My friend Mike is the neighborhood guru of holiday light displays – he may even have built his city’s best light show.

For a positive end result, application testing needs to be as rigorous as holiday light testing. Photo courtesy Mike and Jen

In November, Facebook photos from Mike and his wife, Jen, shared sneak peeks of the display. These snippets showed Mike had a great planning process. Gauging the number of lights needed for the roofline with a laser distance measure, building supports for the 20 foot tree that would grace the side of the house, testing the lights — he planned it all so that the project could be successful.

When it came time to actually hang the lights, Mike knew what he had to do- he had a plan.

Day 1 – 1,600 lights hung and ready

Day 2 – 1,700 lights hung and ready

Day 3 – 1,300 lights hung and ready (lower production, he had full day at his real job)

Day 4 – 2,400 lights hung and ready

Day 5 – 1,850 lights hung (had to take a break to see the new James Bond movie)

Day 6 – 1,900 lights hung and ready

Along the way, Mike enlisted Jen, his sons, neighbors and a 20 foot ladder from a friend’s window cleaning business. Needless to say, the neighborhood families, a few local visitors and the family’s Facebook friends around the globe watched and anticipated the big show.

As the project moved forward, a few people joked about Mike being the new Clark Griswold. In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark tries again and again to get the holiday lights to work. The entire family repeatedly bundles up to go outside in the cold for the big reveal, but again and again, the lights fail.  Additionally, Clark overtaxes the outlet for the Christmas tree and causes a fire. Not a great end result.

If you’ve ever decorated with lights, you know one bad string– or even one bad bulb – can take out the entire display. A short in the system holds up the entire reveal. You try and try to find the problem, but it’s sometimes tough to find the electrical short, a frayed wire or a bulb that’s just not plugged in right.

The good news is Mike’s holiday light show went live without any of Clark’s issues. All 10,750 lights worked for the big illumination on Thanksgiving night. He has a beautiful display that lights up his neighborhood and spreads holiday cheer.

When it comes to application testing, are your co-workers calling you Clark? Do you try to roll out an application for user acceptance testing – with the business owners excited about finally accessing this application in a virtual platform or in a new Windows 7 environment – just to disappoint them when the application fails? Do you try and try to manually find the application issue, just to waste time or cause a fire?

Take a cue from Mike. Automate, test, measure, and plan your migration project. Take advantage of automated application compatibility software to determine application compatibility issues up front. Let the AppDNA software show you exactly what’s not going to work – and give you choices to approach application remediation. Use AppDNA reports to share application compatibility status and options with the neighbors watching your lights go up – your business unit stakeholders. With AppDNA software, you can plan, measure and estimate how much time and effort it will be for application remediation, then make the best choices.

Measure the cost of your Clark-like manual process versus an automated approach with the Citrix AppDNA ROI calculator here.

Then, download the no-charge AppDNA software trial to import an unlimited amount of applications, see the current application compatibility status and model the effort it will take you to get to your desired end platform – whether Windows 7, XenApp, App-V or a combination of approaches.

With AppDNA software providing automated insight to drive a solid plan, you can have a successful end result that radiates joy.