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McAfee support statement for compatibility issues between McAfee products and third-party applications
Technical Articles ID:   KB73182
Last Modified:  4/3/2019
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Environment

All McAfee products

Summary

Use this article to determine the action to take if you encounter a compatibility problem between a McAfee product and third-party software.

McAfee will work with all third parties to understand the root cause of the problem, and where required address it with a McAfee product fix or workaround. But, McAfee might require that the customer opens a ticket with the third-party vendor if investigation determines that the cause of the problem is not the McAfee product. In addition, all parties might need to attend a conference call to work toward a resolution.

Perform the following steps:
  1. Check whether there is a known issue between the third-party software and the McAfee product. When McAfee is aware of a compatibility problem, McAfee documents the problem in the McAfee Knowledge Base. The Knowledge Base article will be updated with any known workaround or McAfee product fix when available. If the cause of the problem is the third-party software, McAfee will document the workaround or solution provided by the vendor of the third-party software.
  2. Perform troubleshooting to investigate the cause of the problem.
    • If McAfee investigation determines that the cause of the problem is the McAfee product, Technical Support opens a defect against that product, and McAfee provides a workaround or product fix.
    • If McAfee investigation determines that the cause of the problem is not the McAfee product, continue to step 3.
  3. Contact the vendor of the third-party software and open a ticket.

    The first responder in a software compatibility problem must be the vendor whose software behaves unexpectedly. The first responder debugs the unexpected behavior of their software. One of the following events occurs:
      
    • The cause of the unexpected behavior is confirmed to be the first responder's software. The first responder opens a defect against their software, and provides a workaround or product fix. In this situation, no further action is required.
    • The first responder determines that the cause is the other software. The vendor whose software has been implicated by the first responder is called the second responder. The first responder works with the second responder as follows:
       
      The first responder supplies the second responder with implicating data from the first responder debug. The second responder debugs their software's influence on the first responder. One of the following events occurs:
       
      • The cause is confirmed to be the second responder's software. The second responder opens a defect against their software, and provides a workaround or product fix.
      • The second responder determines that the cause is the first responder's software. In this situation, the causal software is identified using the same logical progression that led to this point.
 
Important information about third-party and proprietary software: The previous procedures are a technical necessity because in proprietary closed-source software, the private symbols needed to debug applications are intellectual property restricted by the vendors. If these private symbols were publicly disclosed, the software could be reverse engineered. McAfee does not own or have access to these proprietary symbols or source code.


Glossary:
  • Debugging Software (or "debugger"): The software that a developer uses that helps determine a failure point by using symbols or source code.
  • Closed-Source Code: The original code that comprises the process or driver; privately secured and publicly unavailable.
  • Open-Source Code: The original code that comprises the process or driver; publicly available.
  • Private Symbols: Files used by a debugger to show function names and source code file names; privately secured and publicly unavailable.
  • Public Symbols: Files used by a debugger to show only function names; publicly available.

Companies such as Red Hat are open source, and release their source code and private symbols. Other companies, such as Microsoft and McAfee, are closed source and release public symbols at the most. Closed-source code and private symbols exist to protect a vendor’s intellectual property from being publicly available, and allow software sales to remain a part of their income portfolio.

Microsoft code is almost always closed source. Microsoft does sometimes release public symbols so that third-party vendors can view all Microsoft function names invoked when debugging their third-party software, but function names are all that third-party vendors can determine about Microsoft code. Microsoft must use its closed-source code and private symbols to determine why its code behaved in the manner it did. This fact is a limitation in the world of closed-source software interoperability.

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