June 18, 2008 12:18 am

Deployment vs Installation

I was talking to somebody about different software defect types and came a topic about Installation and Deployment as 2 items. Now brainstorm a little bit. What exactly is an Installation and what exactly is a Deployment? Well, according to the work flow snap shot according to the software development life cycle (SDLC), –> Design a solution, Build a solution, Compile what was developed and create an installer and now release the bits for testing or let’s assume it was tested and being released to production – either way, now comes a point of Deployment.

Well there are different interpretations:

a. both Installation and deployment are the same
b. no, installation is an action and deployment is a process
c. okay, now we find a defect as part of this activity of setting up the environment (where we apply the bits on a server), so where does this defect categorized as? I understand there are different constraints and answer could be “it depends” on “approach, steps, machine configuration/readiness, etc etc

The point is, there are different terminology, and each individual has his/her own interpretation or understanding of what the term is, although they refer to the same/similar action.

according to dictionary.com, though it gives multiple definitions, i picked the ones appropriate for software deployment.
Installation: A system of machinery or other apparatus set up for use
Deployment: To put into use or action

What is your interpretation between the terms Installation and Deployment, when you are ready to log defects or create your testing story as part of the system setup.

<update 6/18> cross posted in TestRepublic discussion forum [link]: http://www.testrepublic.com/forum/topic/show?id=1178155%3ATopic%3A26272 

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  1. They are not same. Installation is like a initial setup which prepares an application to provide service Deployment is what that puts an application into actual use. If some enhancement or modification is done, only re-deployment is done and we do not do installation again.

    We do installation for initial setup and we do deployment several times depending upon changes.

    Comment by Harsha — June 18, 2008 10:03 am @ 10:03 am | Reply

  2. Thank you Harsha.
    So, are you saying Installation is like a “System Setup” or “environment setup”?

    regarding enhancements, it depends on how the Installers were built and the number of DLLs get changed across the application. So, depending on that you would have to re-run the installer to un-install all affected programs / components and re-install those components all over.

    Comment by ramsblog — June 18, 2008 11:41 am @ 11:41 am | Reply

  3. Ram, Good Question..
    I think many a times deployment and installation are used interchangebly.

    I beleive installation is the setup that we do from step zero (there is nothing existing and you come and setup) and deployment includes configuring the application so that its ready to use. I think Harsha has more or less summarised.

    But, when we do increment releases, unfortunately I get to hear this “INSTALL” term. Also, when they are providing a patch, they follow the term deploy…

    Comment by Veena — June 26, 2008 9:30 am @ 9:30 am | Reply

  4. Hi,
    In my view when we install(any application)its reference goes to operating system so that we can use that application. so there is only a single interface in using that application. what when we deploy (something on application) it enhances it properties for more uses and its reference is available only to that application where we have deployed.

    Comment by AtulMittal — November 13, 2008 12:37 am @ 12:37 am | Reply

  5. Actually,
    Installation – Running SETUP.exe file, which will put the program files required to run application in local path (C: or other) and creates registry integraties and assembly references to run applicaton.

    Deployment – No need to install, create registry entries, so on. Only supported files needed to execute..just putting the files in currently logged in user path.

    Am i right? If not correct me..

    Comment by Shanmugavel — June 24, 2010 4:45 am @ 4:45 am | Reply

  6. Installation – installing a service/system in a location

    a software package on a computer
    Visual Studio on a Server
    installing – first instance

    Deploying – taking an installed service/system and moving/copying it from one environment to another

    the solution from test to production
    a new AV edge proxy on network
    deploying – instance exists and now is being moved/copied to another location.

    Comment by Aaron Toth — October 18, 2010 9:19 am @ 9:19 am | Reply

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