I can't profess to be an Application Compatibility guru like Chris Jackson or Aaron Margosis, but I do work on a lot of deployment projects where I am tasked with helping the client with this area. As such, I have compiled a list of the top 5 most common Application Compatibility mistakes/not-recommended practises that I see out in the field; this list is likely to differ from the next guy though :-)
Most of the items in this list are actually quick-fixes that people think are the result of one (or a combination) of the following:
If you know of any other common ones, feel free to add them in the comments section!
There are two tools though which are indispensable when beginning any Application Compatibility assessment, the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit, and the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit. These tools are extremely helpful in getting started and working out the best approach to a problem. Also be sure to check out the Application Compatibility section of TechNet.
I recognise that pointing out the problems but not giving any solution to them is easy to do. I am unable though to provide any alternatives to these quick-fixes in a single blog post as every single Application Compatibility problem is unique, and the solution to it will also be unique and personalised. Some solutions can take extremely long times to identify and then develop, and sometimes it is also just down to a little luck. The best approach in my opinion is that, if you really don't understand the problem or the solution, then get help; don't apply a heavy-handed solution such as those mentioned above because you will be creating a future problem for yourself further down the road. More often than most people realise an application compatibility problem can be resolved correctly without resorting the one of the fixes above and compromising security, you just need to understand the problem better and be aware of all the options! I strongly recommended regularly reading Chris and Aaron's blogs (I provided the links above) as they both provide some great information on Application Compatibility and Microsoft Windows.
This post was contributed by Daniel Oxley, a Senior Consultant with Microsoft Services UK