1.2. What Are Software Collections?

With Software Collections, you can build and concurrently install multiple versions of the same software components on your system. Software Collections have no impact on the system versions of the packages installed by any of the conventional RPM package management utilities.

Software Collections:

Do not overwrite system files
Software Collections are distributed as a set of several components, which provide their full functionality without overwriting system files.
Are designed to avoid conflicts with system files
Software Collections make use of a special file system hierarchy to avoid possible conflicts between a single Software Collection and the base system installation.
Require no changes to the RPM package manager
Software Collections require no changes to the RPM package manager present on the host system.
Need only minor changes to the spec file
To convert a conventional package to a single Software Collection, you only need to make minor changes to the package spec file.
Allow you to build a conventional package and a Software Collection package with a single spec file
With a single spec file, you can build both the conventional package and the Software Collection package.
Uniquely name all included packages
With Software Collection's namespace, all packages included in the Software Collection are uniquely named.
Do not conflict with updated packages
Software Collection's namespace ensures that updating packages on your system causes no conflicts.
Can depend on other Software Collections
Because one Software Collection can depend on another, you can define multiple levels of dependencies.