The UpdateShield system basically consists of the update system and the Updater. The update system provides an interface to enable the application to control the Updater. You can integrate the update system into your application by using the two provided methods: the shell proection and the UpdateCheck API. The UpdateShield Integrator tool provides the shell protection that can wrap the application with the update system. Hence, there is no programming needed, and you can add the software update capability to your application instantly. The UpdateCheck API provides functions that allow you to add the software update capability to your application, as well as interface with the Updater. The UpdateCheck API provides greater flexibility and seamless integration than the shell protection. For example, you can add the 'Check for Updates' menu item within your application.
The Updater is an agent that runs as a background process to connect to the server, check for updates, download and install them. When performing software update, the Updater loads the Server Side index file from the server and checks against its Client Side index file to determine whether a new update is available. Both Client Side and Server Side index files are XML files that store the update properties such as version number, download link, and options.
In addition, the UpdateShield system also provides the Update Server solution that enables you to extend the manageability of software updates available to the users. The Update Server supports software update subscription that allows you have full control over who and when the user can gain access to download the updates. Besides, the Update Server also supports the enterprise solution to operate a local update server that caches the updates locally. This enables the corporate administrator to control how and when client computers can download and update the application.