October 3, 2018

Possible solutions to the WaaS Conundrum (cont.) – Introducing ACTIV – an automated compliance testing system

In a previous post we discussed the Waas Conundrum – which we defined as the challenge Enterprises face every time a new version of Windows is released – an increasingly frequent occurrence under Microsoft’s innovative   WaaS (Windows as a services – link ).  We also discussed how Enterprises essentially must choose between two unappealing alternatives

  1. They can test their entire application estate:  a costly and time-consuming task.
  2. They can deploy immediately, as is typically done for hotfixes, and risk a service outage.

At Rimo3, we have been searching for a 3rd alternative –   which might resolve the WaaS Conundrum.    We have come up with a new product called “ACTIV”.  In essence, ACTIV automates compatibility testing – removing the need for human intervention almost completely – the best of both worlds.

Specifically, ACTIV does the following:

  1. Pull the organization’s application Estate from SCCM, distribution points or anywhere else customers store application packages.
  2. Perform a “Launch and Load” test on any or all applications in the estate. This step is unique in that it makes no assumptions on the application’s functionality, making it possible to test a large number of applications automatically, without human intervention, and without requiring the creation of a unique test scenario or success criteria for each application.
  3. Perform a complete functional test: this allows to test an actual usage flow on an application or group of applications virtually guaranteeing that the applications being tested are compatible.  We call this a  “business process test” which is typically created by recording actual user business flows and using them as test cases – reducing the risk of a compatibility issue further.

This approach, allows enterprises to test their Entire estate regularly at effectively no cost – as there is no engineer involved – even for patches and hot-fixes.   Crucially, this approach frees precious IT resources to focus on the small percentage of the applications who actually have compatibility issues, savings in time and effort of well over 90%.

Usefully, this automated approach allows users to test all apps in the estate against different private builds of Windows – which is important as some Enterprises have tens or even hundreds of such private builds – all based on the same windows public release – and such test are obviously not practical to be done manually.  It is even possible to test deploying Windows patches on existing reference configurations prior to deployment.

Finally, it is possible to use ACTIV to carry out a test on Actual physical devices – as

More information is available at Rimo3.com/Activ

In future posts we will discuss ACTIV field experience, and how such solutions work  in practice,