One of the problems with application compatibility testing tools is the imprecision in predicting whether the application will install and run on Windows 7 or 8.
In a recent conversation with a customer using one of the tools we described in the article “Overcoming hurdles to application virtualisation”, they came up against a simple issue that was having a major impact on their migration project plan. The software they chose gave them very detailed reports but kept suggesting a particular application wouldn’t run on Windows 7. However when they ignored the advice of the tool and tried to install it, it worked fine.
These ‘false negatives’ are more than just a nuisance because if taken at face value you could end up either going through a costly upgrade or rewrite.
Most application compatibility reporting tools use a flat file scanning method to “predict” if an application will install and run on Windows 7/8 but what’s needed is something that does more than just “guess” that an application will install. The ideal is one that actually installs the application automatically as part of the testing process – hence knowing rather than predicting.