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An "installation verification program" or IVP is a procedure that verifies that a software component or service is behaving as expected. This helps detect errors introduced into that component by maintenance. Ideally, an IVP should: IVPs can also be useful in detecting problems in related components. For example, the correct operation of an IVP for FTP also helps verify that the supporting TCP/IP services are operational. If IVPs are run on a regular basis, they can also help pinpoint when a problem first appeared.

IVPs can incorporate knowledge gained as a result of previous problems encountered with a software component, so that an installation doesn't get hit twice by the same problem. A well-designed IVP can also help avoid the first hit by detecting a failing component before it is unleashed on users of that component.

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