Published: November 09, 2007

When a user calls the help desk for assistance with an application in an unmanaged environment, the help desk staff might not know how the application was installed or configured. The application is often installed differently on each computer depending on who performed the installation. This situation makes troubleshooting difficult.

In managed environments, organizations solve this problem by automating application installation and configuration. This automation is often referred to as packaging the application , application packaging , or scripted installations. Automating installation helps ensure that applications are in well-known, consistent states. The result is reliable application deployment that's more easily supported.

Figure 1 provides an overview of the application management process. This guide describes the high-level processes for packaging applications and for discovering and mitigating compatibility issues. Both processes rely on an application portfolio collected during the Planning Phase.

Figure 1. Process overview

Figure 1. Process overview

Note   Figure 1 includes an Envisioning Phase, during which the Request for Change is reviewed and approved. The Envisioning Phase ends when the scope of the project is defined. This guide does not describe the Envisioning Phase, because this phase is completed before the Application Management feature team begins work.

This feature team guide describes the application management process of Microsoft® Deployment Solution Accelerator. Microsoft Deployment is the next version of Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007. However, it does not discuss specific tools or procedures. Instead, the technical guides listed in Table 1 provide the technical depth for this guide.

Table 1. Related Guides


For more information about

Application Compatibility Guide

Using the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.0 to create and manage an application portfolio. This guide describes how to remediate application compatibility issues by using the toolkit.

Application Packaging Guide

Repackaging applications by using non-Microsoft packaging tools, such as Macrovision AdminStudio, and automating application installations by using command-line options and scripting techniques.

Note   In this document, Windows applies to the Windows Vista®, Windows® XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Windows Server® 2008, and Windows Server 2003 operating systems unless otherwise noted.

On This Page

Prerequisites Prerequisites
Lab Setup Lab Setup
Education and References Education and References


This guide makes the following assumptions:

  • The team has experience with scripting or programming.

  • The team is familiar with automated application deployment, whether through unattended Microsoft Setup, Windows Installer, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, or any legacy installer.

  • If the team is using a non-Microsoft packaging tool, such as Macrovision AdminStudio, the team has received training on using that tool.

  • The team understands the organization of the registry and the folders in which applications store configuration files.

  • Applications are installed in C:\Program Files\Application, where Application represents the name of the individual applications.

  • Documentation is available for installing and testing each application.

  • Compatibility testing is performed in a lab environment.

  • The team has access to a Microsoft TechNet subscription.

  • The team has access to subject matter experts (SMEs) for each application.

Note   The Application Management feature team must work closely with the Migration feature team, whose responsibility is to ensure that users' documents and settings migrate during deployment. The Migration feature team uses the inventory collected by the Application Management feature team to identify the applications on which to focus. The Migration feature team also shares the lab environment with the Application Management feature team, including stabilized application packages.

Lab Setup

The guide Preparing the Lab describes how to build a lab that each feature team shares during the planning, development, and stabilization of the deployment project. The Application Management feature team has additional lab requirements, however; the team needs to be sure it has the following:

  • Source media and a license for each application to repackage.

  • Packaging software, such as Macrovision AdminStudio.

  • A computer for installing, configuring, and customizing the applications.

  • A network share on which to store application installation files.

  • A network share on which to store stabilized application packages.

  • Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 or SQL Server 2000.

  • ACT 5.0.

Note   The lab should be isolated from the production environment; however, some tasks can be completed only in the production environment. For example, collecting an inventory must be performed in the production environment.

Education and References

The following resources are recommended for packaging and deploying applications:

Note   The Web site http://www.AppDeploy.com is a well-known resource for information about deploying applications. It includes a knowledge base that describes how to automate the installation or repackaging of most popular business applications.


Get the Microsoft Deployment Solution Accelerator

Update Notifications

Sign up to learn about updates and new releases


Send us your comments or suggestions