As my first contribution to the D-Spot I would like to give some more detailed information about a specific Microsoft Tool: ACT 5.5. This tool is mainly used to retrieve information from one or more computers. More info about the ACT can be found here.
The Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) version 5.5 contains the necessary tools and documentation to evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying Windows 7, Windows Vista®, a Windows Update, or a new version of Windows® Internet Explorer® in your environment.
Before installing the ACT you need to have an SQL server installed. These are the SQL server versions you can use:
- SQL Server 2005
- SQL Server 2005 Express
- SQL Server 2008
- SQL Server 2008 Express
The client OS you can install the ACT on are all the client OS between Windows XP SP2 and Windows 7. The server OS needs to be at least Windows Server 2003 SP2.
- Last but not least you also need the .NET Framework 2.0 or newer.
2. Installation of the ACT 5.5
When launching the installer of the ACT (Application Compatibility Toolkit.msi) a wizard starts and you need to go through the 6 steps. The wizard will ask you some questions about the SQL server database, log files, etc.
3. Different topologies
4. The Application Compatibility Manager (ACM)
This is the main tool you use to manage the DCP’s (Data Collector Package) and all the retriever information from all the machines you ran the ACT on. The ACT is dependent from an agent (called a DCP) which you create in the ACM. In the following screenshots you can see how to create such a Data Collector Package.
Once you saved the msi-file you can start to distribute the package among all the computers you want the ACT to retrieve the information from. There are several ways to do this:
- Put the file on the network share
- Put the file on the local drive of the computer
- Put the file in a GPO
- Put the file in a startup/logon script.
If the file has been run on a computer you’ll receive the information in the ACM. In the following set of screenshots the DCP will be run on a local machine and outputting the data to the same machine.
When the output is available in the ACM we can analyze all the information:
- Which programs are installed on the machine(s)?
- Which computers have been scanned?
- Which devices are discovered during the process?
The “ACT Log Processing Service” needs to be started otherwise there will be no output shown in the ACM.