Wednesday 24 March 2010

Static Analysis: Out of the closet

A friend of mine, Chris Jackson may or not be known to you few who read this blog. Touted as the Top Man in Application Compatibility he undoubtedly has more knowledge, experience and understanding on the topic of application compatibility than all other organic (non-silicon) beings on the planet.

Recently, he posted a note on his blog about static analysis for application compatibility that may be interesting.

His posting can be found here;

I think his views on the topic are interesting - however, I think he raises a few key points that I feel the need to comment upon.

Chris notes that;

"One thing you want to be very careful of with all of the tools: it’s remarkably easy to surface all kinds of “issues” which would be “better” if you fixed them, but the software still lets you get your job done if you did nothing about it. Chances are, you were given the budget for an application compatibility project, not an application quality project. Application quality projects cost more than application compatibility projects – don’t create one accidentally."

I think from what we are seeing in the Enterprise application compatibility space is that as part of a migration to Windows 7 (or App-V) getting your applications to the next platform, really is a "Quality Issue". We are finding that most clients standards have changed and/or improved over the past few years since the last migration (remember the move TO Windows XP??).

So, the point here is that there is probably a large chunk of work to be done on each package as part of the migration effort. So, here is a quick summary of the tasks you may to complete to get each application package ready for the target platform;

  1. Windows 7 Compatibility fixes
  2. App-V tuning and optimization
  3. Industry Best Practice Updates
  4. Quality Assurance Analysis and Updates

So, you may have a lot of work to do to get your application packages into shape for the new platform. When we created AOK, we saw this issue coming and created automated fixes for these issues.

So, if you are doing a Compatibility Project, you are probably expected to also deliver a Quality Project.  And, my guess is that you need an automated solution for both the analysis and the remediation. 

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