Websense: Reliably Installs their Solution on Multiple Platforms using InstallAnywhere

Customer Profile:

Websense, Inc. is the global leader in integrated Web security, data security, and email security solutions.

Challenge:

Build a single installation project that can reliably install on three different platforms.

Solution:

Simplify and streamline software development by building a single installation project; provide end users with a reliable and professional installation experience.

Benefits:

Websense uses InstallAnywhere to reliably install their Websense Web Security solution on Windows, Linux, and V-Series Websense appliances.

Summary

Websense, Inc. is the global leader in integrated Web security, data security, and email security solutions. One of those applications, Websense Web Security, protects organizations from known and new Web-based threats, including spyware, malicious mobile code, and phishing attacks, bots, and other threats.

“Using InstallAnywhere to build our installers has saved Websense countless hours and headaches.”

Willhelm Lehman, Software Architect, Websense, Inc.

Websense uses InstallAnywhere from Flexera Software to build reliable installers for Websense Web Security. With InstallAnywhere, Websense’s development team is able to save significant time by building a single installer project that installs the Websense solution reliably on every platform they target.

Installation Development Challenge

The Websense Web Security solution is developed to run on Windows, Linux, and V-Series Websense appliances. It’s a mixed language application, and Websense was looking for an easy way to build reliable cross-platform installers for these three platforms without having to create and manage separate installation projects for each one.

Why Websense Chose InstallAnywhere

InstallAnywhere makes it easy for multiplatform installation developer to create professional installers for virtually any platform, including Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, AIX , HP-UX, Windows, and IBM iSeries. Websense chose InstallAnywhere because it made it easy to build a single installation project that ran on Windows, Linux, and V-Series Websense appliances.

Websense’s software architect, Willhelm Lehman, explains, “InstallAnywhere was the only solution that worked. As with Java, InstallAnywhere allows us to focus on a single installation development environment and still support multiple operating systems. Also, the fact that InstallAnywhere is Java-based creates a symbiotic environment between our Java-based technologies and our installer. It’s a perfect fit.”

During install time, InstallAnywhere projects automatically provide installation instructions to Websense’s end users in their native language, which helps Websense provide a superior customer experience. One project can display text in up to 31 languages -- no manual translation necessary. InstallAnywhere also gives Websense the flexibility to build installers that run in silent, console, or full graphical mode. And with InstallAnywhere’s support for installation rollback, Websense knows that if problems occur, their customers’ systems will be rolled back to their original states, avoiding any lasting issues.

Finally, when speaking about the tools and technology support in InstallAnywhere, Willhelm notes that there are three types of functionality in particular that are invaluable to Websense:

  • Built-in Actions: The majority of tasks needed to deploy an application can be handled using InstallAnywhere’s built-in actions and panels, such as modifying registries and environment variables and configuring database and application servers. Willhelm’s favorites are the manifest file actions. “Simply put, this is priceless,” notes Willhelm. “This is the single most important feature in any installation development environment. Without this feature, we would have wasted countless hours.” Manifest files are text files which specify a list of files and directories. Using a manifest file you create outside of InstallAnywhere, you can identify files and directories to be included in the build. At build time, the manifest file is analyzed and its contents are placed into the installer. It allows installers to have an external and open staging area that can be modified at runtime.
  • Broad API Support: InstallAnywhere offers an open Application Programming Interface (API). This API allows developers like Willhelm to write Java code that can run from the InstallAnywhere installer to enhance the built-in functionalities. InstallAnywhere also includes tons of built-in APIs so that developers don’t have to spend time writing code. Websense sees particular value in the FileService API, which provides the ability to modify the file system and manipulate files, directories, and partitions at runtime. “This allows us to create platform-independent file copiers,” says Willhelm. “Saves us a lot of time by eliminating the need to write manual Java code.”
  • The Ability to Customize Dialog Panels: InstallAnywhere includes a vast number of prebuilt panels and dialogs, but Websense found particular value in InstallAnywhere’s easy-to-use dialog editing functionality. “InstallAnywhere let us customize our dialogs to meet Websense Web Security’s exact needs. We even used it to build a UI assembly that helps us avoid the recreation of various SWING layout managers.”

Benefits to Websense from Using InstallAnywhere

Websense has realized three main benefits from using InstallAnywhere to build installations for their Web Security solution:

  • Significant Time Savings: Willhelm explains, “Using InstallAnywhere to build a single installation project that works for every platform we target means we don’t have to waste time creating disjointed installer technologies with different, inferior technologies such as shell scripting.” The time saved during the development cycle is enormous.
  • Simplified Installer Development: Because InstallAnywhere automatically handles all the complex platform-specific requirements, the Websense development team doesn’t have to worry about being experts in every platform they target. InstallAnywhere does the work for them.
  • Reliable, Professional Installers for Every Platform: The installers built with InstallAnywhere provide a consistent, reliable installation experience for Websense’s end users. Reliable installations mean fewer calls to Websense technical support. Plus, the installers have a professional look and feel, making a positive impression on their end users.

Willhelm also notes that a nice side-benefit of building installers with InstallAnywhere has been better, more efficient customer support. Being able to run Java-based installations created with InstallAnywhere allows development teams to have an integrated logging mechanism. The integrated logging mechanism provides a single readable log of vital information on both the applications and the installer that Websense’s tech support staff uses to quickly identify most issues. “This saves Websense countless support hours,” states Willhelm.

“InstallAnywhere will continue to serve as our cross-platform installation platform,” concludes Willhelm. “As Websense continues to embrace open source operating systems such as Linux, InstallAnywhere will serve as the only viable option for targeting such environments.”

About Websense

Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in unified Web, data and email content security solutions, delivers the best security for modern threats at the lowest total cost of ownership to tens of thousands of enterprise, mid-market and small organizations around the world. For more information, visit www.websense.com.

About InstallAnywhere

From a single project file and build environment, InstallAnywhere enables developers to create reliable installations for the broadest range of current platforms including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, AIX , HP-UX, and IBM iSeries. You can learn more about InstallAnywhere and begin a no-cost evaluation at www.flexerasoftware.com/installanywhere.

Begin a Free Evaluation of InstallAnywhere

You can download a free trial version of InstallAnywhere from the Flexera Software Web site at: www.flexerasoftware.com/installanywhere/eval.

Want to learn more best practices for building quality installations? Join an InstallAnywhere training class – visit www.flexerasoftware.com/training for available classes.

About Flexera Software

Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management; solutions delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value to application producers and their customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than 80,000 customers that depend on our comprehensive solutions — from installation and licensing, entitlement and compliance management to application readiness and software license optimization — to strategically manage application usage and achieve breakthrough results realized only through the systems-level approach we provide. For more information, please go to: www.flexerasoftware.com.