Learn How to Migrate Applications To Windows 7

Migrating Applications To Windows 7

No serious migration to Windows 7 should be done without an inventory of existing applications in the environment or knowing whether they will work or not in Windows 7. Microsoft provides a free tool to inventory your applications and to gain knowledge on their compatibility with Windows 7. The knowledge comes from a database maintained by Microsoft but with data provided by the community. The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) can be downloaded from this location:


The current version of ACT is 5.6. It has several tools to assist you with the compatibility of applications in Windows 7, from discovering to identifying issues to remediation.

The installation is simple. First, install the latest version of SQL 2008 R2 Express. Then install the toolkit. To configure, run “Application Compatibility Manager” with elevated rights. You’ll find it in the “Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit” program group.

The wizard will create the ACT database, the ACT log share (where systems send their discovered application data) and the service account to run the service that will grab the data from the log share and enter it into the ACT database for you to analyze.

Select “Enterprise Configuration”

Connect to your instance of SQL Express, enter a database name and click on “Create” to create it

Then enter the path that will be the logs share (create the folder first):

Select “local system” as the account (for a standard installation)

Now you are ready to follow these steps:

The ACT comes with a Deployment Guide and Step-by-Step instructions on how to perform these steps. In a nutshell, you create a Data Collection Package (DCP) using the tool, which is basically a MSI that you install on the client computers that you want to get application data from. You can install the MSI manually, via group policy, logon scripts or using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). When you create a DCP, you indicate the duration for the tool to run on client machines (after that time it uninstalls itself). Client machines will send their data to the ACT Logs, and the data will be entered into the database, for which you automatically will get Windows 7 compatibility information after you specify what applications to send to Microsoft to receive compatibility data. Below is a screenshot of the ACT Manager showing a summary of compatability information:

ACT also includes tools to assist you remediating compatibility issues



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