App-V 5 hotfix package 4 released

Microsoft just released hotfix package 4 for App-V 5 SP2.

Major changes consist of the following:

  • Major improvements on application publishing performance and launch performance, specifically focussed on RDS and stateless VDI scenarios.
  • Overwrite file ACL’s in the virtual environment.
  • Sequencer: Save as new package.
  • Some package conversion bugfixes and improved succes rates and detection.

This hotfix seems mandatory to me if you are using App-V 5, especially in a RDS or stateless VDI scenario.

Download and details: Hotfix package 4 for App-V 5 SP2

Additionally a new piece of documentation called “Performance Guidance for App-V 5″ has been made available as well.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn659478.aspx

I suggest everyone working with App-V 5 reads this.

App-V 4.6 SP3 released

Service Pack 3 for App-V 4.6 is also released as part of the MDOP 2013 R2 release as well.

You will need this version to deploy App-V 4.6 packages to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

More info: http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/springboard/archive/2013/12/02/announcing-mdop-2013-r2.aspx

App-V 5.0 Service Pack 2 RTM released

Today Microsoft announced the release of App-V 5.0 SP2 as part of the MDOP 2013 R2 release.
Besides the typical under the hood improvements, SP2 contains the following new functionality:

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 (RDSH) support.

Shell extension support:
Better integration with the local operating system, providing contextual options in the Windows shell for applications that would provide this when installing them natively, like “extract to” and “add to archive” available in popular files compression tools.

Sequencing enhancements:
The sequencer is now able to detect some commonly used application dependencies, like MSXML and Visual C++ run times. The sequencer is now able to include these runtimes in the .APPV package, no longer requiring you to install these runtimes locally on your clients.

“Perceived” performance improvement of publishing refresh:
1. An optional progress bar is introduced which provides real-time feedback to the user of the publishing refresh that is taking place.
2. Before SP2, shortcuts in the programs menu and desktop were refreshed after each application that was added by the publishing refresh. Meaning if a user would have access to 30 applications and logging on to a pristine environment (E.g. stateless VDI) shortcuts would be refreshed 30 times, which can in turn cause a lot of flickering and when such a refresh would occur while you are ‘browsing’ your programs menu it would collapse. With SP2 a refresh of newly added shortcuts occurs after each fifth application that was successfully published.

Microsoft Office 2013 support:

Provides an Office Deployment tool to easily create Office 2013 App-V packages.

For more information visit: http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/springboard/archive/2013/12/02/announcing-mdop-2013-r2.aspx

Immidio releases Flex+ version 8.2

Immidio released an updated version of Flex+ (version 8.2) last Friday.

This new version amongst many other changes, includes improved/extended App-V 5 support and Windows 8.1/2012R2 support.

Depending on your App-V 5 deployment scenario, you could really like the fast and dynamic way Flex+ is able to manage App-V 5 application shortcuts and file type associations.

Go to the Immidio blog for more information.

Login Consultants launches ACDC for App-V 5

Back in February 2009 I released the first version of what later appeared to be a very popular tool for managing App-V client: App-V Client Diagnostic and Configuration tool (ACDC). In fact it became one of the most (if not THE most) downloaded tool from the Login Consultants website. Originally developed to help me overcome some the discomforts in managing the App-V client, it quickly became popular with many of you App-V admins or user out there. Never could I have imagine that it would bring some much fame (ahum) and even rockstar like situations that years after the initial release people want to take pictures with me thousands of miles from home.

Up till now ACDC 1 did not support the App-V 5 client and I had many questions about this over the last period. Under the cover one of my colleagues Volker Kleiner (@vkleinerd) was already working on a new release that some of you may have seen me demo or even have worked with (after a proper amount of bribe money…)

Today I proudly present you the release of ACDC 2 with full support of App-V 5!

It has much of the functionality of the original product and hopefully it will become just as popular as the original edition. More info on functionality can be found here.

Be sure to report any issues, bugs or suggestion to our forum section here.

App-V 5 Service Pack 2 beta available

Microsoft announced Service Pack 2 beta yesterday at Teched Europe 2013.

It contains improved shell extension support, some sequencing improvements and user refresh improvements.

More information and download link can be found at:

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/springboard/archive/2013/06/26/ue-v-app-v-betas-for-windows-8-1-now-available.aspx

Free script to launch process in App-V 5 virtual environment

Last February the annual European App-V user group meeting was held at Microsoft HQ in the Netherlands. Most of the App-V MVP’s presented during the day, including Ment and myself. During my session I showed a PowerShell script that makes it very easy to launch any process inside an App-V 5 virtual application environment, which can be useful for analysis and troubleshooting.

The PowerShell script is now available for download on the Immidio website (registration required).

App-V 5.0 Service Pack 1 released

Microsoft just released App-V 5.0 SP1. The focus of this service pack is to support sequencing of Microsoft Office 2010, localization and bugfixing.

App-V 5.0 now supports the client and sequencer in 24 languages and the server in 11 languages.

You are now able to sequence Microsoft Office 2010, you will need to use the Microsoft Office 2010 Sequencing Kit for Application Virtualization 5.0 and the Microsoft Office 2010 Deployment Kit for App-V to be able to do this.

The SP1 release notes can be found here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn144768.aspx

Video of my presentation at the European App-V user group

I presented about “Customizing App-V 5 packages using Dynamic User and Deployment Configuration” at the 2013 european App-V user group.

Checkout the presentation, including demos here: http://vimeo.com/60436547

The APPVVE argument in App-V 5

As already mentioned on blogs from other community contributors, the APPVVE argument introduced App-V 5 is a very useful mechanism to launch locally installed programs inside a virtual environment of a App-V 5 package without having to make any modifications to that package.

I believe there are two common use cases for the APPVVE argument. The first would be troubleshooting a Virtual Application, simply snooping around inside the virtual environment and see how the application is seeing things.

The second is a bit more specific but you are able to launch specific programs inside a Virtual Application Package, where for instance the “launching” executable is installed locally, but a required part of the application (or a completely other application) is virtualized using App-V 5.

Example:

  • You have sequenced a plugin for Internet Explorer that is required for a legacy internal web application.
  • Any “normal” launch of Internet Explorer on the clients will not use this plugin, obviously.
  • Now you need to retrieve the PackageID and VersionID from the virtual application package of this plugin. You can find this in the App-V Management Console or use the appropriate PowerShell commands.
  • Now create a shortcut to Internet Explorer appending the /APPVVE argument, PackageID and VersionID as in the example below (don’t forget the underscore):

IEXPLORE.EXE /appvve:a706366d-48cc-4983-80db-6d612951adce_35d5ea40-d940-46b4-a54c-3acc99252a3d

Important notes:

  • The appending of the /appvve argument to an executable obviously only works if the App-V 5 client is installed.
  • The /appvve:PackageID_VersionID argument will automatically be stripped from the launch and thus not passed to the launching executable.
  • However, if the PackageID_VersionID is incorrect or simply not available for the user/on the client, the argument is NOT stripped and IS passed to the launching executable, which in turn will have no idea what to do with that argument.
  • I was not able to find any Microsoft documentation about the /appvve argument, keep this in mind from a support perspective.

Other arguments:

In addition to the /appvve arguments there are two other arguments to get inside a virtual environment.

/appvpid is very useful to do some quick troubleshooting on a client. It does exactly the same as the /appvve argument, but it’s easier to use since it only requires you the specify the process ID (PID) of a process running in a Virtual Environment.

So launch a virtual application, check in task manager what the PID is, and then run any EXE appending the /appvpid argument as following (I’m pretending the PID is 2022):

REGEDIT.EXE /appvpid:2022

/appvrunningve is less useful and very specific. It does and is invoked exactly the same as the /appvve argument, but it will only run/work if the Virtual Environment of the corresponding PackageID_VersionID is already running. At the moment I don’t have any useful examples for you.

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