Abstract: This paper contains an overview of the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit It is intended for it professionals interested in gathering application


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NameAbstract: This paper contains an overview of the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit It is intended for it professionals interested in gathering application
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Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0 Product Evaluation Guide

Last Updated: January 2007
Applies to: IT Professionals

Abstract: This paper contains an overview of the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0. It is intended for IT professionals interested in gathering application information about their organizations environment using the tools explained in this document.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication.

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Contents


Introduction

Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.0 helps customers understand their application compatibility situation by identifying which applications are compatible with the Microsoft® Windows Vista™ operating system and which require further testing. ACT helps customers lower their costs for application compatibility testing, prioritize their applications, and deploy Windows Vista more quickly.

Some of the new features in ACT 5.0 include:

  • A Welcome video that summarizes the benefits of using ACT 5.0.

  • The Application Compatibility Manager, which provides:

  • Updated ways of performing configuration, including the ACT Configuration Wizard, which guides you through the initial configuration of your ACT project, database, and log processing service.

  • Updated data collection abilities that enable you not only to gather your compatibility status information but to configure your compatibility evaluator settings and schedule from one central location.

  • Updated data analysis abilities that enable you to view compatibility reports for your applications, computers, devices, Web sites, and Microsoft Windows® Updates, to filter your reports for specific data, and to save and export your reports for workgroup collaboration.

  • New data organization abilities that enable you to categorize and prioritize your application inventory, to select your application compatibility assessments, and to track your deployment status.

  • Compatibility evaluators specific to Windows Vista. These compatibility evaluators include the Inventory Collector, the Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator (IECE), the User Account Control Compatibility Evaluator (UACCE), the Update Compatibility Evaluator (UCE), and the Vista Compatibility Evaluator (VCE) that evaluates potential GINA, Session 0, and deprecation issues.

  • New data collection components, including the Application Compatibility Toolkit Data Collector (ACT-DC) that enable you to maintain your evaluator scheduling, collect your compatibility data, and upload the compatibility issue data to your ACT database.

  • New developer and tester tools that include the Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool, the Setup Analysis Tool (SAT), and the Standard User Analyzer (SUA).

  • The ACT Community, an online environment where you can share your application compatibility testing information with other ACT Community members. Additionally, the ACT Community provides comprehensive compatibility assessment details including My Assessments, Community Assessments, and assessments from both Microsoft Corporation and the software or hardware vendor.

Welcome Video

The ACT welcome video is new in ACT 5.0. The video, available from the final installation screen, consists of a Macromedia® Flash® presentation that presents the benefits of using ACT.

Application Compatibility Manager

Starting ACT 5.0 also starts the Application Compatibility Manager, which enables you to configure, collect, organize, and analyze all of your compatibility data from a single user interface.

Configuring ACT

You can quickly configure your ACT project, including defining your environment, creating your ACT database, and configuring your ACT Log Processing Service.

ACT Configuration Wizard

The ACT Configuration Wizard, which you access during the initial application launch, enables you to configure for an enterprise or collaborative environment. Configuration for an enterprise environment enables you to create a new ACT project, including creating a new ACT database and configuring your ACT Log Processing Service. Configuration for a collaborative environment enables multiple users within your organization to analyze data and work together on an existing ACT project.

Change Settings Dialog Box

After your initial configuration through the ACT Configuration Wizard, ACT 5.0 enables you to modify any of your configuration choices through the Change Settings dialog box of the Application Compatibility Manager. Using the available tabs, you can redefine your ACT database and your ACT Log Processing Service, decide whether to join the ACT Community, and decide whether to receive automatic ACT product updates.

Collecting Data

On the Collect screen of the Application Compatibility Manager, you can create your data collection packages, including choosing, configuring, and scheduling your compatibility evaluators, and configuring how the log files will move from your client computers to your ACT database.

Windows Vista Compatibility Evaluators

ACT 5.0 contains the following new and updated compatibility evaluators, specifically for the Windows Vista operating system:


Compatibility Evaluator

Description

Inventory Collector

Identifies the installed applications and system information within your organization.

Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator (IECE)

Identifies potential Web site and Web application issues due to the release of a new version of Internet Explorer.

User Account Control Compatibility Evaluator (UACCE)

Identifies potential compatibility issues due to the enforcement of permission restrictions by the User Account Control (UAC), formerly known as Limited User Account (LUA).

Update Compatibility Evaluator (UCE)

Identifies potential application compatibility issues due to the deployment of a new Windows security update.

Vista Compatibility Evaluator (VCE)

Identifies potential compatibility issues due to the Graphical Identification and Authentication (GINA) DLLs, to services running in Session 0, and to any application components deprecated in the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system.


You configure these compatibility evaluators in the Application Compatibility Manager.

Application Compatibility Toolkit Data Collector

Data collection for ACT 5.0 employs a new component: the Application Compatibility Toolkit Data Collector (ACT-DC). You deploy ACT-DC to your client computers, where it installs the compatibility evaluators and provides a user interface to maintain the evaluator scheduling, collect your compatibility data, and upload the compatibility issue data to your ACT database.

Using ACT-DC provides the following benefits:

  • Consolidates compatibility evaluators into a single installation and single deployment.

  • Simplifies configuration and management of data collection, making the data more reliable, comprehensive, and useful.

  • Provides status for compatibility evaluator installation, start time, and completion.

  • Increases the accuracy and relevance of issue data by aggregating the data from multiple compatibility evaluators.

ACT-DC also enables you to use the various compatibility evaluators to evaluate:

  • Your operating system deployment, including gathering an application and computer inventory for your environment, identifying compatibility issues caused by permission restrictions enforced by the User Account Control (UAC) and issues related to Session 0, GINA, and depreciated components.

  • Your Web sites and Web applications for potential issues that they might have with a new operating system.

  • Windows update deployments by identifying potential compatibility conflicts based on changes to the registry, application files, or application file properties.

Analyzing Data

After collecting your compatibility data, ACT 5.0 provides features and tools to help you organize, rationalize, prioritize, and view the data.

  • Organize your data: Create custom compatibility reports, assign custom categories and subcategories to your applications based on geographies, departments, internal line-of-business applications, or any custom application tags, and analyze your compatibility data using three types of quick reports, including the Operating System Deployment reports, the Update Impact Analyzer Application reports, and the Internet Explorer 7 reports.

  • Rationalize your data: Locate and share your compatibility information, issues, and solutions with industry peers using the Microsoft Compatibility Exchange and the ACT Community. You can also filter your data to eliminate non-relevant applications, applications with specific issues, applications with no known issues, or applications with no compatibility information, and you can manage issues and solutions for each application in your company.

  • Prioritize your data: Assign priorities to your applications, track the status of your application testing by identifying their position in the deployment process, and run Quick Reports for understanding your current deployment status based on your prioritizations.

Filtering Your Reports

You have the ability to filter your compatibility data in any of the available reports. Through the use of a Query Builder, you can create queries that enable you to view only the information that you want to see, for example specific categories, subcategories, risk ratings, or even issue type.

Using Quick Reports

You can view and analyze your compatibility data using several standardized reports in the Application Compatibility Manager, including operating system reports for the Windows Vista and Microsoft® Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) operating systems, and update impact reports for Windows updates.

Operating System Reporting – Summary Reports

The Application Compatibility Manager provides summaries on your organization's data inventoried using the ACT compatibility evaluators. The following table provides a list of the available summary report features in the ACT 5.0 release.

Report Feature

Details

Current Inventory

Provides a high-level overview of your application inventory, including the following data:

  • Total Computers

  • Total Applications

  • Total Devices

Compatibility Assessment – Applications

Provides a high-level overview of your organization's assessment of application compatibility, including the following data from My Assessment, Vendor, and Microsoft:

  • Applications that do not work

  • Applications that have minor issues

  • Applications that have no issues

  • Applications with no data

Compatibility Assessment – Devices

Provides a high-level overview of your organization's assessment of application compatibility, including the following data:

  • Devices that do not work

  • Devices that have minor issues

  • Devices known to work

  • Devices with no data

Operating System Reporting – Application Reports

The Application Compatibility Manager provides reports on your organization's applications, inventoried using the ACT compatibility evaluators. The following table provides a list of the available report features in the ACT 5.0 release.


Report Feature

Details

Application Inventory

Provides a high-level overview of your application inventory. You can include and exclude columns, view compatibility issues, and manage other reporting features such as your compatibility assessments, application categories, and deployment status.

Compatibility Assessment

Enables you to view your organization's assessment of a specific application's compatibility. The assessment can be one of the following:

  • No Data

  • Works

  • Works with Minor Issues or Has Solutions

  • Does Not Work

Priority

Enables you to view your organization's priority ranking of a specific application. The priority can be one of the following:

  • Priority 1 - Business Critical

  • Priority 2 - Important

  • Priority 3 - Nice to Have

  • Priority 4 – Unimportant

  • Unspecified

Deployment Status

Enables you to view your organization's deployment status for a specific application. The status can be one of the following:

  • Not Reviewed

  • Testing

  • Mitigating

  • Ready to Deploy

  • Will Not Deploy

Custom Category

Enables you to organize your computer data better by enabling you to create custom categories and subcategories.

Application Details

Enables you to view an application's details, including:

  • Issue details. A list of compatibility issues reported for a specific application.

  • Computer list. A list of computers with the application installed.

  • Application details. The details for the specific application, which includes a list of the executable files, the installation files, the information files, and so on.


Operating System Reporting – Computer Reports

The Application Compatibility Manager provides reports on your organization's computers, inventoried using the ACT compatibility evaluators. The following table provides a list of the available report features in the ACT 5.0 release.


Report Feature

Details

Computer Inventory

Provides a high-level overview of your computer inventory. You can include and exclude columns, view compatibility issues for installed applications and devices, and manage other reporting features such as your categories and priorities.

Priority

Enables you to view your organization's priority ranking of a specific computer. The priority can be one of the following:

  • Priority 1 - Business Critical

  • Priority 2 - Important

  • Priority 3 - Nice to Have

  • Priority 4 – Unimportant

  • Unspecified

Deployment Status

Enables you to view your organization's deployment status for a specific application. The status can be one of the following:

  • Not Reviewed

  • Testing

  • Mitigating

  • Ready to Deploy

  • Will Not Deploy

Custom Category

Enables you to organize your computer data better by enabling you to create custom categories and subcategories.

Computer Details

Enables you to view a computer's details, including:

  • Application list. A list of applications installed on the specific computer.

  • Device list. A list of devices installed on the specific computer.

  • Computer details. The details for the specific computer, which includes the computer name, processor speed, RAM, and so on.


Operating System Reporting – Device Reports

The Application Compatibility Manager provides reports on your organization's installed devices, inventoried using the ACT compatibility evaluators. The following table provides a list of the available report features in the ACT 5.0 release.


Report Feature

Details

Device Inventory

Provides a high-level overview of your device inventory. You can include and exclude columns, view compatibility issues, and manage other reporting features such as priorities.

Compatibility Assessment

Enables you to view the compatibility assessment provided by the authoritative sources for a specific device.

Priority

Enables you to view your organization's priority ranking of a specific device. The priority can be one of the following:

  • Priority 1 - Business Critical

  • Priority 2 - Important

  • Priority 3 - Nice to Have

  • Priority 4 – Unimportant

  • Unspecified

Device Details

Enables you to view a computer's details, including:

  • Computer list. A list of computers with the installed device.

  • Device details. The details for the specific device, which includes, manufacturer, model, the compatibility assessment, and so on.


Operating System Reporting – Web site Reports

The Application Compatibility Manager provides reports on your organization's Web sites and Web applications, inventoried using the Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator (IECE). The following table provides a list of the available report features in the ACT 5.0 release.


Report Feature

Details

Web site Inventory

Provides a high-level overview of your Web site and Web application inventory. You can view compatibility issues and manage other reporting features such as compatibility assessments, categories, and the deployment status.

Compatibility Assessment

Enables you to view your organization's assessment of a specific Web site or Web application's compatibility. The assessment can be one of the following:

  • No Data

  • Works

  • Works with Minor Issues or Has Solutions

  • Does Not Work

Priority

Enables you to view your organization's priority ranking of a specific Web site or Web application. The priority can be one of the following:

  • Priority 1 - Business Critical

  • Priority 2 - Important

  • Priority 3 - Nice to Have

  • Priority 4 – Unimportant

  • Unspecified

Deployment Status

Enables you to view your organization's deployment status for a specific Web site or Web application. The status can be one of the following:

  • Not Reviewed

  • Testing

  • Mitigating

  • Ready to Deploy

  • Will Not Deploy

Custom Category

Enables you to organize your Web site and Web application data better by enabling you to create custom categories and subcategories.

Web site Details

Enables you to view a Web site or Web application's details, including a list of the compatibility issues found for a specific Web site or Web application.


Update Impact – Summary Reports

The Application Compatibility Manager provides summaries on your organization's data inventoried using the Update Compatibility Evaluator (UCE). The following table provides a list of the available update impact summary report features in the ACT 5.0 release.

Report Feature

Details

Compatibility Assessment – Applications

Provides a high-level overview of your organization's assessment of applications that may be impacted by a Windows Update, including:

  • Total Number of Applications Potentially Impacted

  • Total Number of Applications With No Data

  • Total Number of Applications Not Impacted

  • Total Number of Applications

Compatibility Assessment – Updates

Provides a high-level overview of your organization's assessment of updates that may impact your applications, including:

  • Total Number Updates Potentially Impacting Applications

  • Total Number Updates Not Shown to Impact Applications

  • Total Number Updates

Update Impact - Application Reports

The Application Compatibility Manager provides reports on your organization's applications, inventoried using the Update Compatibility Evaluator (UCE). The following table provides a list of the available report features in the ACT 5.0 release.

Report Feature

Details

Application Inventory

Provides a high-level overview of your application inventory. You can include and exclude columns, view active issues, and manage other reporting features such as your application categories and priorities.

Priority

Enables you to view your organization's priority ranking of a specific application. The priority can be one of the following:

  • Priority 1 - Business Critical

  • Priority 2 - Important

  • Priority 3 - Nice to Have

  • Priority 4 – Unimportant

  • Unspecified

Custom Category

Enables you to filter your application data better by using custom categories and subcategories. For example, you can filter your applications to show results with a category assignment of Software Vendor and a subcategory assignment of Microsoft Corporation.

Application Details

Enables you to view an application's details, including:

  • Intersecting updates. A list of updates that could cause compatibility issues due to an intersection with your installed applications. Details also include the intersections between files and registry keys and the updates.

  • Computer list. A list of computers with the application installed.

  • Application details. The details for the specific application, which includes a list of the executable files, the installation files, the information files, and so on.


Update Impact Analyzer - Update Reports

The Application Compatibility Manager provides reports about specific Windows updates. The following table provides a list of the available report features in the ACT 5.0 release

Report Feature

Details

Update Inventory

Provides a high-level overview of your available updates, as downloaded from the Microsoft Compatibility Exchange. You can include and exclude columns, view compatibility issues, and manage other reporting features such as your severity assessment, custom categories, and your deployment status.

My Severity

Enables you to view your organization's severity ranking of a specific update, which you can use to prioritize how the updates are tested and deployed. The severity can be one of the following:

  • Critical

  • Important

  • Moderate

  • Low

Deployment Status

Enables you to view your organization's deployment status for a specific update. The status can be one of the following:

  • Not Reviewed

  • Testing

  • Mitigating

  • Ready to Deploy

  • Will Not Deploy

Custom Category

Enables you to organize your update data better by using custom categories and subcategories.

Update Details

Enables you to view an update's details, including:

  • Intersecting applications. A list of applications that could cause compatibility issues due to an intersection with a Windows update. Details also include the files and registry keys causing the potential issues.

  • Update details. The details for the specific Windows update, which includes the bulletin number, the release date, and so on.


Compatibility Administrator

The Compatibility Administrator tool enables you to resolve many of your potential application compatibility issues before deploying a new version of Windows to your organization.

The Compatibility Administrator assists you by:

  • Providing individual compatibility fixes and compatibility modes to resolve specific compatibility issues.

  • Enabling you to create custom compatibility fixes, compatibility modes, and compatibility databases.

  • Providing a query tool that enables you to search for installed fixes on your local computers.

ACT Community

ACT 5.0 provides access to the ACT Community, an online environment that enables you to share your issue and solution data with other ACT users, thus providing valuable insight into reported issues and solutions in addition to contributing to the overall community statistics for an application.

You upload and download your compatibility information to the ACT Community data during the ACT synchronization process. However, the ACT Community provides you with privacy by allowing you to share your data either anonymously or through an e-mail address and to share only selected applications with the community.

Development Tools

ACT 5.0 provides new tools for developers to test setup packages, Web sites and Web applications with Windows® Internet Explorer 7, and applications running as standard users in Windows Vista. The following table provides information about the development tools.


Development Tool

Description

Setup Analysis Tool

Automates running application installations while monitoring the actions taken by each application’s installer. The Setup Analysis Tool detects the following potential issues:

  • Installation of kernel mode drivers

  • Installation of 16-bit components

  • Installation of Graphical Identification and Authentication (GINA) DLLs

  • Modification of files or registry keys that are under Windows Resource Protection in Microsoft® Windows Vista

Internet Explorer Test Tool

Collects your Web-based issues from Internet Explorer® 7, uploads the data to the ACT Log Processing Service, and shows your results in real time.

Standard User Analyzer

Determines possible issues for applications running as a standard user in Windows Vista.

ACT 5.0 Installation Requirements, Availability, and Compatibility Data

The following sections provide information about hardware and software requirements, the download location, and the data available for the ACT 5.0 release, and any disclaimers.

Software Requirements

The following defines the minimum software requirements for installing and using the ACT 5.0 release.

Supported Operating Systems

ACT requires one of the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2)

  • Microsoft® Windows® 2000 with Service Pack 4 (SP4) Release Update

  • Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)

  • Microsoft® Windows Vista

Supported Database Components

ACT requires one of the following database components after installation:

  • Microsoft® SQL Server 2000

  • Microsoft® SQL Server 2005

  • Microsoft® SQL Server 2005 Express Edition

Miscellaneous Software Requirements

ACT requires you have the following software installed:

  • Microsoft® .NET Framework, version 1.1




Note   If you have not installed the software, you will receive a prompt pointing you to the appropriate download location.

Hardware Requirements

The following table shows the minimum and recommended system requirements for use with the ACT 5.0 release.




ACT Components

Minimum Requirements

Recommended Requirements

Application Compatibility Manager client and ACT Log Processing Service servers

550 MHz processor with 256 MB of RAM

2.8 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM

ACT client databases

1 GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM

2.8 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM


Accessing the Product

The following section explains how to download the ACT 5.0 release.

To download the ACT 5.0 release


  1. On the ACT 5.0 download screen, click Download.

  2. Do one of the following:

  • To start the installation immediately, click Run.

  • To save the download to your computer for installation at a later time, click Save.

  • To cancel the installation, click Cancel.


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