One of our design goals with AppTracker was to make it as customisable as possible. We are able to model any application migration process and even track non-application migrations, such as server migrations, build releases or user migrations… more on that in a later post. The default configuration of AppTracker comes with a lot of possible customisations pre-configured for you. We model a standard application migration process and then allow you to completely customise AppTracker for your project. All of this application information is stored in the various Application Tabs.
- App Details
- Discovery Info
- Custom Tabs (1-3)
- App Testing
- QA Checks
The App Details Tab lists all of the most important application information on one screen. It is split into eight sections, plus a list of notes. The number of notes currently added to this application is shown as a counter in the tab name, e.g. “App Details (6)”.
The tool bar gives you access to actions where you can save your changes, reload the application (discarding any changes), generate a PRF Word document, add notes and raise a new version of the application while carrying over all of the application knowledge to the new application.
It is possible to customise all of the details on this page; you can show/hide all the elements as well as rename the labels. This allows you to model items other than applications such as Server (Name, Make, Model, Build etc.…)
- Application – Basic App info (e.g. Name, Vendor, Version, AKA, Id…)
- Application Details – Extended App info (e.g. Process / Sub-Process, Assigned to, Package Type, Priority…)
- Blueprints – The list of Blueprints this application is a part of.
- Flags – List of possible user defined flags that can be toggled on/off for this application.
- Misc. Info – Some extra information (date entered process, time in process, date required, due in (weeks)).
- Description – A short description of the application.
- On Hold – Shows if this application is currently on hold and how long it’s been on hold in its lifetime.
- Custom Properties – A list of 18 user defined properties (see here for more details)
- Notes – A list of notes added to this application to date. The notes also show the date it was added, who added it and the process it was related to.
The Discovery Tab is one of our most flexible tabs and requires a dedicated post to describe how to setup and configure it. For now, we'll give you a summary of what it looks like. Traditionally Discovery has been done in the form of Word docs and questionnaires. Our Discovery Tab models this by allowing you to create an unlimited number of questions and sections. However, the information is stored in AppTracker and not in loose Word documents. This means everything about an application is stored in a searchable and reportable manner. A change history of all this information can be recorded in case you need to look back in time to an earlier version. Your Discovery Tab is your single version of the truth of the application’s information. This information can be exported as a Word doc for sending to your customer or off-shore team.
Questions can be modelled as:
- Headers – This highlights the header but does not pose a question; good for creating sub sections.
- Text Boxes – For single word or short detail answers e.g. “Server Name: ”
- Text Blocks – For longer paragraph style answers e.g. “Printer Connection Instructions: ”
- Radio Buttons – For mutually exclusive answers e.g. “Requires License: (Yes, No)”
- Check Boxes – For multiple possible answers "e.g. “Active Protocols: (http, https, ftp, SSL)“
- Dropdown Lists – Works much like the Radio Buttons but allows for a much longer list of options e.g. “Language: (English , French, German …etc.)
- Date / Time Pickers – For recording dates and times e.g. “License Expiry Date: ”
Custom tabs (1, 2 and 3)
AppTracker provides three blank custom tabs that you can name and populate using AppTracker’s Questionnaire forms. These tabs work exactly the same as the Discovery Tab above.
The App Testing Tab is another Tab that deserves its own post and will get one soon but for now here is a brief introduction. The App Testing Tab is used for scheduling, signing off and reporting on tests such as UAT tests, OAT tests and client specific tests etc.
To create an App Test..
- Select the type of application test e.g. UAT
- The user to perform the test e.g. Joe Bloggs
- The testing window that the test machine is available e.g. 1/1/2012 – 7/1/2012
- The machine on which to perform the test e.g. PC00001
You can send an email from within AppTracker to the user with all the details they need to conduct the test including an RDP attachment and ICS calendar invite.
The email received contains a link to a web address that is part of the AppTracker system. Clicking the link takes the user to a questionnaire of standard UAT sign off questions (defined by you). The user can then flag the test as a Success or Fail. It is possible to have AppTracker send you an email notification for these sign offs.
The App Testing tab is split into two sections. The top half is a grid view of all current tests and their results. From here you can edit a test, resend emails and view test results. The lower half shows a calendar view of upcoming tests and their results. These are colour coded by their result; Green – Pass, Red – Fail , Amber – Untested.
Much of the reporting on Application Tests can be done from the main Applications Grid.
Applications can have contacts associated with them; these are people such as UAT testers, Discovery contacts and application owners etc. The types of contacts listed here can be edited by you. The number of contacts currently associated with this application is shown in the tab name. i.e. “Contacts (3)”.
The contacts toolbar lets you search for existing contacts, add contacts to this application and create new contacts.
It is possible to set up three different types of dependencies in AppTracker. You can add a pre-requisite, a post-requisite or an alternate application. The alternate application information can be useful if you are trying to consolidate different applications or versions e.g. adding Photoshop as an alternate application for any imaging editing application in your portfolio.
The dependencies tab also shows if the current application is a “dependency-of” any other applications in the portfolio. The number of dependencies currently associated with this application is shown in the tab name. i.e. “Dependencies (2)”.
Most application packaging projects will have a QA phase where applications are checked against a list of internal checks. It is possible to model these checks in AppTracker using our Questionnaire forms (see the Discovery Tab). This allows all the QA information that would be normally be captured in a Word doc or Excel sheet to be captured within AppTracker.
It is possible to have multiple QA’s per application allowing an application to go through an iterative phase: Package -> QA (fail) –> Repackage –>QA (pass) cycle and retain information on each iteration. It is also possible to report on groups of applications QA status from the applications grid tool bar “Reports -> QA Results”.
The compatibility tab records an application’s various different compatibility issues, the list of issues is user defined; the default list include options such as “Windows 7” , “IE 8”, “Office 2010”. Each of the compatibility entries can be set to 32/64bit and Red/Amber/Green; you can also add a comment as to why the application is in the compatibility status. It is possible to quickly find applications with compatibility issues from the applications grid using the toolbar “Application Filters -> Standard Searches -> Compatibility Issues”.
The license tab records some basic license information such as serial keys, codes, quantity and amount used etc. The road map for AppTracker includes reporting on license usage.
It is possible to attach different types of documents, images, source files etc. to your application and to tag these attachments as different things, e.g. “Screen Shot”, “License Key”, “Source Files”. Applications that have attachments can be quickly filtered on the applications grid from the toolbar: “Application Filters -> Attachments”.
The History Tab contains a complete record of everything that has happened to an application during its life time. This includes events like “Name Changes”, “Process Changes”, “Adding and Signing Off UATs” and adding contacts. All of these changes record the event, the date/time it occurred, the before and after value and the person that made the change. There is a history report available from the toolbar “Reports -> Change History” that allows you to view all the changes to a group of applications for a given date range.