The Automatic Patching System (APS) is a program, to be developed and used by VistA system administrators for the purpose of updating the VistA system in a quick and efficient manner. APS emulates the manual process of entering patches into the system is a way such that human intervention is not necessary.
Patching, at its basic level, consists of gathering the patch, checking dependencies, installing the patch, and logging the status. APS will be designed to handle the manual part of this process on a per patch basis. As shown in figure 1, each patch will offer input into the business rules. The patch itself and the business rules will feed into the kids module to provide direction on how things should be done. The person installing the patch, hereafter called "user", also has input on how the direction of the Kids install should go. Kids will then use all this information and update the VistA system. The VistA system will provide a log of how the install went which can be read directly by the user or used as input into a third class system to update the site’s specific log.
The current method of installing patches is tedious and long. Many sites are behind and the thought of "catching up" is a daunting one. APS is not a total patching solution, but rather a method of installing some of the less complex patches in an automated way. Below are the principle reasons for writing the APS program.