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Develop best practice in application packaging with Caphyon

Mistakes in software packaging can be avoided with a clearer understanding of the entire process, writes consultant software packager Horatiu Vladasel for the Caphyon Advanced Installer blog.

Application packaging is not a miracle recipe for all problems,” Vladasel notes.

“[However] it ensures a consistent, stable and reliable standard environment; increases the efficiency of software management by streamlining software deployment (along with any customisation needed); mitigates security issues; decreases risks of business disruption; helps reduce ongoing administration; [and] support costs.”

In his more than 10 years of experience, he says, there are certain common mistakes made by application packagers that prevent realisation of the full benefits – and executives too need to be aware of some of these issues. One tip is to plan the application discovery carefully, ensuring you get the correct outputs to use for packaging the application.

Solving application compatibility issues in packaging relies on containerised packaging solutions, such as App-V or MSIX Container.

“This is not the time to be superficial, since the future package is going to be created based on the requirements and the application details recorded during the discovery,” Vladasel continues.

This initial step includes validating the application source file and ensuring the application is fully functional within the organisation environment, working as expected. All relevant requirements and details of the application should be collected and recorded.

Vendor support may be needed if the application fails to install or work as expected due to compatibility issues or misconfiguration, he adds.

“Although there are some compatibility issues that could be sorted by remediating the application and including the fixes within the package, this is not possible for the majority of them,” Vladasel says.

Also ask whether the application used differently by users from different business areas and requires different configurations. Sometimes it may be worth having one package for the application and separate packages for the different business-area configurations. Then each user gets the corresponding configuration package along with the application package.

Does your application have any prerequisites? If the answer is yes, they might also require separate packages to enable reuse in case other applications need the same prerequisites.

“This can happen in a new version release of the application or when you need to rework the package for some reason. If you’ve already taken these measures, it will be much easier to package just the application rather than to repackage the whole suite,” Vladasel explains.

“At the same time, this helps you keep devices up to date and mitigate any security vulnerabilities in case a new patch is released for the prerequisite.”

In certain situations this might not be the answer, he adds: it can be more challenging to keep them as separate packages than sequencing a whole suite as a single App-V package running in its own container, for example.

Read Vladasel’s full article on tips and tricks for best-practice application end-to-end packaging here, all the way through to user acceptance testing.

Caphyon, headquartered in Romania, also offers Advanced Web Ranking management software for search engine rankings, with local and mobile website rank tracking, keyword research tools and auditing; and Clang Power Tools, a Visual Studio extension helping C++ developers modernise and transform their code to C++11/14/17 standards by using LLVM’s static analyser and CppCoreGuidelines.

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