ChangeBASE 6.1 deep dive: Auto-document your repackaging and virtualization jobs!

Before I started working with the ChangeBASE team I spent seven or so years as an application packager/virtualization engineer. I worked as a contractor on various projects and the one nagging task I never looked forward to was documenting my work. It's incredibly dull, but I have to admit, an essential part of the job if you care about supporting these apps in the long run.

This is the typical scenario (and I see it happen all the time during my current engagements):

  • An application has been used for a few years without issues
  • It needs to be moved to a new OS/virtualized/updated (delete as appropriate)
  • The person who packaged this all that time ago has left to become a wood carver in New Zealand
  • No-one has any idea how to install or configure the product
  • What then ensues is a long and painful discovery process to find out how this thing hangs together!

In ChangeBASE 6.1 we have the option of automatically documenting the repackaging and virtualization jobs (the only caveat is the the virtual machine running the job must be running Windows 7 or later). This is how it's done:

  • Setup a new repackaging/virtualization job
  • Tick the "Record Installation Steps (PSR)" box:
  • Kick off the job
  • Once complete check the output folder:
  • Open up the zip file, then open the MHT file to show the fully documented process with details of every button click which occurred during the conversion job. Simples!