For years I have heard from customers and vendors in the packaging and application delivery businesses about how there isn’t a good place anymore to find information on applications. Long ago there was a good site (created by Bob Kelly) named AppDeploy but that was sold to a vendor and renamed to ITNinja and, well let’s just say it stopped getting great new community content for everyone.
Several of us in the space have been talking about designing a new site the last couple of years but building and maintaining a community site is no small undertaking.
Given that Microsoft now hosts their own documentation on GitHub and has built an ecosystem that anyone can propose updates to it, I decided to “bite the bullet” and use GitHub as a documentation repository for apps.
Currently there are two parts to the site:
- Information on Capture Filters
- Application Specific Information
This section of the site contains documentation that allows people to contribute file, registry, or process filter entries that they find useful during an installation capture experience. Let’s build a really great list for all of us!
I have seeded this with my own set of file and registry filters. For each, this includes:
- The item.
- What it is used for.
- Any known issues with excluding it.
This section of the site is for documentation of Applications. This means Windows Apps right now. Each application receives its own folder. I have seeded this with a list of over 50 applications (including both App-V and MSIX packaging results).
There is a template folder with files to copy from, but for each application we hope to capture the following information:
This is the default page to display about the app when found in the previous list. This file is a summary file for the application. In should include:
- Application and Vendor details
- A general description of the purpose of the app.
- Type of license.
- A link to website to find installers.
- Types of installers/packages offered by the vendor.
- Where the app stores configuration (file and/or registry).
- Summary of repackaging experiences.
This page should capture information on the following:
- Recommended and known command line options for silent/passive installation.
- Recommendations on package pre-configurations typically interesting in Enterprise repackaging.
- Links to alternative sites with information on silent installation (such as SilentInstallHQ.com ).
Under consideration is adding links to other great independent sites like Aaron Parkers Project Evergreen, which provides PowerShell based automatic discovery for when certain vendors make updates available, as well as possible integrations to downstream deployment tooling.
This file is for capturing the steps for a minimal “smoke test” of the recaptured application. It isn’t intended to be a full User Acceptance Test, but just the quick basics of how you determine the app is ready for UAT.
Packaging Results Tests
For any repackaging that you do, you can add a result file. In that file, you would include things like:
- Special steps taken to configure the repackaging tool(s) for this app.
- Special steps taken in the installation/configuration due to the tooling or final runtime environment (such as virtualization/layering/containerization).
- Results from the smoke test.
Testing results are conveyed in a simplified color coded form of the criteria that I used in The MSIX Report Card.
I have done my job of creating and seeding the site with a bunch of apps already. Here is what we need you to do.
- So please check out the site at https://github.com/TimMangan/App-Info.
- Read what it takes to be a contributor.
- Sign up for a free GitHub account and become a contributor.
- Let everyone know about this and encourage them to do the same.