches," said Palmer.

WinInstall 8, which exploits directory services such as Microsofts Active Directory, Novell Inc.s Novell Directory Services and Windows NT domains, also features an enhanced user console, multicast replication, enhanced notification and reporting, and enhancements to the MSI packaging capability. WinInstall 8 is available now for a per-seat price of about $15.