Install and Setup the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.5


We all have this question in our mind. “Why does my application break when we change the Operating Systems?”

Typically, whenever a new OS is released, Microsoft makes every effort to ensure application Compatibility. Unfortunately, as the OS evolves and when reliability, security and performance improvements are made, there are some comprises which are made that ends up breaking some applications. Thankfully, when the changes are decided to be made, there is some mitigation planned to address the applications which are broken. Out of which, One of the mitigation tool is “Application Compatibility Toolkit”. In this article, we will look at how to setup this toolkit and Start the AppCompat Process.

ACT Toolkit is Collection of tools which can be used to gather inventory for software, hardware, and device assets. Get Vendor Support and community Statements, Recommendations for fixing applications and also tools to apply compatibility fixes or “shims” to applications. This tool is a free ware. As it has a capability to collect inventory, it needs a place to store these information. Hence, you will need a SQL Server as a pre-requisite. Even a SQL Express will do.

You can download the SQL Server Express edition and Application Compatibility Toolkit from these websites to begin with!

Step 1: Install the SQL Server on your machine. I already have SQL Express installed on my machine; I can see the SQL service running on my machine. (see image below)

SQL Server Express - Installation

Step 2: Start the installation of the Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 (Application Compatibility Toolkit.msi)

Application Compatibility Toolkit - Installation

Step 3: Continue the installation by pressing the Next Button and Install Button.

Application Compatibility Toolkit - Installation Location

Application Compatibility Toolkit - Installation Complete

Once the software is installed, you can see these tools as a part of the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.5. (We will look more in detail about these individual tools in the future videos.)

 Application Compatibility Toolkit - Programs and Softwares

To configure the Application Compatibility Manager, First launch the program as an Administrator. (Right click and Run as Administrator).

Step 4: When you launch this shortcut for the first time, you will get a wizard to configure the program. This is necessary so that, the inventory of your apps can be gathered.

Application Compatibility Toolkit Configuration Wizard

Leave it as the default Enterprise Configuration, Click Next,

Application Compatibility Toolkit Enterprise Configuration

Step 5: Now configure the Database; Click on the Combo Box, you will see the SQLServer Engine. (as shown below) . Click on the Connect Button. This would allow the ACT tool to connect to the SQL Database.

Application Compatibility Toolkit Configurating your ACT Database

Step 6: Name your Database and click on the Create Button. For the demo purpose, i have entered ACTDEMO. Click Next to continue,

Application Compatibility Toolkit - Naming your ACT Database

Step 7: This is another important Step, As this application would gather the inventory of the apps (from different machines also), you need to create a Writeable Share where the logs can be stored. Create a Folder and give Write permissions for everyone on this! Now mention that Shared path in this below dialog. (for eg: \\vj-pc\ACTLogs)

Application Compatibility Toolkit - Log File Location Configuration

Step 8: Complete the Configuration. By clicking on the Finish Button.

Application Compatibility Toolkit Configuration Wizard - Completion

If you observe in the above dialog, you have an option to join the ACT Customer Experience Program. By being a part of this, you can share and exchange your learnings and compatibility reports with the Microsoft.

This completes the Installation and configuration of the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.5. For more detailed Demonstration -If you are on a good bandwidth or you prefer to see this as a Video, Check the same below.