ChangeBASE FAQ

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding ChangeBASE:

Is Quest ChangeBASE a product or service?
Quest ChangeBASE is a product which provides a faster way to ensure application compatibility issues are identified and resolved quickly and effortlessly, saving you time, while reducing cost and risk. With Quest ChangeBASE, packaging, testing and fixing potential compatibility issues are automated. This accelerates and simplifies your migrations to Windows 7, Office 2010, and virtualized application or desktop environments as well as minimizes the time and effort required for on-going management. Quest ChangeBASE can also automate and accelerate compatibility testing for Internet Explorer, ensuring that your browser upgrade is deployed without issues.

Where can I buy the software?
You can purchase Quest ChangeBASE through Quest Software and its partners. Please contact us with any queries or requests.

Does Quest ChangeBASE really get applications to work on Windows 7?
Yes it does. We have carried out work with several hundred organisations and find that on average 95% plus of applications that have problems working under Windows 7 can be resolved with Quest ChangeBASE.

How easy it to install and configure Quest ChangeBASE?
It is extremely simple to install . The only 2 pre-requisites for the core product are the .NET Framework and SQL Server and once they are installed, takes less than 5 minutes to install and set up.

Do I need to use all the Quest ChangeBASE products?
No. If you are migrating to or looking to manage applications which will be used with Windows 7, 64-Bit, Server 2008 R2 or Office 2007/2010, you should purchase Quest ChangeBASE Standard. If desktop and/or application virtualisation is required above and beyond these platforms, you should purchase Quest ChangeBASE Professional. Finally, if you are looking to manage browser compatibility, you should purchase Quest ChangeBASE Browser Compatibility, which can be bought in conjunction with either of the two products above.

What time savings will I make by using Quest ChangeBASE?
Obviously, this will depend to some extent upon the processes that you adopt, but the savings are considerable both in terms of cost and time. For example, it would take 10-15 man months of effort to manually assess and remediate a portfolio of 500 applications for Windows 7. Using Quest ChangeBASE this can be reduced to less than a day!

How much training will I need to have to use the tools?
Quest ChangeBASE is very intuitive and easy to use. Quest Software offers a 2 day training course to provide you with the skills you need to use the basic and intermediate functions of Quest ChangeBASE. You can also follow an additional 2 day advanced course which covers writing your own tests and auto fixes, achieving more complex configurations as well as running demos and training others in using Quest ChangeBASE.

How can applications be loaded in Quest ChangeBASE?
To import applications into Quest ChangeBASE with the following formats, there is a single-step process of simply dragging a root/source directory on to Quest ChangeBASE and pressing the “Load” button:

1. MSI’s (and any combination of MST’s (transforms) and MSP’s (Patches) are dynamically loaded with the source MSI package

2. WSI, WSC, WSE and Wise Setup Executables

3. Microsoft App-V (SFT) sequenced packages

4. Symantec Virtualization Packages (SVS)

5. SYSDIFF INF Installation Packages

6. Microsoft SETUP Executables

For applications that are not shipped in this format; we have two options:

1. Quest ChangeBASE will create a custom loader for the client specific environment

2. Using freely available tools (UNIEXTRACT) we can extract the installation information from application packages and then load into Quest ChangeBASE

How can large software portfolios be structured?
We have had the benefit over the past few years of loading several tens of thousands of applications into Quest ChangeBASE. The process is generally as simple as dragging the "root" or top-level application or distribution source folder onto the Quest ChangeBASE tool and then pressing the "Load" button. Other bulk loading options are also available. Please visit Quest Support for more information: https://support.quest.com

Can Quest ChangeBASE be setup in a multi-user environment?
Quest ChangeBASE is designed to be used across multi-user environments with support for multi-user package loading, reporting and fixing. A central Quest ChangeBASE database can be setup and a number of different users can connect to it.

To what extent will the tool be able to reflect my local packaging standards?
One of the great benefits of Quest ChangeBASE Professional is that the client’s packaging and distribution standards can be documented, codified and then integrated into it, for automated application assessment and remediation. In our past experience, our clients have been able to automate the vast majority of the their packaging standards including requirements for transforms, Self-Healing and multi-target/purpose packages.

Can I automatically migrate from XP to Windows 7 if I use these tools?
Obviously when moving from one operating system to another there are many considerations, and it is almost certain that you will want to implement and deploy applications which conform to a set of standards that will differ from that of your previous platform. However, under test conditions we and members of our client base have remediated and successfully deployed whole portfolios of applications by using Quest ChangeBASE.

How would Quest ChangeBASE deal with a migration from Windows 2000?
The ChangeBase Platform Integrity and Best Practices reports and automated fixes are ideally suited for the migration from Windows 2000 platforms (desktop and server environments) as they automatically identify and remediate compatibility issues, security issues and packaging best practice issues in a single tool-set. The tool-set is designed to manage the journey from NT4 systems onward to Windows XP (and SP2, SP3) and on to Vista, Windows server 2003, 2008, Windows 7 and virtualization platforms such as App-V and Citrix XenApp. The existing collection of Windows XP plugins can easily be expanded to cover the entire Microsoft redistributable list (Merge Modules) which would then deliver an enhanced "clean-up" process for each application package in preparation for deployment to Windows Vista or Server 2008. In addition, the ChangeBase product supports the main formats such as MSI, MST, WSI. It now supports the importing and subsequent reporting of legacy Sysdiff files (INF files) and Wise script packages (WSE files) in the event that a customer does not currently have a complete MSI package portfolio.

What sort of testing do you do for middleware technologies (Java, .NET framework, MSI, etc)?
Quest ChangeBASE client currently supports automated dependency analysis as part of the import process. Clients are able to generate their own middleware reports by simply loading the applications into Quest ChangeBASE and right clicking to turn them into middleware reports specific to their own environment.

How easy is it to maintain the database?
Quest ChangeBASE databases (both local and remote) are automatically created, configured and updated through the Quest ChangeBASE client. Creating, repairing and renaming databases is as simple as "right-clicking" on each database "Tab" presented at the bottom of the main Quest ChangeBASE tree-view. The Quest ChangeBASE client also supports 2-levels of security enabling administrators to enable or disable functions such as create and delete reports or delete databases. This security functionality is made available on a database by database basis. This ensures that users may have full control over their private or local databases, and administrators are able to maintain control over their central or shared databases.

What about new application updates? How are they discovered and added?
The product is delivered as .NET client-server application with all reports, fixes and updates delivered as discrete Plugin modules. All of the existing reports are within 20-60 Kb in size and can be easily downloaded from the ChangeBase secure portal. In addition, all database and patch updates are made available in the CBP file format which enables easy database-by-database updating and control.

Is this a pre sales tool to help win consultancy services?
The Quest ChangeBASE product is not intended as a pre-sales tool for later sales and consultancy services. It is designed to easily integrate into a customer's existing processes and platforms, and to support our service provider partners in simplifying and reducing the cost of migration projects and on-going application management services.


Can I create client specific rule-sets?
With Quest ChangeBASE Professional, you can modify and create simple and medium checks and minor additions to existing Plugins via the built in plugin generation wizard. For more complex business logic issues, you may need Quest assistance initially, unless you have skilled SQL developers.

How far would Quest ChangeBASE reduce manual testing?
Feedback from our clients and lab environments shows that Quest ChangeBASE reduces manual testing by between 50-90%. Quest ChangeBASE Professional can adapt to even the most unique environment by allowing you to create your own rule sets, increasing the effectiveness of the tool.

What about Citrix support?
As an essential component of the Citrix (streamed and hosted) packaging and deployment process, Quest ChangeBASE will analyse each application for compatibility and best practice compliance ensuring correct installation and execution on the Citrix and Remote Desktop Services platform. In addition, as patches are continuously released by Microsoft, ensuring that Citrix servers are regularly updated raises the issue of change impact assessment on a complex system with hundreds or thousands of users. Using Quest ChangeBASE to manage changes to Citrix delivered applications reduces risk, facilitates security compliance, and delivers faster application deployments.

Can Quest ChangeBASE help me virtualize my applications?
The answer to this is "definitely". Whether your intended destination is Microsoft App-V, Symantec Workspace Virtualisation, VMware ThinApp, Citrix Application Streaming or another virtualisation target, Quest ChangeBASE can help :
Virtual Compatibility Assessment–Determine within seconds which applications you can virtualize and track for middleware dependencies, saving days of testing time.
Auto-Fix for Virtual Platforms – Evaluate applications for compatibility issues and repair them in just a few simple steps.

Application Virtualization - Save time, avoid errors, and meet demand faster by converting your application portfolio automatically into the required virtual format.

I've already bought Quest ChangeBASE. Where can I find technical information and support?
If you have any support queries, please visit the Support Product Information Pages on https://support.quest.com.

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