App confidence: Our approach begins with inventory
Published Feb 23 2023 08:00 AM 4,306 Views
Microsoft

Our app confidence approach begins with inventory. And no, not that arduous inventory that you had to take in the olden days. With our approach and tools, you don't have to!

Begin your app confidence journey with inventory

You probably have a sense of the most critical apps in your organization, but you can be absolutely sure with our tools. If you're one of those who prefer learning more about their inventory, we recommend you take app inventory as the first step in your upgrade readiness process. How do you know what apps to retire? Which ones should you keep and remediate (if necessary)? And which apps would you need to keep and modernize? Well, let us help you understand which 99.7% apps work on Windows 11 and which ones will need more inspection.

You can gain this insight with the management tools we've built into Microsoft Intune just for that: discovered apps and Upgrade Readiness reports.

Use discovered apps in Intune for full app inventory

Use Microsoft Intune to keep up with all apps across enrolled devices in your tenant. This includes 100% of apps on corporate devices and all managed applications on personal devices. Read Discovered apps for further details on different OS versions.

Requirements. The prerequisites for this tool are basic enrollment:

  • Are your Windows 10 or Windows 11 devices enrolled in Microsoft Intune?

Discovered apps reports. For a comprehensive, aggregated inventory of all apps, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.
  2. Go to Apps.
  3. In the Monitor section, select Discovered apps.
  4. Optional: To download the .csv report file, select Export.

Note: If interested in seeing app inventory for an individual device, replace step 2 with Devices > All Devices, and then select a device. Then follow through to the Discovered apps report for that device.

You can sort this inventory by install count to identify most used apps across your organization. Generally, you'll find a small number of apps as your business-critical nucleus. In either case, however, this comprehensive list of apps does not provide compatibility insights. Leverage the Upgrade Readiness report in Intune to zero in on a subset of highly used or at-risk apps. 

Integrate Upgrade Readiness reports for inventory of apps potentially at risk

Another useful Intune resource to identify apps with known compatibility risks is the Windows feature update compatibility risks report. It is one of the integrated reports that provides a summary view of the top compatibility risks across your organization for a chosen version of Windows.

Requirements. The prerequisites for this tool are the following:

Windows update compatibility risks report. Use this report to understand which compatibility risks affect the greatest number of devices in your organization as you prepare for a specific version of Windows. Find all app compatibility issues provided by Windows diagnostic data. Most importantly, you will have a comprehensive issue description from the Microsoft app compatibility database to inform your course of action. Here's how.

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.
  2. In the admin center, go to Reports > Windows updates.
  3. Select the Reports tab.
  4. Select Windows Feature Update Compatibility Risks Report.

The Windows feature update compatibility risks report view in Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin centerThe Windows feature update compatibility risks report view in Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center

Configure settings with these steps:

  1. Click on Select Target OS and choose the version of Windows you plan to deploy.
  2. Optionally select Asset type and Risk status to refine the report.
  3. Click Generate report. This process can take several minutes. You'll be notified when report generation is complete.

While this report summarizes risks beyond just those for application compatibility, look for Application in the Asset type column. The Asset version and Affected devices information will be helpful for your inventory and decision-making as you modernize your environment. Risk status and Issue description tell you why and how much you should care. And to really understand the specific compatibility risk, open the details flyout by selecting the number of affected devices.

The risk status shows as low, medium, or high based on how the applications might affect the upgrade to your specified Windows version. Some examples follow.

  • Low risk: No apps are blocking the upgrade or run the risk of being affected.
  • Medium risk: No apps are blocking the upgrade, but some may be affected or removed in the process.
  • High risk: Some apps are blocking the upgrade.

Inventory and plan of action. Here are some possible application compatibility scenarios, from lowest to highest risk. Note: In the exported data report, risk status is called Readiness status and ranges from 0 to 2. For more information, refer to Use Windows compatibility reports for Windows 10 and Windows 11 updates in Intune.

 

Issue description

Risk status

Guidance

None

Low (0)

Deploy the upgrade!

Reinstall application after upgrading

Medium (1)

Deploy the upgrade, then reinstall the app on the new OS version.

Evaluation may be required on new OS

Medium (1)

Deploy the upgrade, then test the app on the new OS version.

Doesn't work with new OS, but won't block upgrade

Medium (1)

Deploy the upgrade, then install a compatible version of the app on the new OS version.

Application is removed during upgrade

Medium (1)

Deploy the upgrade, but the app will be removed. Manually uninstall the app and install a compatible version on the new OS version.

Blocking upgrade, update application to newest version

High (2)

Update the app version, then deploy the upgrade.

Disk encryption blocking upgrade

High (2)

Disable the encryption feature in the app, then upgrade, then re-enable encryption on the new OS version.

Blocking upgrade, but can be reinstalled after upgrading

High (2)

Remove the app before upgrading. Reinstall the app on the new OS version.

Blocking upgrade

High (2)

Remove the app before upgrading. Reinstall and test it on the new OS version.

What's after inventory?

Before you even take on inventory, we've already built app compatibility into our process and tools. If you've missed that introduction, check out App confidence: From our compatibility story to yours.

As you can tell from the Upgrade Readiness issue descriptions, most app compatibility issues are easily remediated by updating or installing a newer version of the app. Some scenarios require further testing, which we'll talk about in the next blog post. And, as we said, only 0.3% of apps would require the special talents of our App Assure engineers, covered later in the series.

Now what do you do with all those devices that show robust application reliability and low risk? Keep calm and deploy updates to those devices now!


Continue the conversation. Find best practices. Bookmark the Windows Tech Community and follow us @MSWindowsITPro on Twitter. Looking for support? Visit Windows on Microsoft Q&A.

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Last update:
‎Feb 28 2023 04:15 PM
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