Overview and Architecture

At the heart of Prism’s operations is the Channel—which provides a framework for the administrator to interact with managed computers. It serves as the administrator’s conduit for gathering information, setting automatic updates, completing inventories, and targeting specific changes to target computers. The Channel relies on a core set of components (see below) and is viewed through the Console.

The Channel defines:

Quick Start Channel versus Production Channels

To help you get started, Prism is installed with a Quick Start Channel that contains sample configuration groups and Tasks. Use this channel as a learning tool as you work through this guide. When you are ready to move Prism into production, you can use this Channel as a reference for building your production Channel or create a new Channel, constructed with your specific needs in mind.

Note: For more information on setting up Channels, please see Creating a Production Channel after your evaluation.

Core Components

While the administrator focuses on the information, preferences, and tasks contained in the Channel, Prism’s Smart Update provides the intelligence that lets Prism accurately implement the administrator’s instructions and provide detailed feedback. This remarkable synergy is achieved through these core components:


These applications perform specific functions within Prism. They are accessed directly through the Console or, in the case of Package Builder, through the Windows Start menu. The exercises in this Quick Start Guide introduce these components and their use:

Package Builder is usually installed on a "clean" computer that is representative of your target environments. On this machine, the administrator builds deployment Packages, edits and customizes them for deployment, and optionally checks them for conflicts.

Diagram of the Core Components

The image below provides an overview of how the Prism core components work together: