Friday, February 22, 2013

Application Packaging Discovery

In end user computing (EUC) world managing applications is a tedious process. Managing corporate applications becomes more challenging when there are no process and procedures in place.

In my previous roles, I have worked in environments where there were no documents available and I had requested to package an application and deploy using SCCM. Well, packaging and deployments are not the issue, but the issue is how we will be managing the deployment? What are the end user expectations from IT? And what the deployment team will be expecting from the end user? etc. These types of questions need to be answered, before an application packager starts packaging an application and integration starts. This is where discovery document comes into action. The discovery document has to come from the SME or business owner with all the relevant information of the requested application.

A typical discovery document contains different sections to action by various people as below;
        SME: will provide the information about the application, Configuration, target users etc
        Packager: Will provide the technical information of the packaging component, SCCM
        collections and AD groups
       Deployment: Will perform the test/pilot deployments by following the information which was
       filled by the packager
       Testing/ UAT: Desktop teams / Business will perform the testing and get the UAT signoff
       Production Deployment: The application will be deployed to the production users / devices  
       based on the SME information.

I have put together a sample discovery document for application packaging and integration with SCCM. The same will work for many other deployment tools as well.

Application Discovery Document
[App Title]
Part 1: Application Discovery (To be completed by SME / Discoverer)
Section – 1 Requester details (These details will be used to communicate with the requester directly)
Requester Name

Requester Contact Information (Phone/Email)

Business Segment

Business Unit

Section 2:  Product and Vendor Details (These details will be used to communicate with vendor in case of any issues with the 
Product name

Product Version

List the pre-requisites required

Vendor Details

Product Functionality(What it does)

List any currently Known Product Issues or limitations

Section – 3:  Integration (These details will be used in package development)
Is this application connects to any devices (List the devices eg: Printers, Scanners, PDA’s etc)

Does this product need to interface with any existing / new business applications?

Any other connectivity / setup information known (like ODBC, Mainframe, database etc) – please list

Additional Information

Section – 4:  Deployment (These details will be used in developing a deployment scenarios)
Is this a
1.       New product installing first time or
2.       Replace / upgrade an existing application – Please provide existing application details

Size of the deployment group or number of users

Is it a forced install or optional install?

If end user Communication required, please attach the user communication

Additional Information to customize the deployment as needed

Section – 5 Product Support (SME or support personnel information)
Primary Support team

Contact details

Secondary Support team

Contact Information

Additional Information

Section – 6: Provisioning details (Who will be providing the application source files or original vendor media)
Contact person for provisioning

Contact details for provisioning person

Date provided

License controlled?

License key

Section – 7: Installation and Configuration - Include any specific installation and configuration details
(These instructions will be used to customize the package)
Step: 1

Step: 2

Step: 3

Step: 4

Section – 8: Functional test plan (For the product to be packaged)
(Provide a brief test plan how this product is used in the production. The packager will test the application based on this test plan)
Step: 1

Step: 2

Step: 3

Step: 4

Part 2: Application Packaging  (To be completed by Application Packager)
Section – 1 Discovery validation (Review and validate the provided discovery information by SME / Discoverer / Requestor)
All the questions answered?
Yes / No
Source files provided?

Licensing information provided?

Any Additional Information

Section 2 Software pre-package validation – Manually (Validate the provided application works as explained in
                                                                                                                                           discovery section)
Software installed

Software successfully launched

Validated provided functional test plan

Additional notes:

Section 3 Package development (Automation of discovery information)
Section 3.1 Package information
Package name

Package version

Methodology used

Any deviations from the discovery? Why?

Any deviations from the standards? Why?

Section 3.2 Package integration to SCCM (2007 / 2012)
Section - 3.2.1 – Install
Install package name

Install collection name

Install AD Security group name

Additional Information:

Section - 3.2.2 – Uninstall
Un-Install package name

Un-Install collection name

Un-install AD Security group name

Additional Information

Section 3.3 Deployment test (Performed on a VM, same architecture platform as the production machine)
Deploy to a VM as a new install

Deploy to a VM as re-install

Deploy to a VM as an upgrade

Cleanly uninstalls in a VM

Able to install after clean uninstall

Additional deployment notes

Part: 3  UAT (To be completed by SME / Discoverer / End user)
Application installed without any errors

Application installed without any prompts

Application launched without any errors

Application passed the functional test

UAT accepted – signed off

Additional comments:

Part: 4 Product Release (To be completed by SME / Discoverer / End user/ PM / Deployment Engineer)
(List any considerations or issues identified in UAT, that my impact end users because of this release)
Consideration 1

Consideration 2

Consideration 3

Part: 5 First day support information  (To be completed by Packager/Deployment team/Tester )
Known issue & Workaround 1

Known issue & Workaround 2

Known issue & Workaround 3

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