Once you have your list of applications you are ready to move forward to check these application for compatibility. There’s several different options for tools you could use to help streamline and automate the process such as the tools I have reviews of on this very blog such as Citrix AppDNA , Quest ChangeBase and Flexera Compatibility Pack. The beauty of these tools is they allow you to batch process all of your applications at once. The tools use a Red Amber Green status to highlight the compatibility status. Green is likely to work without re-work, Amber is likely to work with possible issues that may need re-work, Red can mean an application is not likely to work and may require a new version from the vendor or developer. The tools spit out an overview report which will show you a pie chart with a number of how many of your applications are ready to go, how many require work and how many are not likely to work so it will help you estimate the work effort involved, they can also assist if you want to try and virtualize your applications. They also provide a much more granular reporting stating the exact issues and the exact action required for each application. It really takes the guess work out of things. It also saves you from manually testing every single application prior to packaging and deployment. Which is a significant chunk of work. Many of these tools also automate the packaging and fix work for you. Check out my blog posts on these as linked earlier in this paragraph for more.
If these are not an option you could use ACT to try and gauge compatibility, however this is not as robust, detailed and as stated before the info is largely community based so you can’t be too sure that it is accurate whilst the other tools are programmatic and although not 100% they do seem to get the vast majority of issues ahead of time. Knowing the likelihood of what apps will work with little to no effort can also help with planning your deployment which is in the the final Part of this series. If the apps for some departments are all green the packaging will be quicker. That is, if packaging is even required. If you believe your packages are to a good standard and do not require re-work it is still a good idea to test these before deploying. As stated no tool is 100% Without any tool to use, you would need to test all the applications and then apply the fix as required. You would need to troubleshoot the issues in order to know how to remediate and this would lead to a lengthy remediation process. Plus you would have no re-assurance that you caught all of the issues through the testing you performed yourself.
Another tool which may be of interest if FutureState which from what I can recall seems to revert to a database and information online to tell you if the vendor supports the application on Windows 7. A simple concept but a good one, as support for applications from a vendor could be important to you. If you have business critical applications that serve the majority of your users, it’s a good idea to ensure the vendor will support it on your OS.
At this late stage of the game, I would think a tool like the one’s mentioned above can help get you there before the deadline and ease the pressure from a resource standpoint. Once you have the information from compatibility analysis it’s time to get packaging and remediating the issues.
For more read on to Part 4