Windows 7 / Getting Started

Collecting Compatibility Data

The ACT enables you to collect an inventory of all installed software, hardware, and devices within your organization. Additionally, the ACT provides compatibility evaluators, which you will use in your DCPs for deployment to your client computers. Compatibility evaluators are run-time detection tools designed to log behaviors as they occur on the user's computer and locate potential compatibility issues.

The ACT collects data according to the following workflow:

  1. You create a new DCP by using the ACM. Each DCP can contain one or more compatibility evaluators, including the Inventory Collector.
  2. You deploy the DCPs to your identified subset of client computers using System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Group Policy, or any other software distribution technology. The evaluators run for the length of time that you specified when creating the DCP and then the data (.cab) file is uploaded to your ACT Log Processing share.
  3. The ACT Log Processing Service, running on a server, accesses the data from the ACT Log Processing share, processes the data, and then uploads the information to your ACT database.
  4. The ACM reads the data from your ACT database to determine how many computers have uploaded data and the status of the collection process. The ACM also uses the data from the ACT database to enable reporting and viewing of the collected data.

By using the ACM, you can create DCPs to gather your installed software, hardware, and device information, in addition to determining any associated compatibility issues based on applications, Web sites, or Windows updates for your selected client computers. The ACT includes the compatibility evaluators described in the section titled "Compatibility Evaluators" earlier in this tutorial.

After creating a DCP, deploy it using the method chosen from the list in the section titled "Choosing a Deployment Method" earlier in this tutorial. Because a DCP is an .msi file that installs silently, deploying it is just like deploying any other application.

To create a DCP for deploying Windows 7, perform the following steps:

  1. In the ACM, click File and then click New.
  2. The New_Package dialog box appears. In the Package Name box, type a unique name for your DCP, such as Windows_Deployment.
  3. In the Evaluate Compatibility When area, click Deploying A New Operating System Or Service Pack. This evaluator option includes the Inventory Collector, the UACCE, and the WCE by default. If you want, you can click Advanced to choose the specific evaluators to include in the package.
  4. In the When To Monitor Application Usage area, configure the starting time, duration, and upload interval.
  5. In the Output Location box, keep your default value, previously specified in the Configuration Wizard.
  6. On the File menu, click Save And Create Package, saving the compiled DCP as an .msi file in an accessible location, such as a network share.

To view the status of a DCP, perform the following steps:

  1. In the left pane of the ACM, click Collect.
  2. Click By Status in the Current View section of the Collect screen. The Collect screen changes to show you the deployed DCPs and their status, including whether they are in progress or complete.
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