No, your eyes are not deceiving you! Since the Summer’13 release, you can now automate the installation and uninstall of managed packages! The main use case for this I guess is for those building Continuous Integration build systems using Apache Ant. Where they are deploying code which requires dependent packages to be installed before deployment.
In addition this is also a useful API for building package management tools and UI’s to help administrators install other packages you offer via a kind of package menu! Thus I’ll show how to use it from my Apex Metadata API wrapper.
From Ant via <installPackage> and <uninstallPackage> Tasks
So first lets look at doing this via Ant. You’ll need to download the Force.com Migration Toolkit from your Tools page. I’ve placed the ant-salesforce.jar file in a lib subfolder as per the reference in the sample below.
You can only deploy the new InstalledPackage component type…
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