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What is the Windows Compatibility Evaluator?

Published: June 11, 2010

Updated: June 11, 2010

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Vista

The Windows® Compatibility Evaluator (WCE) enables you to identify the following:

  • Issues that relate to the Graphical Identification and Authentication (GINA) DLLs.

  • Services running in Session 0 in a production environment.

  • Usage of application components that were deprecated in the newest version of the Windows operating system.

You configure the WCE in the Application Compatibility Manager (ACM) when you create a data-collection package for the deployment of a new operating system. After the evaluator runs, you can also use the ACM view your issues in report form.

Windows Compatibility Evaluator Detected Issues

The following sections detail the types of issues that are found by the WCE.

ImportantImportant
The Windows Compatibility Evaluator (WCE) cannot run on a computer that is already running the Windows 7 operating system. Due to what this evaluator attempts to address, you would already be experiencing issues on the Windows 7 operating system, and you would not require the assistance of the ACT to provide more information.

GINA Issues

Prior to the release of the Windows Vista® operating system, independent software vendors (ISVs) were able to modify authentication, such as for a fingerprint reader, by installing a GINA DLL file. The GINA DLL file then performed all of the identification and authentication of user interactions. Windows Vista and newer versions of the Windows operating system offer a new authentication model that no longer requires this DLL and ignores all previous GINA DLL files.

The WCE identifies GINA DLL files in a production environment and returns the information for review on the Analyze screen of the Application Compatibility Manager.

Session 0 Issues

Prior to the release of the Windows Vista operating system, the first user who logged on to a computer ran in Session 0, which is the same as that used for all system services. Windows Vista and newer versions of the Windows operating system requires all users to run in Session 1 or later so that no user runs in the same session as the system services. Therefore, applications will fail to start if they depend on interactive services, services attempting to send a window message or locate a window, or services and user processes opening the same named object (unless it is a globally named object).

The WCE identifies services marked as interactive in a production environment, and it returns the information for review on the Analyze screen of the Application Compatibility Manager.

Deprecation Issues

The Windows operating system has deprecated many objects from previous versions of the operating system. The deprecation includes DLL files, executable (.exe) files, COM objects, registry keys, application programming interfaces (APIs), and various other files.

The WCE identifies applications that are dependent on deprecated objects by monitoring the applications during run time, and it returns the information for review on the Analyze screen of the Application Compatibility Manager.

Common Windows Compatibility Evaluator Scenarios

The following sections describe common WCE scenarios.

Identifying GINA Issues

The WCE enables you to identify applications affected by the GINA change. After you deploy the WCE, it searches the registry files and keys for GINA DLL files and returns the results to the Analyze screen of the Application Compatibility Manager.

Identifying Session 0 Issues

The WCE enables you to identify applications affected by the Session 0 change. After you deploy the WCE, it searches the registry files and keys for all services that are marked as interactive, and it returns the results to the Analyze screen of the Application Compatibility Manager.

Identifying Deprecation Issues

The WCE enables you to identify applications affected by deprecated objects. After you deploy the WCE, it monitors file access, registry access, and the use of selected APIs within your organization. The WCE then compares the collected data with a list of known deprecated objects and returns the results as a report to the Analyze screen of the Application Compatibility Manager.

Technologies Related to the Windows Compatibility Evaluator

The following sections describe the technologies related to the WCE.

Application Compatibility Manager

The Application Compatibility Manager works with the WCE so you can view your compatibility data in report form. The Analyze screen of the Application Compatibility Manager enables you to select an application so you can view the potential issues.

Windows Compatibility Evaluator Dependencies

The following sections describe the WCE dependencies.

ACT Log Processing Service

The WCE requires the ACT Log Processing Service to process internal logs and to generate logs for the Application Compatibility Manager reports.

Bucketizer

The Bucketizer (bucketizer.exe) is a post-processor module that first processes the raw XML evidence collected by the WCE and then sends the data to a centralized location. Consolidation of the data reduces the frequency of data transmissions and potentially reduces repetitive data transfers.

See Also

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