by Steve Schmidt
As applications have been prepared for deployment in organizations, there has often been value in adding externally generated data to the package to aid in the use and management of the application. Some of these data elements have been associated with technical components, such as a list of file dependencies. Others have been more administrative, such as the target department, date of preparation, identification of the packager and/or tester, contact information of the support staff, etc.
Additional types of metadata appear to be increasing in interest and value. A selection of recent examples includes:
- Deployment preferences – At the Microsoft Management Summit in April, Bill Anderson’s “state of the union” on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager included a discussion of the new Application Model. This model includes information about the best available application delivery option for various user groups, and can be leveraged by System Center at time of application deployment.
- User settings – Microsoft’s announcement of User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) is one of the most recent examples of a way to include user-specific application profile setting to an application. The data is stored in an XML file that accompanies the application, and provides users with a common application experience even when they login across different devices.
- Financial and Licensing information – In enterprise app stores, which are becoming increasingly popular, data about the cost of the application is often presented to interested users in order to help them understand the budgetary impact to the organization. Likewise, the number of licenses available can be included
,and used to conditionally allocate new instances of the application and/or trigger approval or procurement processes.
- Identification tags – Even the basic idea of self-identification of the application is evolving. The ISO
All of these data elements are intended to make the application set more manageable within the enterprise. To make the best use of such data, guidelines should be set within the organization about when and how it is applied. To facilitate consistency and to streamline the process, templates can be built and applied via tools that automate the application readiness process.
Microsoft tag support announced