Product Documentation

External data

Mar 28, 2016

External data is application compatibility and remediation data that originates outside of AppDNA.

AppDNA uses the external data during the analysis process, looking for matching applications in the external data sources. When there is a match between the application being analyzed and the application record in the external data source, AppDNA overwrites the application's standard RAG value or adds an overlay or icon to the standard RAG icon, depending on the trust level applied to the external data source.

Note: The information in the external data sources has not been independently verified by Citrix.

You can configure:

  • How AppDNA matches the external data with the applications in AppDNA – for example, whether the matching is case sensitive and how white space is handled.
  • The data source trust level, which controls how the RAG status appears for applications affected by the external data.
  • Additional reports to associate with the external data source.

Types of external data

Currently AppDNA provides two different types of external data:

Readiness lists – These are based on application compatibility lists provided by Microsoft to IT professionals. Applications that are marked as compatible in this list have been verified as working on the target platform by the software publisher or the Microsoft Windows logo testing program. AppDNA matches applications in AppDNA with applications in the list by the name, manufacturer, and version. By default this matching is case insensitive and ignores white space – but you can configure this. External data icons that derive from a readiness list indicate the following:

  • Green – The application is marked as compatible with the target version of Windows.
  • Amber – The application may require an upgrade in order to work on the associated version of Windows.
  • Red – The application is not compatible with the associated version of Windows.

PCA (shim) databases – These are based on Microsoft's system application compatibility database, which is part of the Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA) that is built-in to the operating system. Unlike the readiness lists, AppDNA does not match applications based on the name, manufacturer, and version. Instead, AppDNA matches executable (.exe) files within the application to executable files listed in the database. External data icons that derive from a PCA database indicate the following:

  • Green – The application has a compatibility issue that PCA will automatically shim. The remediation report views show the name of the shim.
  • Amber – The application has a compatibility issue that is not considered severe. By default, this will result in a soft block PCA message at run time, which will interrupt the user experience.
  • Red – The application has a severe compatibility issue that will result in PCA blocking it at run time (known as a hard block message).

External data sources

Data source Applies to
Microsoft Vista App Readiness List Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP2
Microsoft Vista Shim Database Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP2
Microsoft Windows 7 App Readiness List Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Microsoft Windows 7 Shim Database Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Microsoft Windows 8 App Readiness List Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2
Microsoft Windows 8 Shim Database Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

To configure the external data source

  1. From the AppDNA menus, choose Configure > External Data.
    Note: You need to be logged in as an AppDNA user who has the administrator role to be able to make changes on this screen.
  2. In the list of external data sources in the External Data Administration screen, select the data source to configure.
  3. In the Configuration section, select the options that you want to use when matching applications in the data source with applications in your AppDNA portfolio.
  4. In the Data Source Context section, select the reports to which you want the external data source to apply.
  5. In the Data Source Trust Level section, select the trust level that you want to apply to this data source.
  6. Click Save to preserve your changes.
  7. To apply your changes to your application portfolio, click Apply External Data on the main toolbar.

    This removes any existing external data journal entries for the affected applications and creates new external data journal entries. AppDNA automatically applies the external data to applications when they are first analyzed. Generally it is therefore only necessary to use this tool when you have explicitly made changes to the configuration of a data source or have changed the trust level.

Convert an external data entry to a journal entry

AppDNA uses the journal mechanism to handle external data. When AppDNA applies the external data to your application portfolio, it creates a special external data journal entry for each matching application and report combination. If necessary, you can delete individual external data journal entries in the Journal screen.

AppDNA can show only one icon that derives from the journal mechanism on an application's RAG status in the report views. This means that if you add a Compatible, Known issues, or Incompatible manual journal entry after an external data journal entry was created for the same application and report combination, the manual journal entry's icon overwrites the application's RAG status in the report views and the external data journal entry's icon is not shown. (If you want to add a manual journal entry – for example, to record testing notes – but you do not want it to overwrite the application's RAG status, use the Unknown journal entry type.)

You can convert an individual external data entry for an application to a standard journal entry. This means that the application's RAG status will be overridden by the corresponding compatibility (journal) icon.

  1. Open the Application Issues or Application Actions report view for the relevant report.
  2. Click the name of the application that has the external data entry.

    The Remediation report view for that application opens.

  3. In the list of journal entries in the summary section of the report view, identify the external data entry that you want to convert.
  4. In the column on the right, click Accept.