The free Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, aka MAP or MAP Toolkit, is available to Windows professionals online. For organizations who’ve not yet succumbed to the allure of Windows 10, it’s probably a good idea to download and consult MAP toolkit. That’s true for all organizations, even those pondering the possibility of a migration (not its eventuality).
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Where to Start: Consult MAP Toolkit
It’s easy to grab the MAP toolkit from MSDN. A simple download does the trick. Grab all four of these download files from the preceding Download Center link, please:
- MAP_Training_Kit.zip: sample database with demo exercises to demonstrate MAP actions and capabilities
- MAP_Sample_Documents.zip: large library of sample MAP output documents for all kinds of assessments
- MapSetup.exe: executable file to install MAP on a technician/survey PC (desktop)
- readme.htm: introductory file (read first and foremost before doing anything else); explains pre-requisites, installation, troublehooting, repair, and upgrades for MAP.
Next, before touching the setup file, you’ll want to consult the MAP Getting Started Guide. As a further illustration, here’s a diagram of Microsoft’s vision for the proper process of using MAP:
Note: the first 4 steps in the process come from the Getting Starting Guide.
Only the 2 final steps, which may repeat indefinitely, come from MAP itself.
[Click image for full-sized view, please.]
Truly, MAP can be a useful tool for those considering Windows deployments of many kinds. These include Windows Server 2016, plus various Windows Server-based platforms and services. (Common examples: SharePoint, SQL Server, Lync, ForeFront Endpoint Protection, and so forth). Of course, my focus here is on desktop OS deployments, particularly Windows 10. But IT professionals, upon inspecting the documentation and exploring MAP capabilities, will soon appreciate that it can do quite a bit more than that.
MAP runs on a single PC with access to the network(s) to be inventoried and assessed. Users may opt into the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) when running MAP. If so, the toolkit collects anonymized information from its use and ships the data off to MS. MAP creates and uses a SQL Server 2012 Express LocalDB as part of its operation. See the readme.htm file and the Getting Started Guide for more information and further details.