In last months webinar with Microsoft, we learned a lot about the latest release of App-V and the strategic direction of application virtualization. If you were not able to make it to the live event, you can watch the recorded version here: Webinar: Best Practices for Application Virtualization
I'd like to thank Steve Thomas, the Microsoft Consultant, for his in depth coverage of new features and changes included in the most recent release of App-V 5.1. We had over eighty questions submitted during the one hour webinar, but were unable to get to them all. Here are the top 50 or so App-V questions and answers.
Is RunVirtual still a 1 to 1?
If you mean one executable path to one package – then yes it is 1 to 1.
About the RunVirtual key and Internet Explorer: can Steve comment on the need of integrated COM settings and its consequences, thanks
If you do not want the native application to have COM running isolated, then set the COM setting of the virtual environment (of the AppV package for which the native application is running virtual) to integrated.
Are connection groups limited to VFS sequences, i.e. a vfs sequence will not be able to connect into a pvad sequence?
Connection groups are not limited since App-V 5.0 SP3.
How clean do you usually have your capturing machine? Do you typically capture on machines with office, or etc?
Depends on the application. If the application requires dependencies, they should be installed. For example if the application is an Office plug-in, then Office is also installed.
Isn't it better if you use connection groups to sequence them all to the same dummy pvad?
If possible, yes this is a current recommended practice.
Should I use a domain joined computer to sequence applications?
Only do that if the application requires it.
Can connection groups be used in stand alone mode with AppV 5.1 client?
Yes. Through PowerShell scripts.
What if there are configuration changes during restart, how will this be captured
The sequencing machine will do a REAL reboot. And then pick right up where it left off after rebooting and logging back on.
How do you handle drivers with App-V
You extract them, manually add the files to the VFS, and then embed a script that installs them on the PackageAdd event.
Do we need to check all the checkboxes in Advanced Section?
It depends on the application and your desire for isolation.
Putting security aside, can we not use connection groups and make all App-V packages see each other?
No, not yet.
How do we handle connection groups at SCCM, distribution point of view*
SCCM uses virtual environments which can create connection groups based on AND/OR membership rules.
Do you have any best practices for deploying CGs (VEs) in CM due to the issue with CG
Which issue? If you are referring to changes in App-V 5.1 not being incorporated into CM yet, remember, that through OR rules, CM already kind of had this feature.
How do you manage your security in the sequence, until 4.6 we could use security descriptor, this is not available in 5.0 and 5.1, is it still needed to use a script for opening the security in 5.0 and 5.1.
No one has given me an argument for why we really need to have security descriptor preservation in the immutable package cache. Given the file system mechanism differences between 4.6 and 5x, it is like comparing apples and oranges. Securing the CoW is only possible.
Is this Optional 'option' available in SCCM 2012 integration App-v deployments, or does that require an update to SCCM ?
Not integrated into SCCM yet.
If you are using SCCM to manage App-V apps, how do you keep that up to date as App-V is updated? SCCM updates, or some other mechanism?
We rely on SCCM to update itself with automatic updates.
Are connection groups available with the config mgr integration?
Only the V1 schema
Is there any tools to troubelshoot slow shared content store mode?
Xperf/Window Performance Recorder. Either slow network or not enough memory.
Will RunVitrual only be placed under HKCU or will it still work under HKLM?
RunVirtual will work with both HKCU and HKLM.
Can the new sequencer view/edit Virtually deleted reg keys or file/folders?
No, that capability is not supported.
Can you point us to any best practice documentation regards capturing in third party solutions those app settings changed by users . Specifically when you have a non persistent env. and have App V and AppSense running?
For best practices using App-V with a User Profile Management solution such as AppSense, we recommend contacting the individual vendors of those solutions.
Now script runner that was a Tim Murgant right?
Tim is always very helpful to the cause. You can find his blog here http://www.tmurgent.com/tmblog/
Can I use App V 5.1 sequencer but console is 5.0
No, 5.1 sequences require the 5.1 client.
Does scriptrunner have full access to the windows scripthost, or is it a minimal version such as what's included in the MSI enginer?
It should call cscript
Does it handle double-quotes when parameters have spaces?
ScriptRunner? It should. If it doesn't, file an incident report.
So with scripting in manifest, how does that impact if scripts are disabled by policy?
Then the scripts will not run.
Also with 5.1 we do still need to fake the PVAD depending on the scenario as Gladiator and TMurgant have pointed out correct?
With the changes in 5.0 Sp3 and 5.1, this no longer an issue
Is there a backward compatibility if you seq with 5.1 and your client are still in 5.0 ?
This use case is not supported.
I had a question regarding the Connection groups. Does these new features of Connection groups implemented in SCCM 2012 Virtual Environments ? if so what version of SCCM 2012 ?
Not yet, this feature is not in SCCM.
Any integration with a Store for Business?
Flexera has an enterprise app store for business that integrates with not only SCCM, but Symantec, AirWatch, and cloud apps like salesforce.com and Office 365. Learn more about the universal enterprise app store.
Does Microsoft have any plans on elevating overhead on applications that utilize a lot of fonts? Such as adobe and etc?
Those are good suggestions that are being considered for possible future plans.
AdminStudio Package Editor still on the roadmap?
AdminStudio’s Virtual Package Editor is continuously enhanced and kept current with all the latest updates to App-V
What is the best method to deploy monthly Office critical and security patches to the app-v package
Download a new package with the ODT every month.
Can you advise any App-V training resource
Check out the bog on technet, Gladiator@MSFT http://blogs.technet.com/b/gladiatormsft/
Does App-V have any features for user state virtualization like App-Sense ? or does it have any plans to integrate one ?
Separate product called Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) .
Troubleshooting the App-V package is most difficult part. Documentation is not available.
Understood, we are working on improving.
One issue i faced in some inhouse application is if the shallow folders related issue is present while launching particular shortcut, e.g. Consider there are parameters passed to executable such as config file, which is present deep into folder levels & the file path is longer than the limit set by the operating system & hence shortcut fails to launch.
What will be the best practice to remediate this issue ?
We addressed this in HotFix Package 2 for Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.1. Not a complete remediation, but it may help.
Do you junk clean your app-v packages as you would a traditional captured MSI package?
Yes. A blog is forthcoming, check back with Gladiator@MSFT
We have an application that when installed for the first time on the machine, it connects to a server and checks for updates, this cannot be stopped as they created a service which runs automatically. My question is: after we sequence this application what settings must i set in order for the app to update itself?
Enable VFS Write Mode
Is there a Configuration Files Generattor out there? I only found a guide how it should look like.
If you mean Dynamic Configuration, template files are generated with every package from the sequencer.
In my environment I have office 2010 as a native package, i want to virtualize all my Add-In apps, and we are using SCCM for deploying the packages. How can I virtualize the Add-Ins and make them interact with local Office Apps like EXCEL and Word.
Create an empty package with shortcuts to the local Office apps and include them in the connection group.
Office 2013 APPV package conflilcts with locally installed Office 2013 word package even though applications are disabled except project and Visio? The issue is when we launch Word for the first time from the machine, the local office 2013 setup repairs the whole office 2013? This is happening after we have modified the COM mode to isolated as well? Any suggestions?
You should not be mixing App-V and MSI formats of the same version. This is not supported.
Please explain more on mixed connection group.
Please visit technet to learn more about connection groups https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn858700(v=vs.85).aspx#BKMK_cg_improvements
Question on Any version: If I configure connection group once and use 'user Any version' in connection group, can I just only care of next version rollouts? No need to care for the connection group deployment right?
That is correct.
What if you don't have a Management Server and deploy the packages installed locally on the Users PC, can you create Connection Groups in this environment?
Yes. Through PowerShell.
What’s the best way to sequence Office 2013 plugins? Best way to sequence multiple outlook add-ins?
That is a very open-ended question, but here are links to more information about Office add-ins:
If newer version is having new package id.. we cannot use the "use any version" in connection group. Is there way to update package ID?
It really means "use most recent version"
What is the approach to package dependencies like VisualC++ Redist, SQL Native Client, etc. – should they go inside one package or should they be packaged separately and connected via connection groups?
There are two school of thought on this: One is to have VC's in the gold image. The other is to have them embedded in the package. If it is in the package, it can affect publishing times.
Now every were there is a buzz for Cloud… what is the future scope of APP V compare to cloud
App-V is supported in the Azure platform.
Could we have a different session on the infrastructure? What we need to set-up HA/DR publishing servers.
Here is a link to a video on MDOP App-V Infrastructure: (01) Server Features and Roles Part 1 that may help.
If a 64 bit sequencer is used. Will the package work on 32 bit client machine?
No it will not.
What is the difference between named objects to interact with local system and COM objects to interact with local system
You can find some information on that on this blog post App-V: On Named Kernel Object Virtualization (a.k.a. the VObjects Subsystem)
What is your opinion about launching the applications during sequencing?
Only if I want to capture a default user state specifically configured a certain way.
You talked about the sequencer selecting the dependencies like VC++, for this to happen do we have to install the dependency prior to sequencing?
It detects the run-time dependencies during sequencing.
Most of your examples relates to the free sequencer from Microsoft. May you say something about Admin Studio sequencing and eventual benefits? Especial to the new features in App-V 5
AdminStudio first conducts test to verify your application is suitable for virtualization so that you can identify potential challenges up front
AdminStudio puts automation around the sequencing process, including the provisioning of a clean virtual machine.
Once the app has been sequenced, AdminStudio also provides the Virtual Package Editor to manually edit packages directly with a familiar IDE.
We have at least one application which uses Microsoft Office Interop to read a template file from the application directory. However, MSO launches Excel as a separate process and it then can’t see the template file. Is there a method for making this work?
If Excel is native, then the path to the local Excel must be specified as a virtual application in the dynamic configuration (or configured to RunVirtual)
What is the blog name again please?
Steve Thomas's blog, Gladiator@MSFT, can be found on TechNet http://blogs.technet.com/b/gladiatormsft/
To learn more about AdminStudio Virtualization visit the website.