Thursday, 3 November 2011

Application of the Month: Adobe Acrobat 5.05, Part 3

Following on from previous posts, here is the third section of the compatibility assessment of Adobe Acrobat 5.05 by Carl Bennett, Technical Specialist at ChangeBASE, now part of Quest Software.

Symantec Workspace Virtualisation and VMware ThinApp

AOK supports running tests for many different competing virtualisation technologies. Here I have included the tests for SWV and VMware ThinApp. Every virtualisation product has different characteristics, problems, compatibilities, incompatibilities and quirks that make them unique. They have evolved in different directions specialising in different areas of focus ,and each of our categories of tests reflect the different characteristics that are relevant for software testing.

For this package we have already met these issues when looking at Microsoft App-V.

Windows 64-bit

Running older applications on 64-bit Windows has its own set of challenges. As this is a relatively new platform, many of the applications that a company will want to run on it will never have been tested on it before by the original authors. Extra security has been added into the operating systems along with new processor architectures, and this will also affect the capabilities of applications running on it.

This application has only raised issues in two areas.  One of them is the drivers issues that we saw earlier.

16-bit File Analysis

The rules here are quite simple: 32-bit Windows supports 32-bit and 16-bit executables but not 64-bit. 64-bit Windows supports 64-bit and 32-bit executables but not 16-bit. In addition to these simple checks, we also look to see which files get called from other programs to see if they need to reference libraries of the wrong bit level.

This package includes one 16-bit file, which is not always as bad as it seems. We know that the file is not going to work but we don’t necessarily know if it is going to be used.  There are no other messages telling us that it is referenced by other files and one on its own would indicate that, if it is used, it is only a very minor part of the software. It may even be possible that, as the software has evolved and been developed, this file is a leftover from an earlier version in which it was important.  It is necessary to test the software following a script made by an expert user to be sure, but it may be possible that this is acceptable.

Non Supported Drivers (Server and 64-bit OS)

The restrictions on Windows Server and 64-bit Windows are considerably tighter than those imposed on other operating systems. Incorrectly functioning drivers are the most common cause of crashes and other failures. The exact details, as ever, are explained in the green popup box shown below, shown when you click on the more info button in AOK.

We have already met many of these driver files before when looking at Microsoft App-V; based on the descriptions above you should now be in a position to understand why this list is longer than the one for this virtual platform.

Part 4 will be up next week or view the full assessment here! 

For more information please visit the ChangeBASE website.

1 comment:

  1. In case you are new to computing, the most common description of Acrobat from a user's perspective is that it's a file that faithfully reproduces its printed appearance. More of adobe software when you used one.