Getting Started with Application Compatibility in a Windows Deployment

Applies To: Windows 7

If you have worked on an operating system deployment project before, you already know that application compatibility can be one of the most serious blocking issues. If you are working on an operating system deployment project for the first time, the scope of the work needed might come as a surprise. But, with proper planning, the project becomes easily manageable.

You can manage application compatibility proactively by keeping an accurate list of all programs in use in your organization, creating an “application portfolio.” Whether your organization has a managed environment complete with inventoried applications, a full-time application management team, and a test lab, or is approaching the issue of application compatibility for the first time, you may find it difficult to know where to start. This document explains the steps you should take to prepare for application compatibility testing and evaluation during a Windows® 7 operating system deployment project. Although the steps in this document apply to a Windows 7 deployment, the concepts will translate well to your application lifecycle management.

After reading this document, you should have a clear idea of where to start in the process of evaluating the impact of application compatibility in your deployment project. You’ll learn how to make an inventory, prioritize applications, and identify which applications are to be included in a specific role-based deployment image.

In this document:

For greater depth of information, including step-by-step procedures, see the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 Update 1 (


For a complete view of Windows 7 resources, articles, demos, and guidance, please visit the Springboard Series for Windows 7 on the Windows Client TechCenter.
For a downloadable version of this document, see Getting Started with Application Compatibility in a Windows Deployment in the Microsoft Download Center (