Product Documentation

Migrate Windows desktop and server applications

Jun 15, 2016

With extended support for Microsoft Windows XP ended April 8, 2014 and Microsoft Server 2003 ending July 14, 2015, it’s time to start planning your migration to either Windows 8/7 (32/64-Bit) or Server 2012/2008 R2. Many organizations will struggle with where to begin and, instead of investing in a successful migration, will pay extended support fees to Microsoft.

If you do not already have a migration strategy in place or you want to know how AppDNA can be implemented in your environment to lead to a successful migration, start with this guide. Migrating applications to Windows 8/7 (and IE 9/10) or Server 2012/2008 R2 goes well beyond decisions related to supported hardware.

Migration steps

The following steps guide you through a migration plan using AppDNA from beginning to end. These steps include our best practices for application migrations, as well as detailed information for using the AppDNA software as part of your migration plan.

Step 1

Determine the applications used in your environment

Discover your applications. To prevent unexpected delays in the migration plan, you must discover which applications are being used in your environment.

Perform an inventory and rationalization of those Windows applications using tools such as Lakeside SysTrack. It’s important to monitor the environment over a 6 week to 2 month period at quarter and/or year end. This will not only identify any unmanaged applications which could be critical to business, but also tells you what applications are still being used, and whether you have duplicate applications with overlapping functions.

Step 2

Use AppDNA to integrate with Lakeside SysTrack database (optional)

Use the Discover Applications screen to configure AppDNA to integrate with Lakeside SysTrack.

Step 3

Rationalize discovered applications

When data about discovered applications is complete, the next step involves rationalizing discovered applications in the AppDNA Discover Applications screen. In this context, rationalization involves examining your inventory of applications and deciding which ones to keep and, if relevant, to import into AppDNA. The Discover Applications screen provides the raw inventory of Windows applications that have been tracked by Lakeside SysTrack.

Note: Click Discovered Applications for information about duplicate applications, installation, and usage statistics.
Step 4

Track discovery results

Track discovery results using the format that works best for you. Use an Excel spreadsheet, or if using Lakeside SysTrack, integrate it with the AppDNA software. The integration enables you to:

  • Change the rationalization status from review to migrate or retire.
  • Filter duplicate applications to easily determine which version to keep.
  • Review installation and usage statistics.
  • Link discovered applications with corresponding managed applications if using Microsoft Active Directory (AD) or Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (Configuration Manager).
Step 5

Import AD and Configuration Manager data into AppDNA (optional)

To import your managed applications using the installation media that has been used to deploy them through AD or Configuration Manager, first load your AD and Configuration Manager data into AppDNA using the Load AD and ConfigMgr Data wizard.

Decide whether to load the data directly or indirectly. You have the option to load AD and Configuration Manager data indirectly which enables the data to be extracted on the AD domain controller or Configuration Manager server separately from AppDNA. As a result, AppDNA users do not need to request administrator access to the AD and Configuration Manager data, plus the AD domain and Configuration Manager administrators do not need to install AppDNA.

Note: For best results, import both AD and Configuration Manager data. Typically AD provides rich data about organizational structure and Configuration Manager provides data about applications that are managed centrally.
Step 6

Distribute application discovery information for review and rationalize the application list

Review application discovery findings with the application owners in the business and go through a rationalization process. Decisions must be made as to which applications to keep, consolidate, or retire.

Track the decisions using the format that works best for you, a simple spreadsheet or within AppDNA.

Step 7

Start locating installation source files for non-managed applications

Locate installation source files for applications not being managed through AD or Configuration Manager. This always takes longer than most companies anticipate and can severely impact the migration plan.

  1. Use the template file provided by AppDNA to define a list of applications to import.
  2. To download a template file for importing a batch of applications:
    1. Choose Import > Applications from the side menu bar.
    2. Click Import from List on the toolbar in the Import Applications screen.

      The template Import List file is a comma-separated values (.csv) file used to define a list of applications to import into AppDNA.

Step 8

Import custom OS images into AppDNA

Import your own custom operating system (OS) images that are used in your environment. Although AppDNA comes with its own set of default OS images that can be used, importing your own images has the advantage that AppDNA can then base its analyses on the images you use in your environment and thus provide more accurate results.

Step 9

Group applications by criticality or business units

Group applications by criticality or business unit to ensure your migration plan focuses on what is most important in your organization and to make it easy to review and report on applications in the group separately from the rest of the portfolio.

Use the Manage Groups screen in AppDNA to create and manage application groups, analyze the applications in selected groups, and view reports for the applications in selected groups.

Step 10

Import non-managed (MSI, SFT, APPV) applications into AppDNA

Import non-managed applications, starting with the most critical ones or with the business unit that you plan on deploying to first, using the Import Applications screen.

Note: This process only imports what we refer to as the application’s DNA into the AppDNA database. To check compatibility of an application against a given platform, the next step involves analyzing the data against a set of heuristic algorithms.

Use these tabs in the Import Applications screen:

Direct import – Use to import applications for which you have a Windows Installer (MSI) or App-V (SFT or APPV) package. This is the quickest way to get the application DNA into the database.

Install Capture – Use to import applications for which you do not have a Windows installer (MSI) or App-V (SFT or APPV) package. Install Capture uses a virtual machine to capture the details of the application's installation and configuration into an MSI which is then imported.

Tip: AppDNA splits importing the application data and analyzing the data into two separate processes. We recommend that you import applications during normal working hours and start an analysis in the evening when there is less traffic on the network. Additionally, only one analysis can be run at a time and reports cannot be generated during an analysis.
Step 11

Import non-managed applications (setup executable, scripts, file copies) into AppDNA

Import non-managed applications for which an MSI, SFT or APPV file is not available by using the Install Capture tab. Start with the most critical ones or with the business unit that you plan on deploying to first. Install Capture installs the application within a virtual machine and creates an MSI file that is then imported into AppDNA.
Note: Before you can import applications using Install Capture, you need access to a suitable virtualization technology. You must set up and configure a virtual machine that can communicate with the AppDNA client. For more information, see Configure Install Capture.
Tip: If an Install Capture installation requires the computer to be restarted, choose the I will restart my computer later (or equivalent) option. The Install Capture will fail if you restart the virtual machine during the Install Capture process.
Step 12

Import managed applications into AppDNA

Import managed applications that you decide to keep into AppDNA. The application is installed using the installation media that has been used to deploy them through AD or Configuration Manager. After importing the application ‘DNA’ you can link applications discovered using Lakeside SysTrack with the managed applications that have been imported.
Note: Make sure you select appropriate installations (and not repair or uninstall installations). When a package has several installations, make sure you select only one of them, preferably one that has been deployed (that is, for which the count in the Users or Computers column is greater than zero).
Step 13

Link managed applications

If you have already imported applications into AppDNA prior to importing AD or Configuration Manager data, use the Link Managed Applications screen to link applications managed through AD and Configuration Manager with applications that have already been imported into AppDNA.
Note: This is an important step in the configuration of AD and Configuration Manager data. It enables AppDNA to create reports about the RAG status of the applications deployed to AD and Configuration Manager users, computers, groups, and organizational units. Managed applications that you import through the Managed Applications and Discover Applications screens are automatically linked.
Step 14

Check application compatibility against platforms and check interoperability between applications

After applications are imported, the next step is to analyze the applications against the platform for which you are checking compatibility. For this migration, our focus is compatibility with Windows 8/7 (32/64-bit), Server 2012/2008 R2, Internet Explorer, and/or Firefox. Use the Interoperability solution to check for conflicts between applications.

Step 15

Analysis report options

The results of the analysis are presented in a set of report views. You can access the report views from the Reports: Applications section of the side bar. This shows the module names in bold followed by their report names. Click a report name to see the report view options, which are the same for all reports. Each report view provides a different view onto the results.

Familiarize yourself with the reports and determine which format works best for the different levels of teams that will be reviewing the data.

To view reports for selected applications:

  1. From the AppDNA side bar, choose Select > All Applications.
  2. In the Application List screen, select the applications you want to include in the report.
  3. On the toolbar in the Application List, select the report you want to view in the drop-down list and click View Report.

    Alternatively, from the AppDNA side bar, choose Reports: Applications > Module > Report > Report view, where Module, Report and Report view identify the report view that you want to see.

    For a description of the report views and their intended audience, see Report Views following this table.

Step 16

Prioritize applications based on RAG/criticality

Prioritize your applications based on the returned RAG status combined with your business needs. If you grouped your applications accordingly, use the group filter to view the report for applications belonging to the same group so you can focus on your most critical applications first and prioritize based on the RAG status within each group.

Citrix recommends using the Issues View report for the desired operating system to prioritize applications by RAG status as this view will enable you to also determine the type of remediation required, and therefore, the specialty required to remediate the issue, such as Developer or Packager.

  • Red — Red applications are those with no workaround and should be retired and replaced, redeveloped, or hosted on a virtual desktop running the legacy operating system required.

    Review the application issues report for the individual application (click the application name to go to the detailed remediation report). Although an application may be marked as Red, the issue could be with a component that doesn’t get used in your environment. Work closely with application owners to determine the best course of action and start planning how to proceed. If replacement and redevelopment are not options that can happen within the timescale of the migration, look for legacy alternatives such as hosting the application on a virtual desktop running the legacy OS.

  • Amber — Amber applications require some form of workaround, such as shimming, OS build changes, or repackaging.

    Review the application issues report for the individual application. Click the application name to go to the detailed remediation report.

  • Green — Green applications are ready for User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

    Before pushing an application through to production, arrange for application owners to start testing the applications right away. If an application has issues, go back to the report for the individual application and review anything triggered. An application with a RAG of Green can trigger an algorithm, however, these mainly are related to Best Practice violations such as hardcoded paths. If you notice it’s a problem in your environment that needs to be addressed before applications progress to UAT, you can change the RAG associated with the algorithm.

Step 17

Assign Remediation Actions

Review report data for a given platform to get an idea of the types of problems the applications in your organization will have on Windows 8/7, Internet Explorer 10/9, and Windows Server 2012/2008 R2. You can then determine what type of remediation to assign to the applications.

This is useful for deciding whether it is more cost effective to make a change to the OS build or to fix each individual application. For example, a common issue that is encountered is Session 0 Isolation. You can instantly see which applications and how many applications are affected so you can make the right decision on a remediation option.

Step 18

Determine the person or group required to remediate the application

Determine the person or group required to remediate the application. Use the Issues View report to determine whether the application needs to be remediated by an in-house developer, packager, IT Administrator (for issues such as OS build changes) or a replacement by the ISV. Send the appropriate team or person the Remediation View report for the application. To view the Remediation View, go to the Application Issues View and click the link for the application name.

You can send the Remediation report in a Word, PDF, HTML, or MHT format.

Step 19

Send the application to UAT

Send the application to UAT when it has a Green or Amber RAG that requires functional testing, or when you are ready to test the application following remediation. Ensure that you involve your expert users during the UAT process.

Step 20

Deploy the application

If UAT is successful, deploy the application to the compatible operating system.

Report views

Report Description Used By
Application Issues An overview of the status of the selected applications for the issues that have been encountered. Click the application name to drill down to the application's remediation report view, which provides detailed information about how to fix the issues.

IT Administrators

Developers

Packagers

Sequencers

Remediation View A detailed view of the issues encountered in a specific application, along with information about the issue and suggested remediation options.

IT Administrators

Developers

Packagers

Sequencers

Application Actions An overview of the status of the selected applications that provides the types of actions to take to fix the issues. Click the application name to drill down to the application's remediation report views.

IT Administrators

IT Management

Issues View An overview of the various issues that have been encountered. For each issue, this report view provides a list of applications that are affected. Click the application name to drill down to the application's remediation report views.

IT Administrators

IT Management

Actions View An overview of the various remediation action types that need to be implemented to fix the issues that have been encountered. For each action type, this report view provides a list of applications that are affected. Click the application name to drill down to the application's remediation report views.

IT Administrators

IT Management