In the past 11 months, we have released a lot of new and exciting features and sometimes it is hard to keep track of them all. To make it easier for you, we have created an Access Capture Release Notes page. You can subscribe to it and always get the latest updates sent to your inbox as soon as they are posted. But we also wanted to take the opportunity today to highlight some of the most valuable and impressive features in a dedicated blog post. Our development team, headed up by Nik Maloney, has gone above and beyond and I am very proud of the outcome.
So without further ado, here are the top five features of our application packaging and testing automation solution, Access Capture, in 2020:
#1 Automated Smoke Testing
The first feature I want to highlight is our automated smoke testing. Essentially, application owners as well as other stakeholders such as developers and members of operations or technology teams, can use Access Capture to launch and load applications in bulk to check that an application installs, all shortcuts are launched, and all crucial components work without any errors.
Done manually, this can be a lengthy and labor-intensive process, but with Capture's smoke testing, you don't have to prepare, deploy, or break down a virtual machine anymore because it is done automatically. In addition, the entire test is captured on video so, should issues arise, the responsible team member can review the video to see what went wrong.
#2 MSIX Creation With Digital Signatures Applied
Secondly, creating MSIX applications is now easy, fast, and automated with Access Capture — regardless of your input. This means you can convert not only your MSIs or Setup.exe files into Microsoft's new packaging format, but also raw blobs of app files and registries coming from your CI/CD or Jenkins pipeline. To accomplish that, organizations can choose either a more traditional end-to-end approach or a modern API-driven approach to application packaging & testing automation. The output is always a robust, digitally-signed MSIX package that conforms with your internal policies and packaging standards.
If you want to know more about our new MSIX packaging automation capabilities, watch our on-demand webinar we recorded recently.
#3 App Attach Creation Of One Or Many MSIX Into One Or Many VHD
The creation of App Attach often goes hand in hand with MSIX creation but is generally much less mature in terms of automated tooling support at the moment. I am very proud that our customers can just as easily create robust and secure app attach packages with Access Capture as they can MSI, AppV, or MSIX. This is increasingly important as Windows Virtual Desktops are gaining in popularity, and organizations need to create app attach packages in order to be able to utilize WVD. It is also important to point out that you now can create app attach with the option of packaging one or many MSIX into one or many VHD.
I recently created a 20-minute video in which I walk through the ins and outs of creating an app attach. If you want to know how it can be done using Access Capture, feel free to head over here.
#4 Intune Publishing Integration
While automating the application packaging and testing process is crucial, making it easier to publish those apps is important as well. Over the past year, more and more organizations have moved into a hybrid deployment scenario as they have adopted Microsoft Modern IT Vision. This means that Microsoft Intune needs to be an option for deploying your applications. That is why we now offer the ability to create Intune objects and publish and deploy them into an Azure-connected Virtual Machine — something a lot of our customers will be excited about.
#5 Application & System Performance Testing
Last, but certainly not least, are Access Capture's new application performance testing capabilities. These give IT organizations as well as developers, application owners, and ops and technology team members the ability to monitor system and app performance for any testing module API. Having this capability empowers you to monitor, manage, and improve your end users' experiences as they interact with their applications and proactively identify issues early on before those issues lead to larger problems down the road.
2020 has been a challenging year for many of our customers — but a tidal shift disruption often comes with massive windows of opportunity. With the help of these five new features, we hope to help facilitate and enable you to drive forward your Digital Transformation efforts so that, hopefully, you emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before.