VSM: What is the future for ChangeBASE?
JR: With the usual warning about forward-looking statements, I can hope to give some general indication of direction.
The first thing to change is the perception that tools like ChangeBASE are only for one-time projects such as Windows 7 migration. The reality is that there is a continual stream of updates in the Windows platform, all of which have compatibility considerations, and capturing the application installer portfolio in a database that can be continually assessed against the moving platform target is a vital ongoing investment. After Windows 7, there will be Windows 8, and monthly updates to both of them, not to mention Service Packs. Terminal Server/Session Virtualization is hosted in Windows Server, which also has regular updates and Service Packs. App-V and the other application virtualization solutions are continually changing and improving, and many organizations already have Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 and 9 on their networks, with 10 already in preview. With this constant flow of updates, it is essential to have a process for identifying compatibility problems as soon as possible.
An obvious second step in the roadmap is to add support for Windows 8 and the next wave of all the platforms it supports. Windows 8 promises full support for all applications that worked on Windows 7, but, there probably will be corner cases, especially for apps that only worked marginally on Windows 7. Windows 8 also offers support for ARM processors, new devices (tablets), a new UI and app paradigm (Metro) and Internet Explorer 10, all of which will bring their own challenges. Application compatibility is a growing – not shrinking – problem!
Beyond that, there is always more that can be automatically remediated, new application types and rules that can be added to the framework, and further automation in terms of repackaging applications for virtualization technologies.
Now that ChangeBASE is part of Quest Software, there will be further integration with other Quest products, especially in the areas of desktop management, desktop virtualization and user workspace management. Quest’s formidable presence and experience with Windows migrations provides excellent pedigree as the company expands into desktop and user workspace management. Expect to see closer integration with other products in the Quest portfolio as we leverage our strengths and build on our unique assets.
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