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Visual Studio & Virtualization

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  • User profile image
    Secret​Software

    HI,
        I some times want to test my applications for compatibility with different versions of Windows (from 98 to Vista). I also want to test it under different conditions and OS environments and platforms.

        So to do so I often use virtual environments like VMWare or VirtualPC, and offcourse you have to maintain many environments, and its a bit messy work.

        Is it possible to enable virtualizations  within Visual Studio, so we can debug our applications in compatibility modes for different OS environment ranging from 98 to Vista to Mobile operating systems?

        I want Visual studio to emulate or virtualize a given OS and allow me to test and debug my application from within visual studio to target a given OS or a range of OSes for compatibility testing.

        Is something like this possible? Would MS make our lives easier by enabling some sort of emulation environment with in Visual Studio?

    Thanks.Big Smile

  • User profile image
    Randolpho

    That would be an amazingly great feature. Visual Studio does already have something similar: the Device Emulator for cell phones and PDAs.

    Extending that to legacy OSs would be prime. I get the feeling it would take a huge amount of space on your hard drive, though. Not that VPC don't already... Smiley

  • User profile image
    Secret​Software

    Randolpho wrote:
    That would be an amazingly great feature. Visual Studio does already have something similar: the Device Emulator for cell phones and PDAs.

    Extending that to legacy OSs would be prime. I get the feeling it would take a huge amount of space on your hard drive, though. Not that VPC don't already...


    I agree 100%. We need this feature. It will cut testing time significantly and it would be more efficient way of doing it.

    MS can do it using images that would imulate the most important parts of the OS.

    If they give us support for other OS platforms that would be a plus.

  • User profile image
    ben2004uk

    VMWare 6 includes a Visual Studio add-in which allows you to deploy the application into a virtual machine.

    Haven't tried it myself, but it sounds very cool. 

  • User profile image
    vmlogix

    We currently have a virtual lab management product that will soon help you do exactly what you described.

    If any of you are available for a quick conference call so that we can better understand your needs and requirements, please let me know. We are also looking to add members to our advisory council to guide the integration. Please let me know if this would be of interest as well.

    You can reach me at mark@<author>.com

  • User profile image
    Royal​Schrubber

    I think complete solution will never be (or would very hard to) achieved.
    It's imo hard to emulate behaviour old versions of APIs and usually you can't have more than one version at a time. Win32 and other achitectures change, so you have to check your applications on all major points in version history.

  • User profile image
    Secret​Software

    vmlogix wrote:
    

    We currently have a virtual lab management product that will soon help you do exactly what you described.

    If any of you are available for a quick conference call so that we can better understand your needs and requirements, please let me know. We are also looking to add members to our advisory council to guide the integration. Please let me know if this would be of interest as well.

    You can reach me at mark@<author>.com



    Hi Mark.
        I am not sure I would be able to do a conference call.
    However I can tell you that the most common senario is:
     1- We want the ability to test our client applications in all windows versions (98 to vista) that our customers use to test for hardware/software compatibility with our products.

    2- This solution should be small in nature (so that its  not a full Virtual Machine) but rather a limtited one that can be used to imitate the target OS environment for testing purposes.

    3- This solution should be from with in Visual Studio, so that we can debug our application in compatibility mode for say windows 2000, or windows server 2003 or XP Pro etc..

    4- there should be a battery of automatic testing as a standard test for application compatiblity and a report would be generated after the test in a particular environemnt is completed. This report would highlight any exceptions that the application experianced, or any abnormal behavior, that is atypical of the application. Further, comparitive testing would be needed, to detect how an application behavior differes as a function of the OS environment it run on (As in from 98 to Longhorn server).

    5- This emulation environment should be robust enough  such that  it can handle high performance testing (as in resemble real world customer OS platforms as much as possible).

    6- This solution should be able to not exhaust developer's resources as the resourses are limited.

    7- The emulation environments should be variable and customizable to simulate stressed OS conditions or OS at low resources, or normal OS conditions that are typical of most customers.

    Thanks.

  • User profile image
    vmlogix

    Thanks very much for your feedback. I sent it directly to our development team. If you would be interested in getting an early preview of the integration, please let me know.

    Mark

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