Dimension Data has unveiled a new applications testing suite aimed at helping customers overcome software compatibility issues with the forthcoming release of Microsoft’s Windows Service Pack 2 (SP2).
Dimension Data national practice manager for platforms, David Hanrahan, said the security and firewall enhancements made to the Windows operating system through SP2 would have a significant impact upon many legacy applications currently used by businesses.
As a result, the installation of SP2 needed to be thoroughly checked against these applications to address any compatibility problems, he said. “We have identified a 20 to 25 per cent failure rate of applications after a default install of SP2,” Hanrahan said.
“A significant proportion of these will just need changes to the settings on SP2. Others will require changing the code to make it work.”
To verify which applications are affected, the new SP2 testing tool uses scripts derived from previous application tests to compare the customer’s range of software against SP2. This will allow Dimension Data to identify which changes need to be made to ensure these applications can run with SP2 installed.
“We will be able to tell the customer about their compatibility issues with SP2 rather than test all applications once SP2 is released,” he said.
“Customers shouldn’t spend months testing their software suite with SP2. Using the suite from Dimension Data, we propose customers will be able to test their applications against SP2 in minutes rather than hours, or even days.”
Hanrahan said Dimension Data had trialled 600 applications currently used by three of its customers against the beta version of SP2. More scripts would be added to the suite as the company tested further customer applications, he said.
Dimension Data would also look to employing the tool to provide patch application management and ongoing updates to customer software. For more on this story, check out this week’s edition of ARN.