Thursday 29 October 2009

5x5x5 App-V Application Compatibility Issues: Part 2

As promised in my last blog posting, the focus of this post will be review the results of our analysis on App-V application compatibility issues for Windows 7.

So, just to recap. We are analysing issues for existing App-V application packages that are running fine (i.e. well enough) on Windows XP with the App-V client and now need to be moved over to the Windows 7 desktop platform. The challenge here is trying to determine what sequenced applications under App-V will experience application compatibility issues when run on Windows 7.

So, not all of our standard AOK Windows 7 compatibility tests will be an issue. I have removed our installation logic and MSI Installer Custom Action checks from the results as they do not apply to this sample set as the source packages are not MSI files but Sequenced SFT files

And, here are the Top 5 issues that you might encounter when migrating App-V sequenced packages are moved to Windows 7.

As you already know, Microsoft's App-V platform does not solve OS level compatibility issues, but solves application-level conflict issues. Just because an App-V application works great on Windows XP, unfortunately it does not mean that the sequenced package will work on  Windows 7 or Server 2008 platforms.

So, quickly reviewing these results. It looks like the most common issues will be legacy Help File (HLP files) and Hard-Coded References as potential configuration issues and the un-signed driver issues will definitely cause issues on Windows 7 64-bit platforms.

I will do a full review (and some aggregation) of these results in the final post in this series. To give some idea of the ideas behind each report, I have included a brief description of the some of the AOK Plugins that were included in the results.

Legacy Help File Scan
This platform compatibility Plugin scans application packages for Microsoft legacy Help file formats (HLP) and makes them compatible and usable from within Vista and Windows 7.

Hard Coded References Scan
This AOK Plugin analyses each loaded and selected application package for hard coded values of folder paths. Any hard coded paths found that can be represented by an MSI Installer property will be replaced with the property.

Un-Signed Driver Analysis
This AOK Plugin analyses each loaded and selected application package and will identify each driver (DRV or SYS file) contained within the package that does NOT contain file level Signed or Certificate information.    Due to the new requirements for Windows 7, all driver binaries must be digitally signed. If an application is installed on Windows 7 64-bit and it contains unsigned drivers, then the application will fail to load that driver and the application may fail to execute or behave unexpectedly.  

Legacy Control Panel Applet Scan
As part of the platform compatibility scan for Windows Vista, all legacy Control Panel Applets (CPL files)  are highlighted. These highlighted control panel applets should be removed or upgraded to Vista compatible versions.

The Windows Vista networking stack has been completely rewritten. Instead of the dual stack model that exists in Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 (to support IPv4 and IPv6), it implements a new architecture whereby there is a single transport and framing layer that support multiple IP layers.  This means that specific legacy protocols are no longer supported. In this case, the now deprecated SPX/IPX protocol.

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