Client Automation -- Install Applications

The user controls only their computer, but wants help running it from a trusted source on the network. The user downloads the application every time it runs. The application affects the user's screen and computer. The network serves as a source of programs, letting the user download and run them, thus affecting the local hard-disk.

The figure below shows this using iconography developed previously. In addition, this figure shows the running NetAlive application effecting the user's computer.

NetAlive maintains security by authenticating the trusted Internet source.

Range of Uses

Continuous updating

NetAlive automatically and immediately transmits a developer's updates to the end-user site. This adds value by decreasing the cost and time-delay associated with the software distribution process.

Example: Security screening and anti-virus programs expand as developers plug new security "holes" add protection against new viruses. When using NetAlive to create such a program, the developer simply puts enhancements online and users get the newest copy instantly.

Remote services

A company creates and operates a special computer peripheral device and offers access to that service through a program that runs on the end-user's computer. A NetAlive application creates a GUI on the end-user's computer and operates the peripheral device at the company. This adds value by giving users convenient access to a resource that they may not be able to afford or operate by themselves.

There are several examples of such a service using hard-coded C programs. There is a "digital notary service" that hashes a document on the user's computer and time stamps the hash at the company's site. Another service encrypts data on the user's computer and sends it to archival storage at the company. Net Alive! adds value by making these systems easier to create and maintain.

Remote install

A user can install conventional software via online connection. This makes existing software libraries easily accessible via the Internet.

Secure Internet servers can store conventional software along with NetAlive applications for previewing, buying, and installing them. The NetAlive application can check the user's system for compatibility, download purchased software, and install it to the proper location on disk. A single button can perform all these functions.

Example

The "PKZip installer application" shown below installs a shareware utility onto the hard disk of a Windows' PC. Upon pressing the only button in the GUI, the application performs the following steps:

Note: the steps above differ from one shareware application to another.

Technical

The screen below shows the (trivial) implementation of the implementation of the "PKZip installer application."

The "Install PKZip" task contains the following DOS script:

    mkdir c:\temp\netalive\src\pkzip	
    c:	
    cd \temp\netalive\src\pkzip	
    rename $9 tmp.exe	
    c:\temp\netalive\t\tmp.exe	
    del c:\temp\netalive\t\tmp.exe	
    copy pkzip.exe $a\pkzip.exe	
    copy pkunzip.exe $a\pkunzip.exe	
    copy pkzipfix.exe $a\pkunzip.exe	
    copy zip2exe.exe $a\zip2exe.exe	
    cd ..	
    deltree/y c:\temp\netalive\src\pkzip

NetAlive's features and benefits

Client automation

Feature: NetAlive automates the user's computer, rather than just the server.
Benefit: Lets a network-resident program alter a user's computer

Application is online

Feature: The NetAlive application is itself online.
Benefit: The Internet can distribute an application for pennies, and can help in advertising and customer suport.

Secure

Feature: Piggybacks on emerging Internet security and authorization features.
Benefit: Gives as much security as buying software with floppy disks or hiring a consultant


[NetAlive Home Page]