Here is the final section of the first Application of the Month assessment by Carl Bennett, Technical Specialist. In this section, Carl takes an in depth look at the Windows 7 compatibility issues that have been raised before offering some concluding comments on the overall behaviour of the application.
There are a vast array of checks and tests provided by AOK for Windows 7. This is the most commonly used set of tests in the AOK suite.
This application passes all but two categories of test. Let’s look in some detail at the results.
Legacy Help File Scan
This plugin looks for the old standard of WinHelp file. This file format is now very old, having first appeared in 16-bit windows. Back then it was a novelty to have hyperlinks in text that would take you to other pages. You will no doubt have read about how they have been phased out due to security concerns with insecure macros and buffer overflow flaws. My personal opinion is that support for them has been removed because they appear very old-fashioned, with popups and other aspects that look dated now that we are all used to looking at web pages. When you run one on Windows 7 you receive a page that tells you that they are not supported any more rather than the contents that appeared on older versions of Windows. Most companies will run this report on all their software to assess the scale of the issue and, depending on how common it is, they will choose to embed the help engine into their operating system build from a download available from Microsoft.
Here we have just the one issue. As the name of the file is very similar to the names of the driver files, I expect that this is used by the context-sensitive help available from within the printer driver. The checkbox next to the issue shows that there is an automated solution available from AOK that will add the help engine into the package.
Non Supported Drivers
We have already seen that these drivers are going to struggle when virtualised or run on 64-bit Windows, so it is unsurprising that they also raise issues for Windows 7.
When the Adobe Acrobat package was tested on the various platforms it was only on non-virtualised Windows XP and Windows 2003 that an extra printer appeared in the control panel and could be used for generating PDF files. This can entirely be blamed on the driver issues that AOK was reporting. All the other aspects of the software seemed to be working, although I am not an expert in using this software. If it turns out that the printer driver is one of the lesser-used aspects of the software, it would be a business decision rather than a technical decision as to whether the package is used or not.
AOK has analysed and shown us the parts of the software that are likely to fail in a wide variety of circumstances and has helped to guide us in the areas of concern to aid the testing cycle.
Thanks for your interest in this Application of the Month assessment, and be sure to look out for the next one which will be coming soon!