Newly Released Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.6 Provides 64-Bit Support and Further Enhancements

The Windows engineering team has just published the latest version of the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.6 to support customers who are looking at moving some or all of their Windows 7 PCs to 64-bit. After you collect your users’ software inventory on production 32- or 64-bit using ACT 5.6’s enhanced Data Collection Packages, data is then compared with Microsoft’s web service to provide compatibility data from software vendors now listing both 32-bit and 64-bit compatibility.


ACT’s Application Compatibility Manager Exposing Both 32-bit and 64-bit Compatibility Data

You can now even submit your findings for 64-bit specific compatibility as you work through your applications in the Application Compatibility Manager.

The Developer and Tester Tools have also been reworked to extend 64-bit support. Now the tool to help detect privilege issues, the Standard User Analyzer in ACT, will help you find privilege-related issues before you start building custom shim database (.sdb) files and the Compatibility Administrator supports authoring .sdb files for 64-bit applications on 64-bit systems.

While ACT 5.5 was the Windows 7 RTM-supporting version and had equivalent functionality for 32-bit applications compared to ACT 5.6, many people had fundamental issues with two letters that appeared in the reports of the ACT 5.5 version of the Application Compatibility Manager, “R and C”. Although the original intent was to have these two letters removed automatically via post-release data sync, technical issues made this impossible.


ACT 5.5’s reports with “RC” in report headers raised questions as to whether it could be used for Windows 7 RTM

As the number one question and design change request, those two letters have now been removed from the Application Compatibility Manager in ACT 5.6.


ACT 5.6’s reports without “RC” in the reports make it clear that this version works for Windows 7 RTM versions

Adding to the 64-bit enhancements and bug fixes, the new Application Compatibility Toolkit also benefits from an improved compatibility web service. You will notice that synchronizations are much quicker on average as the amount of application data being sent up has been reduced significantly. The new web service will also be updated every two weeks with the latest Windows 7 compatibility assessments from software vendors, so be sure to keep your database synced periodically.

Finally, with many of our users and partners requesting training and most of our public demonstrations leveraging the Stock Viewer demonstration application developed by Chris Jackson (, we’ve included the Stock Viewer application now with ACT 5.6.


Stock Viewer demonstration application is now part of the Application Compatibility Toolkit

The Stock Viewer also provides a lab guide document so you can detect and correct issues with the demonstration application and learn more about compatibility fixes and how they are applied with tools in ACT 5.6.

The ACT 5.6 release was created to deliver on the most requested features from IT pros and partners since the release of ACT 5.5. If you are looking for more information to evaluate a move to 64-bit Windows, or want training for detecting and fixing application issues or just wanted a Windows 7 version of ACT without “RC” appearing in the reports, download ACT 5.6 today and get started.