Definition of package in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Package (in computer networking)?

In Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), an object that defines software to the SMS system. Packages store information about software so that various components of the software can be identified as a group. You use SMS to install a package on client computers, share the package so that it can be run from network servers, and maintain inventory information about the package. You can create packages for all types of software, including Microsoft, third-party, and in-house applications; data files; batch files; and scripts.

How It Works

A package contains a definition of the files that make up the software, plus other configuration and identification information. You create packages using the Systems Management Server Administrator program. Packages are stored in the SMS database at your site and at all subsites. After you create a package, you must also create a job that can be used to install the package on clients or share the package on servers.

You use a package server - a type of server in an SMS implementation - to install and maintain packages. There are two kinds of package servers:

  • Source servers, which contain the original source files for software to be distributed
  • Distribution servers, which store and distribute the package files

If you want to perform software inventory, you need not explicitly create a job for this purpose. When you define the inventory properties for a package, SMS automatically creates a system job to update the SMS inventory components. This allows SMS to maintain inventory information on the package.