StreetPro is one of the few data products we currently supply with an installer. A few years ago we evolved from individual installers included in each product to a single global installer that could:
The Software and data marketplace makes it a lot easier to manage data product installations as you can now see a list of your products and pick which ones to download and install on demand. If you want to automate the download and install process we provide an SDK for doing that easily.
So, I'm wondering if we really need an installer for any of our data products any longer.
I've already had some client feedback around installers so it's time to outline the case
Have I missed any Pros and Cons here?
How was your experience of using our installers?
Do you think data product installers are still relevant and useful?
As a data company, the choice of "Installer" or "simple-zip" has been a challenge to us over the years. The conclusion I've come to is that neither is perfect for all scenarios.
One additional advantage of the installer approach is that the package can be digitally signed with a code signing certificate. This gives an assurance to the end user that the package (which has most likely been downloaded these days) has not been tampered with, and potential malware introduced.
Installers also give an opportunity to add things which need some integration with the operating system. A good example of this for us is a custom font which contains symbology used by some of our point layers. For the installer this is easy, but for a manual installation, there's the process of documenting an extra step.
The biggest issues against installers is that of difficulty using them due to security lock-downs or installation on platforms other than Windows. Having used an installer for our global data products for several years, I've observed that problem increasing. When our current code signing certificate expires next year, I'll have to make the choice on continuation of installers. I suspect we'll stop using installers for data products next year, except when there is an integrated piece of software. Right now, I'm providing both options for some products, but that's unsustainable.
Regards,Warren VickEuropa Technologies Ltd.