Supporting Windows Question

Vista 3rd Party App Compat Products

06/30/2008 5952 views
Hi Guys,

As the subject name implies, has anyone had any experiences using either of the two class leading (as far as I know) 3rd party Application Compatibility product sets by AppDNA or ChangeBase? I'm coming from the corporate enterprise angle with around 1000 apps of various shapes and sizes (mainly MSIs with some old school setup.exes) in the portfolio that would require "Vistering".

There seems to be very little independent information/reviews on both product suites and both (on the face of it) seem to offer the same feature set. I could/have gone to both of these vendors but I wanted to try and get an impartial view without the sales pitch [;)]

Any information would be appreciated [:)]
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We have evaluated both in a limited trial and found that the AppDNA product produced more accurate results in its default configuration than the Changebase product. The Changebase product at the time had a lower price per application than AppDNA, but when you factor the bigger picture around effort to remediate/investigate the costs balanced.

The functionality of both was similar with good roadmaps from both for continued development and new features. The staff at AppDNA have been very supportive and helpful throughout.

In the end we went with the AppDNA solution and are now using it across multiple customers and looking to expand into a service offering.
Answered 07/01/2008 by: questor72
Yellow Belt

Thanks for the reply questor72.

At the moment I'm also mainly looking at AppDNA and in particular the QuickStart Report offering. I'm purely at the feasibility and budgeting stage, however, I will still need to compare it with the ChangeBase products (if they also perform a similiar QuickStart service). It would be nice if ChangeBase offered a webcast similar to AppDNA to give you a taste and high level overview of the product in action before making a more solid approach.

I recently noticed that both camps have released newer versions of there products (v2.5 for AppDNA and v3.0 for ChangeBase), so it would be interesting to see the latest benefits they offer other than overall efficencies and the inclusion of Windows 2008 Server (which I'm also interesting in as we are heavily Citrix orientated).

Anyone else had any experiences?
Answered 07/02/2008 by: Demigod
Senior Yellow Belt

If you are looking at 2008 for terminal server the app-DNA guys should have an official release in the fall to address that. I believe if you are anxious to head to 2008 sooner than later they have an unofficial rule set that you could use. The 2.5 release of App-Dna has some additional functionality such as performing automatic fixes, MSI / SoftGrid output and Vista SP1 support. I think it's a pretty crafty platform to increase pre-assessment accuracy and reduce the overall application migration effort.

I was interested in this product ever since Camwood was selling it and thought these guys were onto something to take their own in house solution and spin it off. I think technology such as this is badly needed in the packaging / application management world because of all the time that is wasted chasing vendors for information, identifying issues, and fixing the issues. The largest problem I find with application migration to a new operating system is the unknown of not knowing where your applications will live until after the packaging effort. If I want to consolidate on thin client technology and have my applications on a terminal server backend it's a huge black hole as to what will work in that configuration since developers usually shoot for the user having exclusive administrator access to their own machine. I'm betting on technology like this changing the way organizations enter into the large projects that usually run over budget.

With my views aside I'm still waiting to test this platform on a large scale because companies are trying to hide the costs associated with the application pre-assessment in their operational budgets (you still pay for people's time) and usually the testing quality / information isn't very good. Then the packagers spin their tires for days or weeks trying to sort out issues missed in the pre-assessment when the project is in full swing so I don't quite understand why there is so much reluctance to this method. When you start looking at the effort spent in $$$ and the results I think the ROI is clear but that's just my opinion.
Answered 07/03/2008 by: kkaminsk
9th Degree Black Belt

I agree with Kevin, the ROI is pretty clear if the product is effective. That's a big "if" right now though. If App-DNA can get some big proven implementations they can point to, they'll start selling it.

It's an awful lot of money to lay out to take a chance on. I don't want to suggest this to my clients and it proves useless. That's a lot of egg on my face.
Answered 07/04/2008 by: turbokitty
6th Degree Black Belt

Firstly, I would like to let readers know I work for ChangeBASE. I thought it would be better to make an open rather than anonymous posting

So what does our product AOK do? It automates much of the work required to package an application for a target platform. AOK Discovery reports on the issues. AOK Fix-It automatically fixes most of the issues as the name implies. We also have modules to convert installed legacy applications into an MSI format that we can read, modules for custom QA checks, Middleware reporting/fixing and missing dependency analysis, Conflict reporting/fixing and Virtualisation analysis/fixing. The percentage we actually fix depends on the target platform and client environment. With VISTA, with the exception of deprecated component and API issues, we fix the vast majority issues raised in a typical portfolio. The applications are ready to deploy once we have passed them through our tool. With Virtualisation a recent study that we carried out showed that 2/3rds of applications could be virtualised, many with some remediation, and that our tool was able to fix the majority of issues that were raised. You can find this study on our website or in the press release section.

Customers report our tool typically saves between 60% to 75% of the time taken to manually assess, remediate and package an application.

In terms of clients we now have 10% of the FTSE top 50 companies using our tool since its launch at the end of last year. These clients are in the US, Europe, South Africa and Asia. Astra Zeneca, for example, have deployed our tool globally for c. 75,000 desktops and thousands of applications to support their VISTA migration. Their project has gone extremely well, they have extended their use of AOK, and are very willing to act as a reference for AOK.

As you can no doubt tell, we are very proud of AOK, and pleased with the first six months or so of progress since our launch.

Our route to market is through partners and we are just about to sign up our eighth partner. Several have a Global presence and all have assessed the market and chosen AOK as their preferred product.

We do offer generic web demonstrations of AOK – contact me, [email=grant.ford@changebase.com]grant.ford@changebase.com[/email] to arrange. We offer a 15 minute challenge – give us a random sample of 15 of your apps and we will put them through our tool and fix them (or 90% plus of them) in under 15 minutes. We will do this via a web demo. You can then see what you think of the results – and by all means post them to this blog!
Answered 07/08/2008 by: Grant_AOK
Yellow Belt

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