October 20, 2022 - Sage Goodwin
At Rimo3 we’re continuing to see the increasing trend toward the adoption of modern packaging formats like MSIX and VMware App Volumes. Work-from-home and hybrid work requirements have driven the acceleration toward the flexibility of modern workspaces and cloud native management planes. We’re also seeing an uptick in organizations working with our team and global reseller network to modernize their applications and begin their migrations to Intune. These observations are strongly echoed in the EUC expert community, like Rory Monaghan of RoryMon.com and Dominiek Verham of TechLab who recently dove into some of their findings on their respective blogs.
“Microsoft for their part have started to make it even easier for current Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager customers to move more toward Intune,” said Rory Monaghan, “with the Cloud Attach feature within MECM providing some line of site and making enrolling into Intune that bit easier.”
While modernization is improving overall ROI and project outcomes, organizations are still facing challenges in their legacy management systems. One of the biggest is the need to regularly validate the functionality of their applications against custom image patching and configuration updates. Do the applications work when they are imported to your new workspace or operating system? Can they be used in multisession? Is MSIX the best format? Will a zero-day patch break your mission-critical line-of-business applications? And Rory goes on to say:
“Whilst enrolling your devices into Intune can be a quick win for Mobile Device Management needs like ensuring device compliance, managing firewall, Windows Defender etc. moving your app management from MECM to MEM requires some effort unless you use an automated solution like Rimo3.”
You could manually test the apps, but that can be extremely time consuming, and offers very inconsistent results. If one person tests one way, and another on the team has a slightly different approach, this could lead to more time wasted, security vulnerabilities, and the potential for modernization to be delayed and stopped entirely.
“What if you’re responsible for a large enterprise with a LOT of applications? Chances are that you are using Config Manager to manage your applications which means you already have a lot of intelligence available for your apps, like how to install perform an unattended installation.” Dominiek breaks down some of the advantages, “How cool would it be to reuse all this information and automatically test the installation on your new virtual endpoint? There are a couple of big wins here;
- You can save a huge amount of time importing apps from config manager
- You get an accurate idea if your apps work on your new virtual endpoints”
On the topic of how well the packaging formats convert or how the effective the testing is, Rory had this to say:
“In my experience, most of the applications I onboarded and sequenced with Rimo3 did successfully convert to MSIX. Now, while most did convert, not all packages ended up getting deployed that way e.g. It converted Foxit PDF Editor. On testing the MSIX, I discovered that the application did launch and somewhat functioned, but the print driver was not working which is the main purpose of this application. So, for that one, MSIX was not an option at this time.”
The faster administrators have access to critical information about their applications, the faster they can remediate and adapt, possibly taking an alternate approach to complete their project on time, then coming back with iterative improvements. This is exactly one of the situations that could change a deployment from the information available. Read the full blog and see all of the details on how Rory was able to utilize Rimo3 on his website here. You can read the full 3 part series Dominiek put together on Rimo3 and Application testing on his blog here