IT:AD:Patterns:Gift Package Strategy


The first experience a client has of your work is not the UI.

In many cases, it's the Installation Package.

Packages show you are meticulous and value your customer. When delivering a birthday gift, you take the time to wrap it up. Not wrapping it, gives the recipient the idea that your deliverable is an afterthought, of less import. It devalues your work.

And do it carefully. There's nothing as annoying as becoming excited at receiving a new present/package, only to have to pull out a tooth trying to get the ribbon knot undone.

Give it a UI. Give it a way to be scripted.

Environment Fields

Most importantly, give it a way to run against a secondary file of variables. Delivery to banks and government departments mean that you'll never personally access the environment your software will be installed in. You'll give the package to a person who will install it in a gatekeeper environment, then pass it to to be installed in an ST environment (that environment you may get to know), then passed to another team to be installed in a QA environment, then installed in a PROD environment. Since you won't be accessing those environments, nor ever know their physical charateristics (name, etc.) they will have to enter those fields in your installer. Make it very easy for them…by writting those vars in an accompying INI or XML file that the installer finds and merges in.