Community Activities Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

VTD Video – Finding, Testing, and Fixing Apps on Windows 7 using ACT 5.6

The 10th edition of Virtual TechDays – was held on 22-24 November last month. It must have given a real opportunity to get trained in some of the key technology domains that we work on as part of our day-to-day work. As you folks are aware,  I did a session on Finding, Testing, and Fixing Applications on Windows 7 using ACT 5.6. Check out the video below –

 Finding, Testing, and Fixing Applications on Windows 7 using ACT 5.6

You can download rest of the VTD videos here, To learn more on the Application Compatibility Toolkit, read these How To Articles.

Community Activities Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

I am Speaking in TechNet Webcasts – Windows Optimized Desktop Strategy

Microsoft conducts a series of TechNet webcasts for IT Professionals for the benefit of the community. These are 90-minute interactive sessions with experts on various technologies ranging from Windows 7, Windows Server, SQL Server, Virtualization, Visio and SharePoint. You might want to attend these sessions to have a better understanding of the capabilities that these technologies offer and learn how they can help you efficiently manage day-to-day IT operations.

TechNet Webcasts – Windows Optimized Desktop Strategy

As a part of this program, I will be doing a session today on Windows Optimized Desktop Strategy. Register for this webcast here.

The desktop is more than just the operating system: The desktop includes the applications that make your business run, the data with which you make critical business decisions, the settings that help your employees personalize their PCs and make them more productive, and the hardware your users need to access the entire computing environment. When making client computing decisions, it is essential to have a complete desktop strategy that considers the whole desktop — User Settings, Data, Applications, browser, and the operating system. Attend this session to understand how to plan for a broader desktop strategy for your organization and users.

I will be focusing on these below areas –

For your reference., I will post the slide-deck once the webcast completes!

Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Lync Server 2010 Training Course Published on MSDN

Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Microsoft Lync 2010 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 provide the communication platform for developers to rapidly build solutions that integrate and extend communications into their business processes based on familiar tools and skills.

The Unified Communications “14” Training Course and the Unified Communications “14” Developer Training Kit provide deep technical training on all aspects of the Lync Server 2010, Lync 2010 and Exchange Server 2010 SDKs to give developers the skills they need to be productive developing communications driven business processes.

Getting Started with Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2010 DevelopmentIn this session, you’ll learn about the new platform capabilities shipping in Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.

Integrating Microsoft Lync 2010 Features with the Lync ControlsIn this session, you learn how to integrate Microsoft Lync 2010 features into your WPF and Silverlight clients much in the same way that Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 do, including presence, contact lists and click-to-communicate features.

Building Contextual Conversation Applications with the Microsoft Lync 2010 Managed APIIn this session, you’ll learn how to extend Microsoft Lync 2010 communications to include data and features from your client applications much in the same way that Outlook 2010 does with the “IM” and “Call” features within an email.

Building Communications Clients with the Lync 2010 Managed APIIn this session, you’ll learn how to programmatically control Microsoft Lync 2010 from within your applications using an easy to discover, easy to use managed API.

Getting Started with Exchange Web Services Managed API 1.0In this session, you’ll learn how to integrate Exchange 2010 mailbox data such as mail, calendar and task items as well as Exchange 2010 services such as the free-busy service into your applications using an easy to discover and easy to use managed API.

Getting Started with Unified Communications Managed API 3.0In this session, you’ll get started with the basics of UCMA 3.0 SDK development such as application provisioning, call control, and call transfer.

Building Communications Workflows with UCMA 3.0 Workflow SDKIn this session, you’ll learn how to use the UCMA 3.0 Workflow SDK to build communications-enabled workflow solutions such as personal virtual assistants.

Building Advanced Communications Solutions with UCMA 3.0In this session, you’ll learn about some of the new capabilities of the UCMA 3.0 SDK, such as back-to-back, conference services, and application endpoint draining.

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2010: Architecture and DeploymentIn this session, you’ll learn about some of the considerations for building and deploying production applications for Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2010.

Courtesy: Microsoft Team

General Guest Posts Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Jake Sorofman’s Prediction on Enterprise IT in 2011 – Cloud Adoption

Jake Sorofman is the Chief Marketing Officer of rPath. In this article, Jake speaks  about the Cloud, its deployment strategies and his predictions on how the year 2011 might look with regard to cloud adoptions in IT Enterprises.

Over to Jake’s Article –

If you prefer this information as an Audio, listen to this podcast Interview which Jake gave few days back –

CloudIf you were to analyze the hundreds of predictions for IT that will hit the blogosphere over the coming weeks, the truth for 2011 would probably emerge. That’s why I think this is an exercise worth continuing—not because you uniquely value my point of view or because I’ve cornered the market on vision—but because it contributes in a small but equally important way to our insights for 2011.

It’s also why I look forward to this time of year—to offering my predictions and, more importantly, reading those of others. So, as my contribution to the crowd, here are my IT predictions for 2011:

1. Private cloud proliferates – The second half of 2010 was all about the private cloud. The rise of the public cloud brought new clarity and focus for the CIO, who recognized that, without a transformation in its delivery models, IT organizations would be disrupted and perhaps disintermediated by the speed, flexibility and economy of public cloud services. In 2011, we’ll see widespread investment in private cloud projects, as IT leadership defines the reference architecture for next-generation IT delivery models.

2. Public cloud thrives – At the same time, we’ll see continued growth—explosive growth—in public cloud services, where affinity will continue to bind to small and mid-sized businesses and non-production enterprise workloads. We’ll also see more evidence of rogue workloads leaking to the public cloud outside of the reach of corporate policies. This will motivate IT leadership to define governance models for controlled usage of public cloud services.

3. Hybrid cloud emerges – Definition of such governance models will enable enterprise IT to begin experimenting with hybrid cloud models. Initially, this will look like a simple stratification of deployment environments based on lifecycle stage—for example, dev and test workloads only in public cloud. But such early experimentation will enable IT leaders to define the reference architecture for the dynamic data center of the future, where workloads can move fluidly between deployment environments. By enabling application portability, workloads become a liquid commodity and a marketplace emerges. IT can dynamically retarget workloads based on optimizations for price, policy or performance, and they achieve true leverage over service providers.

4. Ecosystem rules – And speaking of leverage … fear of leverage lost through expanding hegemony of virtualization and cloud infrastructure providers (read: VMware) will conspire with frustration over the pace of innovation—giving rise to a new class of smaller, independent providers that become important vendors in their own rights. Best of breed tools will become integrated ecosystem-led solutions that represent a foundation for making this transformation to delivering IT as a service.

5. Power is redistributed – IT leverage over service providers means better cost-economies and more innovation, as software and service providers are forced to differentiate and add deeper, more sustainable value to IT customers. This will fuel the transformation of IT delivery models as enabling technologies mature and cost is driven down. For providers, it will lead to new niche markets and specialized domains (think: industry-specific clouds, for example) as a basis for sustaining unique advantage under the threat of commoditization. We’ll see early signs of this dynamic in 2011, but it will take several years for it to fully manifest.

6. New models for IT leadership – New architectures that enable dynamic workload portability will change the ideals of the CIO from operationally focused to sourcing and portfolio focused. We’ll see some old-line CIOs cycle out in the face of change. And we’ll see new stars born on the basis of a new vision for IT, inspired—and not threatened—by the rise of public cloud services. The successful among them will find ways to define the “to-be” IT delivery model, while also looking after “as-is” realities. New expectations for IT will lead to new expectations for IT leadership to guide us through what is going to be a mandatory transformation.

About the Author – Jake Sorofman is the Chief Marketing Officer of rPath. Jake is a seasoned software marketing executive with a strong product strategy and communications background. Previously, he was SVP of marketing and business development for JustSystems, the largest ISV in Japan and a leader in XML technologies. Before that, Jake was VP of product marketing with Mercury Interactive (now part of HP Software), where he was responsible for the Systinet product line. He joined Mercury though Mercury’s $105 million acquisition of Systinet Corporation. Before Mercury, Jake led marketing for two WebSphere products at IBM Software Group, which he joined through the acquisition of Venetica. Prior to Venetica, Jake was director of product marketing with Documentum, Inc. (now part of EMC), which he joined through the acquisition of eRoom Technology.

Check out the other Guest Articles here

Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

New Release of AppTitude Brings Advanced Reporting, User-Focused Capabilities

Today App-DNA releases a new version of the AppTitude application compatibility software platform to accelerate application testing and remediation for Windows 7, application virtualization and application management projects.


AppTitude continues to be the choice software platform for major enterprises and systems integrators. This release brings these key new benefits:

Self-provisioning of applications: AppTitude now enables a self-service model for application owners to import all types of applications into AppTitude from any machine. Self-provisioning facilitates even more automation of the application delivery process. AppTitude now streamlines the application request process from business application owner to low-touch packaging, deployment and testing.

Reporting via web client: To better accommodate worldwide teams managing application deployments, the intelligent and accurate AppTitude reports are now available to view via the web. Management, clients and global team members now have easier and faster access to AppTitude reports.

Broader support for multiple users: Accommodating application management teams that work from various locations and high-volume teams, AppTitude now includes server-side queuing of tasks such as importing and analyzing. Improving productivity, AppTitude is now a more robust platform for large multi-tier organizations.

Application collections: To better manage application suites and multiple versions of the same application, AppTitude now supports designating applications into suites and families. For application suites (software comprised of multiple products such as Adobe® Illustrator®), AppTitude can collect these applications into a group called a “suite”. AppTitude will provide one resultant (red/amber/green) compatibility report for the application suite. For enterprises using multiple versions of the same application, such as Adobe® Reader®, AppTitude now supports designating “families” of applications, collecting all versions into a family, designating one of them as the definitive version, and providing a single red/amber/green compatibility status for the entire “family.”

Improved reporting experience: AppTitude reports are enhanced with “pivot by action” capabilities to more easily sort which applications require particular actions. Additionally, consistency in report results has been strengthened.

To learn more about AppTitude, existing customers should visit the App-DNA portal. Enterprises and partners interesting in bringing AppTitude to their organization should visit or contact

Courtesy – App-DNA Team

Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Free ebook – Customization Tool and Group Policy for MS Office 2010

This book contains information about how to use Group Policy to deploy and configure an installation of Microsoft Office 2010. The audience for this book includes IT generalists, IT operations, help desk and deployment staff, IT messaging administrators, consultants, and other IT professionals.

You can Download this ebook here, The contents of this book include:

  • Local and Active Directory-based Group Policy
  • Group Policy processing
  • Changing how Group Policy processes GPOs
  • Administrative Templates
  • True policies vs. user preferences
  • Group Policy management tools
  • Office Customization Tool and Group Policy

If you are planning for deploying Office 2010 – These 2 articles on Fixing Code Compatibility Issues with Office 2010 Compatibility Inspector and Office Environment Assessment Tool (OEAT) will be useful.

Folks, who aren’t aware – Group Policy is an infrastructure that is used to deliver and apply one or more desired configurations or policy settings to a set of targeted users and computers in an Active Directory directory service environment. The Group Policy infrastructure consists of a Group Policy engine and several individual extensions. These extensions are used to configure Group Policy settings, either by modifying the registry through the Administrative Templates extension, or setting Group Policy settings for security settings, software installation, folder redirection, Internet Explorer Maintenance, wireless network settings, and other areas. Each installation of Group Policy consists of two extensions:

  • A server-side extension of the Group Policy Object Editor Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, used to define and set the policy settings applied to client computers.
  • A client-side extension that the Group Policy engine calls to apply policy settings.

You would also be interested in downloading these e-books:

Best Practices Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable: Migrating from Internet Explorer 6 to IE8

Join the Springboard Series Team live at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on Thursday, September 30, 2010 for a virtual, interactive roundtable discussion on migration strategies, standards, and support for organizations moving from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 8.

As organizations deploy Windows 7, many still depend on web applications that were designed for Internet Explorer 6. Will they still work, and what can you do when they don’t? Join a panel of IT Professionals, Microsoft specialists and technical experts to discuss best practices to simplify and accelerate the migration to Internet Explorer 8. Topics will include an explanation of the causes of and solutions for application compatibility issues (including policy, code, and virtualization solutions), an introduction to tools, and a review of best practices.

Ask your questions live during the event with the online tool – or submit your questions in advance to

Find answers to your Windows client OS deployment and management questions with resources, tools, and tested guidance from the Springboard Series on TechNet.

Missed a previous Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable? Watch them on demand.

You would also be interested in reading –

Microsoft Tools Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Download Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM) 2010

The much-anticipated 2010 version of Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM) is now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center. OMPM helps IT Pros discover and assess the compatibility of existing Office documents for conversion from the binary document formats (Office 97-2003: .doc, .xls, etc.) to OpenXML formats (Office 2007 and beyond: .docx, .xlsx, etc.). Additionally, OMPM 2010 adds features that assess macro compatibility with Office 2010 and 64-bit Office compatibility.  The toolkit also contains the Office File Converter (OFC), which enables bulk document conversions from binary to OpenXML formats. OMPM 2010 includes the following new features and improvements:

  • Bulk Macro Compatibility Scanning – incorporates logic from the Office Code Compatibility Inspector (OCCI) tool to produce count of potential number of VBA issues due to changes in object model.  A new option in the offscan.ini file enables activation of this scan.
  • Bulk 64-bit compatibility scanning – incorporates logic from the OCCI tool to produce a count of the potential number of 64-bit (declare) VBA issues that are due to use of 64-bit Office.  A new option in the offscan.ini file enables activation of this scan.
  • Pre-defined date filtering for scans – provides new configuration options in the Offscan.ini file to allow exclusion of files based on last accessed or last modified dates.  Files that are skipped can be logged.
  • SQL 2008/SQL 2008 R2 support – Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 has been added. OMPM remains compatible with SQL 2005.

You can find the OMPM documentation in the Office 2010 Resource Kit.

The Environment scanning tool (OEAT) assists a customer in the assessment phase of deployment. It identifies:

  • Currently installed applications and installation environment
  • Add-ins currently in use by Office clients
  • Programs that are not registered as add-ins but still interact with Office programs
  • Provides a report on the Environmental assessment (potential upgrade issues)
  • Also reports the  Add-ins assessment–list of third party programs and information about the compatibility of those programs with Microsoft Office 2010
Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

First Steps to Windows 7 Migration: Application Inventory and Remediation – Webinar

App-DNA and Scalable Software are doing this educational webinar which will introduce the implementation lifecycle for migrating your enterprise estate to Windows 7.

Topics covered in this webinar include,

  • Identifying and prioritizing candidate applications, machines and users
  • Assessing application and environment compatibility
  • Remediation and migration options
  • Zero-touch migration

Registration is free and is available here

Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM CDT

App-DNA and Scalable have many years experience in the planning, assesement and execution of application migration to newer Operating Systems. Their skills and tooling have been used on many occassions to effect successful migration; on-time and and within budget. This webinar represents an opportunity to benefit from some of lessons which they have learned from many customer engagements!

General Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Flexera Software Introduces InstallShield 2011

Flexera Software™, the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management to application producers and their customers, today announced the immediate availability of InstallShield 2011, the next generation of the market-leading software installation development solution for Windows applications. Building on its native support for creating MSI installers, InstallScript and Microsoft App-V virtual packages, InstallShield 2011 continues to raise the bar for Windows installer development solutions with a wide variety of customer-driven enhancements that simplify installation development.

You can download a free trial version of InstallShield 2011 here.

Resulting from a longstanding collaboration with Microsoft Corp., InstallShield continues to be a leader in the industry with its support for the latest Microsoft technologies and platforms. InstallShield 2011:

  • Gives Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 developers the convenience of authoring professional installations for all application types inside the same Visual Studio 2010 interface they use to develop their products, as well as the power to reliably deploy applications targeting the Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • Saves developers’ time by including .NET Framework prerequisites to check for and install required applications and system components
  • Provides enhanced support with Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server when used within Visual Studio 2010, enabling developers to integrate InstallShield projects with Team Foundation Server version control and manage changes
  • Allows developers to use Team Foundation Server Build to compile and build InstallShield projects along with Visual Studio solutions
  • Gives developers the power to use Visual Studio Team Server Team Explorer to configure, schedule and queue builds for InstallShield projects together with Visual Studio solution builds
  • Enhances 64-bit support so developers can maintain a single installation project to support 32-bit and 64-bit platforms, repackage 64-bit applications to create MSI installations and create 64-bit App-V packages to deploy virtual applications on 64-bit systems

“Visual Studio is the development environment of choice for developers of all kinds,” said Jason Zander, corporate vice president of Visual Studio at Microsoft. “Likewise, InstallShield 2011 should be an installation development environment of choice for Visual Studio users, ensuring that Visual Studio applications of any kind can be professionally installed and work with the latest Microsoft technologies and platforms.”

InstallShield 2011 also includes enhancements to simplify installation development, including:

  • A new licensing option for the popular Standalone Build module provides clarity over usage and helps customers implement continuous installation builds into their agile development environment. Customers can also buy additional licenses of Standalone Build as an add-on rather than purchasing the full IDE license for meeting build requirements. With support for a concurrent license model for Standalone Build, customers can support advanced infrastructure needs and use Standalone Build in build farms with dynamic virtual machines
  • Unicode InstallScript support which enables InstallScript users to provide a better end-user installation experience for multi-language products and improve the runtime performance
  • Enhanced Script Editor with auto completion increases developer efficiency by reducing the time spent on typing code and helps avoid typographical errors in the code
  • Build events (available in the Premier Edition only) that eliminate the need for developers to manage external script files by integrating new pre- and post-build events with the InstallShield build process
  • New settings in the Releases view to modify the icon and version resource properties for setup and update executable to match company and product branding
  • New Prerequisites tab on the Options dialog to specify folders to search for InstallShield prerequisites files (.prq), making it easier for teams to share prerequisites and store prerequisites in source code control
  • The ability to set an expiration date and message for setup launchers to prevent customers from installing outdated versions of applications

After a thorough beta test process, customers have acknowledged tremendous value in this new release:

“InstallShield continues to prove that they are the leader in the market for installation development. Constantly updating features, providing support with short turnaround times and staying integrated with the latest tools such as Visual Studio 2010 has kept us onboard with their software. We look forward to what they have to offer in future versions. Thank you!” – JP Williams, Buildmaster at Accusoft Pegasus

“I have been using InstallShield since version 3. I am always excited about a new release because each one is better than the last in big and small ways. InstallShield 2011 has numerous big enhancements and a specific small one that will make my job much easier. The ability to specify a search path for InstallShield prerequisites will allow me to refer to them directly from our Source Code control location. I now won’t have to worry about copying them to the InstallShield prerequisites folder.” – Mark Hanson, Software Engineer Advanced at Siemens

“The Code Project’s vast developer community honors excellence in dev tools with these awards. We’re happy to see the community recognize time-tested and proven products like InstallShield.” – Jeff Hadfield, President at The Code Project.

“InstallShield 2011 delivers significant value by supporting the latest Microsoft technologies and platforms and a wide variety of enhancements that further simplify Windows installation development,” said Maureen Polte, director of product management at Flexera Software. “Our continued focus is to ensure that InstallShield delivers the capabilities that developers need to streamline quality and professional installation development for any type of application.”

About InstallShield – For more than 20 years, InstallShield has been the most popular and trusted solution for Windows software installations, used by virtually every major software company in the world. InstallShield makes it easy for developers to author reliable Windows Installer (MSI) and InstallScript installations and App-V™ virtual packages for Windows platforms, including Windows 7, keeping their customers happy and support costs down.

About Flexera Software –  Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management; solutions delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value to application producers and their customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than 80,000 customers that depend on our comprehensive solutions- from installation and licensing, entitlement and compliance management to application readiness and enterprise license optimization – to strategically manage application usage and achieve breakthrough results realized only through the systems-level approach we provide. Flexera Software is a privately-held company and an investment of private equity firm Thoma Bravo, LLC. For more information, please go to: