Symbian Developer Library



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Introduction to the software installer

The software installer is a component of Symbian OS that allows software to be installed onto a phone by end users.

Native software (that is, not Java MIDlets, which are installed by an entirely separate component called the Java MIDlet installer) can only be installed onto a phone if it has first been packaged into an installation ('SIS') file. Note that the SIS file format changed significantly in v9.1, so that pre-9.1 SIS files will no longer install, and v9.x files will not install on pre-9.x devices.

The installer’s responsibilities are to:-

Platform security rules

The introduction of platform security in Symbian OS version 9.1 means that the software installer enforces some new rules. This is a brief summary.

If any of the rules are broken, the installation will fail, and the entire install package will be rejected.

Configuring the installer

Note that the installation engine is configurable by the phone manufacturer via a ROM-based policy file. This allows much of its behaviour to be customised, including the following:

Note also that the user interface implemented on top of the installation engine is written by the phone manufacturer, so the dialogs and messages displayed during the installation may vary from phone to phone.