This blog details some of my thoughts and aspirations relating to application packaging, compatibility and the ongoing management of applications on desktop, server and cloud platforms. I have a strong focus on the Windows desktop space, but as we progress into more and more cloud based application management, we will definitely see more posts on getting applications working
in the cloud.
Friday, 23 March 2012
The Four Stages to Application Readiness
In my previous postings, I mention in various ways and manners about the stages for getting applications ready for deployment. A colleague of mine (Sophie) was kind enough to break down the different activities and challenges into four separate stages which she called the ChangeBASE Stages of Application Readiness.
These Stages of Application Readiness deal with collating your application portfolio, assessing for application compatibility, fixing the application and making the required changes, and then converting those updated application packages into the target virtualization format.
The following simple diagram illustrates this idea of the four stages of Application Readiness;
The Loading stage Loading is all about getting your application portfolio together (hopefully, in one standardized format and directory structure) and taking that package information and collection of application binaries and placing into them into database for later interrogation.
Once the applications are collated, and the relevant package meta-data and binary information has been collected you can start the assessment stage. This stage of "asking questions" about potential compatibility issues relates to application installation, configuration, runtime and then application un-installation. Some the platforms that ChangeBASE supports for application compatibility assessment include;
Internet Explorer (6,7,8,9)
In addition to these platforms, most of our clients also need to include an assessment of their application package quality against their existing QA checks and packages standards. Some of our clients also check their application packages against potential compatibility issues with Microsoft updates and Patch Tuesday changes.
One of the great features about the ChangeBASE assessment of these compatibility assessments, is that you can simplify the results and "roll-up" the combined results into a simple Red-Amber-Green table as illustrated in the following image.
Once your application has been assessed for compatibility and compliance with your packages standards and QA checks, ChangeBASE can automatically update the target application package. ChangeBASE uses the Microsoft Installer Transform approach to express changes and updates in an application package. For most organizations, ChangeBASE generally fixes most of the issues raised by a Windows 7 assessment.
Using the same principles of bulk-loading, reporting and fixing, ChangeBASE offers a scalable solution to converting your applications to your desired virtualization format. Once your applications have been loaded into the ChangeBASE database, assessed and remediated then ChangeBASE will automatically convert those application packages in to App-V, VMWare ThinApp and Symantec SWVS virtual packages
And, once these four stages (Load, Assess, Fix and Convert) have been completed, your application portfolio is ready to deploy to User Acceptance Testing (UAT). which as you could guess, will be the subject for another blog posting