The release manager is made up of several parts that work in conjunction to help you distribute your project. Installing it and keeping it up to date. While the release manager at it's heart is patching solution you will learn it is in fact a full release management solution.
Files are stored on your FTP site, accessible through the URL supplied with the configuration. Once someone has installed your project that URL can not be changed easily.
Your customer's installation will then download the latest version of the Launcher from the release manager's host page. The launcher then downloads the display configuration and data from your hosted site. This data is cached locally to save your customers bandwidth. New data will be downloaded periodically.
The launcher then downloads the version list from your server and compares it to the currently downloaded version. Once that is done the launcher proceeds to download each version's catalog. The zip file with all the patch's data is downloaded and executed against the current version until the version is up to date.
As a last measure the version is compared to its md5 and crc to validate that each of the files is correctly patched. Any files found not to be patched correctly will be downloaded separately and patched again.
The release manager takes various versions of your product and compiles them into patches. The first version will simply be all the files of your product zipped up. Additionally each of your files will be zipped individually for downloading of individual files should one be damaged.
The compilation process also build the crc and md5 data for each file. These are added into the release manifest. This manifest is uploaded with files for each release.
Once the release is uploaded you can flag it as the current release. This will upload the new release schedule. This schedule will then cause each of the Launchers to download the newest version.
The compiler will use a lot of memory. Approximately 10 times the largest files size you compile. If you don't have enough memory the system will start using hard drive swap space. For 32 bit versions of the Release Manager the memory limit is 4 gb since that is the maximum address space.
The launcher is as much about launching and updating your product as it is about marketing to your users. After all the first thing your users will see is their launcher screen, and first impressions last. This is why we have put a lot of energy and thought into the Launcher and the Launcher designer. The Launcher is just an empty shell and downloads all its data from your site. This means you can update your launcher design after release and it will update.