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AstraZeneca finds apps that fail to run on Vista

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has identified more than 20 applications that will fail to install on Windows Vista, as it prepares for a global roll-out of the Microsoft operating system to 70,000 desktops.

The company is using an automated testing tool called Aok from Changebase to identify which of its 3,500 desktop applications will fail to install. The move comes before the firm begins a global migration from Windows 2000 to Windows Vista, due to commence May 2008.

Concerns over compatibility of applications is one of the reasons IT directors have delayed deploying Windows Vista. Last month Newham Borough Council had to delay a planned March 2008 Vista roll-out because third-party desktop applications used by the council had not been Vista-certified.

Robin West, IT project manager at AstraZeneca, said, "One of our biggest challenges is identifying where migration to Vista will cause problems with our applications."

Testing 3,500 applications would take a considerable amount of time. Instead, AstraZeneca has started running Aok, a tool designed to identify errors that could prevent an application from installing on Vista.

The tool determines where installation programs will fail to run, configurations in older versions of Windows that could prevent applications from installing on Vista, and legacy software components that could cause compatibility issues.

AstraZeneca found that most of the failures occurred because installation scripts, known as MSIs, that are used to install the desktop applications explicitly specified the version of Windows they would run on. To overcome this, AstraZeneca simply modified the affected MSI scripts to add Vista compatibility.





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