Install older custom applications on newer OS

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I have a few custom apps that are currently running on Windows Xp. I would like to move the apps away form the xp machine, and onto a 2008 R2 x64 terminal server. There's a range of apps, accounting, payroll, admin etc.
Are there any tricks to try to get older apps/installs working on a newer OS. As there's a few different apps, I'm looking for general advice/tricks.
I'm looking for some advice from someone with actual experience of making older programs work on Serverf 2008.
I know that i can run programs in 2003 compatibility mode, by changing the properties of the shortcut. Can they also be installed in a compatibility mode?
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You have described two issues here.  1) getting an older app to run on a newer operatiing system.  Depending on how old the app is and what it is actually designed to install under, it may not be all that difficult to get it to run in a newr OS.  Typically you will have problems if the app insists on being run as an administrator - newer OSs don't like that at all.  But you can sometimes work on folder and registry permissions to get them to run.  I've seen the installers fail trying to install apps from the early XP days.  Typically this is a problem with the installer - not the app.  2) getting an app to run on terminal services.  That is another whole issues.  Once again administrative privileges is a BIG no-no.  But know you introduce issues with shared temp files and shared directory writes.  Some apps just do not like terminal services.  Others have special instructions on how to install in terminal services.  Hope this brief review of issues helps.

Commented:
• There is not trick.
• It will be almost impossible to move all you application to the 64bit OS ...especially terminal server
Most likely in order to install the Accounting application you will be required to purchase the terminal service license.
If the app has any 16-bit component you are out of luck with 2008 R2.
As you mentioned TS (RDS as it is called now), the RDS CAL includes App-V and that may help a LOT with getting applications working on RDS and 64-bit platforms (again, assuming the app has no 16-bit code - that cannot be fixed).
So take a deep look at App-V and how it can make your life with RDS MUCH MUCH easier.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - Remote Desktop Services
Citrix CTP
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Commented:
Thanks for the cautions. I have looked at AppV - not impressed. It doesn't look like much on an improvement from Softgrid.  It has all the hallmarks of MS P2V solutions - a whole pile of programming steps that are easy to slip up on and even if you don't it might not work there are so many caveats. VMWare's ThinApp looks better but then there's a hefty price tag to go with it.

Perhaps someone might comment on another tack. Can I run a local application while in a Terminal Server session? Example: I have a program AcctPack247 that works just fine when I run it on an XP box. I also use the XP box to RDP into a TS server. Can I somehow run AcctPack247 while I'm in the TS session? Would Remote App allow that - logging  into a TS session from a workstation and then running a local app on the very same local workstation as a 'remote app'?

Nope, that does not work. RES (another company) released something like that but they are well known in the industry for their very high cost.
Citrix or Quest would allow you to have 'RemoteApps' coming from virtual/physical desktops but there is also a price tag for that.
I have extensively used ThinApp, App-V and Citrix Streaming for over 5 years now and delivered hundreds of apps with these solutions. App-V beats all, hands down.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - Remote Desktop Services
Citrix CTP

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Commented:
TSMVP:

Well, you've been very helpful in the past so I may take another look at App-V. Do you have any links/references that you would recommend?

Author

Commented:
TSMVP:

Any links/references?

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