Software Management Framework 7.0 Release Notes

Article:DOC1573  |  Created: 2008-03-17  |  Updated: 2009-03-04  |  Article URL
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AltirisTM Software Management Framework from Symantec provides a structure in which to store, access, and identify software in a common manner. It enhances software manageability by promoting integration between functions such as software delivery and inventory.

Software Management Framework is a component of the Symantec Management Platform and is included in the platform installation. Software Management Framework integrates closely with Software Management Solution.

For a list of the terminology used in Software Management Framework, see Software Management Framework Terminology.

See the following sections for information about this release:

Features in this Release
Installation and Upgrade

Known Issues in this Release

Features in this Release

This release contains the following features:

Supported platforms

  • Windows 2000
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Mac OS X 10.3.9 - 10.5.x (PPC, x86)
  • Mac OS X Server 10.3.9 - 10.5.x (PPC, x86)
  • Solaris 9 (Sparc)
  • Solaris 10 (x86, x64, Sparc)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, 4, 5 (x86, x64)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, 10 (x86, x64)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (x86, x64)
  • VMware ESX 3.0.1, 3.0.2, 3.5

Integrated platform support

Software Management Framework supports packages for the Windows, UNIX, Linux, and Mac operating systems. Unless noted otherwise, all the functions in Software Management Framework work the same for all platforms.

Software Catalog

The Software Catalog is a centralized model of the software that is known in your environment, regardless of where the software is installed. The Software Catalog does not contain any software. Instead, it contains the data that describes the software. In ITIL terms, the Software Catalog represents a portion of a Configuration Management Database (CMDB).

Software Library

The Software Library is a secure directory that is the centralized repository of the definitive, authorized versions of the software that your organization manages. It is the physical source for your managed packages and is the equivalent of a Definitive Software Library (DSL). Each package that is in the Software Library has a unique signature that helps maintain the integrity of the data in the library.

Hierarchy and replication

Software Management Framework supports the new hierarchy and replication functionality in Notification Server. You can replicate the Software Catalog on other servers so that other Notification Server installations can access their data. You set up the replication in the Notification Server Infrastructure settings.

Separation of roles

Software Management Framework lets you separate the software-related roles in your organization. Consider the following roles:

  • Administrators who manage the information in the Software Catalog 
  • Administrators and non-administrators who perform software-oriented tasks such as software delivery, software inventory, or patch installation.

Software resource meta data

The Software catalog contains the following meta data that describes software resources:

  • Properties that identify a software resource and provide the data that comprises its unique identifier.
  • The software resource type: software release, service pack, or software update.
  • Associations with the physical package or packages that install the software resource.
  • Command lines that determine what occurs after the software resource is delivered to the client computer.
  • Detection and applicability rules that help the software-related operations to identify software accurately. (Windows only)
  • Associations with other software resources that define relationships such as dependencies and supersedence.
  • File resources, which are associations with the important files that the software resource installs. The detection rules can use the file resources to determine whether the software is installed on a client computer.

Supported installation file types

You can create a software resource for any type of installation file. By default, Software Management supports several installation types, which means that it can collect more information from installation files of those types.

By default, Software Management Framework supports the following types of installation files:

  • BAT, CMD
    Windows batch installation file
  • EXE, InstallShield EXE
    Windows installation executables
  • JS, VBS
    Windows script installation file
  • MSI
    Windows Installer database
  • VSA
    (Windows only) Virtual software archive file
    UNIX, Linux, and Mac OS file types

Other Altiris products or third-party products can be programmed to introduce additional types of installation files.

Command Line Builder

The Command Line Builder helps you create syntactically-correct command lines without an extensive knowledge of the command-line options or syntax. You select the appropriate options and the Command Line Builder creates an error-free command line for an optimal installation, update, or other action. Access the Command Line Builder from the Add or Edit Command Line dialog box when you create or edit a software resource. The Command Line Builder supports the same types of installation files that Software Management Framework supports by default.

Populating the Software Catalog

The methods that you can use to populate the Software Catalog are as follows:

  • Import from a package file 
  • Add a software resource manually
  • Perform a Software Discovery scan
    The Software Discovery scan collects information about the software resources that are installed on managed computers and the files that are associated with the software. The software resource information is added to the Software Catalog. By default, the Software Discovery policy is scheduled to run two times per week on all the computers that contain the Software Management Framework agent.
  • Migrate data from Software Delivery Solution 6.x (if Software Management Solution is installed)

Adding packages to the Software Library

Place packages in the Software Library to ensure that external users cannot change the packages after they have been approved for rollout in your environment. With few exceptions, each package is associated with a software resource. Therefore, before you can place a package in the Software Library, you must create a software resource and associate the package with it. To add package files to the library you must use Software Management Framework.

Inventory rules for detection and applicability checks

(Windows only)

Inventory rules perform the checks that are related to the software that is installed on a client computer and to the computer’s environment. You can you create the rules that you need for each software resource. You can associate a software resource with detection rules and applicability rules.

Note: UNIX, Linux, and Mac OS operating systems do not support applicability and detection rules; therefore, do not add them to non-Windows software resources. When you add rules to non-Windows software resources, the rules are always evaluated as false, which can cause errors in your software deliveries.

Resolving duplicate software resources

Duplicate software resources occur when two software resources represent the same software but have different identifiers. When you resolve duplicate software resources, both of their unique identifiers are associated with one software resource and the other software resource is deleted. If the duplicate software resource contains any information that is not in the original one, you can merge the data before the duplicate is deleted.

Installation error code descriptions

When a software installation task produces an error, the resulting reports typically display a numeric error code. To eliminate the need to look up the error code when you run a report, you can associate an informative description with the error code. Thereafter, the reports display the description instead of the numeric code. Error code descriptions are predefined for Windows Installer installations. Other installation types might also have predefined error code descriptions. If a description is not defined for a particular error code, the numeric code appears on the reports.

Known-as associations and wildcards

When software resources originate from multiple sources, their company names and software names can be inconsistent. Normally, if two software resources are identical but their identifying information is different, they are considered to represent different software. You can create known-as associations and wildcards to associate the two software resources so that they are identified as being the same software. The known-as associations help you to identify software resources accurately.

Creation of filters based on installed software

A resource filter is a set of resources that are grouped according to some specific criteria. In Notification Server, you can create a filter for any type of resource so that you can isolate certain resources into narrow groups. You can use the filters to select the resources to act upon throughout Notification Server. You can create a filter that finds managed computers by the software that is installed on them. For example, you can create a filter for all the computers that contain Norton AntiVirus 2007.

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Installation and Upgrade

Software Management Framework is included in the Symantec Management Platform installation.

The build number for this release is 7.0.2273.


Software Management Framework has the same prerequisites as the Symantec Management Platform installation.

Upgrade Issues

Issue Article ID
This section is not applicable for Software Management Framework 7.0  

Upgrade Steps

This section is not applicable for Software Management Framework 7.0.

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Known Issues in this Release

The following issues are unresolved in this release. If an article ID is included, you can click the link for additional information.

Known Issue Article ID
Software Delivery Agent can hang

The Software Delivery Agent user interface can occasionally hang when you double-click the Altiris Agent icon.
Stopping and restarting the Agent service will often alleviate this problem.

Installed software is not detected

The delivery process cannot detect Linux, UNIX, or Mac software that is already installed on the client computers.

Import SLES 9 RPM packages cannot be imported

RPM packages that were created with RPM Package Manager 4.1.1 or earlier (for example, those used on SLES 9) cannot be imported into the Software Catalog. Check your RPM version before you create packages and upgrade it if necessary.

Software Management Solution tasks cannot be run with a specific user's credentials

In Software Management Solution, when you run a task with a specific user's credentials, it fails because of a bad password. This problem occurs because the password is not saved. The error originates in Software Management Framework, but it affects the following tasks: Quick Delivery, Package Delivery, Windows Installer Repair, and Source Path Update.

Launching a GUI application via Software Delivery on a Mac computer is not recommended

To ensure the highest security, we recommend that you do not launch a GUI-based application through a Software Management or Inventory task. If the computer is at the login window, you may inadvertently provide root access to the computer through the application.

The login screen on a Mac computer is not responsive

If a software management task executes a GUI application on a client computer while the login window is visible, the login window can be locked out. After the GUI application is completed, the login window will be available again.

The autogenerated TAR extraction command line does not work on UNIX computers

The Command Line Builder creates the following command line for TAR archives: "tar xvfz ". This command does not run on UNIX computers, because UNIX computers do not support the "z" option. For UNIX computers, create the command line manually.

Symbolic links are lost if TAR/TAR.GZ/TAR.Z packages are unzipped or repackaged on a Windows computer

To preserve symbolic links, do not unzip and repackage these packages on a non-unix computer.


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