App-V version 4.6 announced

The MDOP team just announced that the engineering on version 4.6 of App-V is progressing well. This new version of App-V is mainly about the 64-bit platform support. The TAP program for App-V 4.6 will be opening soon. Somewhere in Q1/2009 registration will be available on Microsoft Connect.

Sure you can install the the current version of App-V 4.5 Management/Streaming server on a 64-bit Windows box. This works. But the current App-V (v4.5) Client cannot be installed on 64-bit Windows Clients and Server (Terminal Server). This currently is mainly an issue for Terminal Server customers who want to run on 64-bit Windows.

Also the next release of Windows Server, Windows 2008 R2 will only be available in 64-bit, forcing all future Terminal Server environments to be 64-bit. Since App-V (formely SoftGrid) gained much of its popularity in the Terminal Server community and still is, Microsoft really wants to support 64-bit.

App-V 4.5 Cumulative Update 1 available

Great news. The MDOP team just announced the availability of App-V 4.5 CU1, which besides containing all fixes from App-V 4.5 hotfix packages 1 to 3, also contains an update that makes the App-V 4.5 Client work on Windows 7 beta.

You can register and request to download the update from Microsoft Connect and find more info here: KB963693.

Microsoft also expressed their commitment to support App-V 4.5 on Windows 7 within 90 days of general availability.

Introduction to Immidio AppScriber

AppScriber is a new product from Immidio that does Application (Self) Provisioning for application deployment products that have a very on-demand nature, like Microsoft App-V or Citrix XenApp, with their published and/or streaming applications. Actually this product will work with any deployment solution that deploys applications based on the user’s group membership.

Screenshot of AppScriber user interface  

Version 1.0 of the product will only have the Self Provisioning functionality and works very simple. It consists of a website with two interfaces, a user interface and a application manager interface.

An AppScriber Application Manager can add applications to the portal after which users can “activate” those applications through the AppScriber User interface. So you should only use this for the applications where all users already are allowed to use these, but if you make them all available to them it would be to much. Like a very large start menu with to many applications.

Their is all sort of features in the product like:

  • Extensive logging to see what user and/or manager changed what
  • See the application lists from the user’s point of view
  • Display customized Activate and De-activate messages
  • See what users activated a certain application
  • De-activate applications for certain users

But a demo says more than a thousand words so I made 2 videos of an App-V 4.5 scenario:

  1. VIDEO: From an Application Manager point of view I add an application
  2. VIDEO: From a desktop user that has access to the AppScriber portal. The activation and de-activation of applications

Besides this functionality, in version 2.0 of the product a piece of workflow will be introduced. So besides just adding applications to the portal which everyone can Activate, you can then also add applications that users can Request. Those requests will go to the pre-configured Application Manager (by e-mail), who in their turn can Accept or Reject these Requests.

Immidio AppScriber 1.0 will be available soon. Also with an Express Edition with a limitation of ten applications, so you can test and play around with it.

For more information go to: http://www.immidio.com/

Login Consultants launches App-V 4.5 Client Diagnostic and Configuration tool

Today Login Consultants released a new freeware tool to support Microsoft Application Virtualization called App-V 4.5 Client Diagnostic and Configuration tool.

ACDC makes it possible for administrators or users to troubleshoot virtual applications and the environment they run in:

  • Launch predefined and custom commands within the virtual environment of each application.
  • See the impact of the App-V Client and the available virtual applications on your system by calculating package size, cache size, user delta file size, log file size etc.
  • Diagnose problems with App-V applications by parsing the App-V Client log file (in real time) and search any message online.
  • Configure settings that are not visible in the App-V Client GUI, such as “Predictive Streaming”, “Allow Stream from File”, “Max Package Age” and many more.
  • Give an overview of application and package information by merging important WMI, registry and OSD information in one single window.
  • ACDC can be run both as an Administrator and as a Limited User. Running as a limited user will limit the functionality of the tool due to the fact that it has less permission on the system.

Requirements

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization Client 4.5 or
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization Terminal Services Client 4.5

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows XP Pro w/SP2, Windows XP w/SP3
  • Windows Vista RTM/SP1
  • Windows Server 2003 (SP1, SP2, R2, SP2+R2)
  • Windows Server 2008

Questions or suggestions can be provided through the website http://www.loginconsultants.com/forum under “SoftGrid Tooling”

ACDC can be downloaded here (registration required).

The next couple of days I will talk in depth about the functionality of ACDC and how it can be used in the day-to-day business. Below are several screenshots from the actual tool:

 1. Launching commands within the virtual environment

image

2. Client installation and settings

image

3. Detailed cache information

image

4. Real time log parser

image

Login Consultants releases App-V 4.5 Add-on ADM v1.0

As you might know Microsoft released an Administrative Template for the App-V 4.5 Client which can be downloaded here. And documentation can be found here. This ADM can be used to manage numerous App-V 4.5 Client settings from Group Policies within Active Directory.

We have had the request from multiple customers about managing some additional App-V 4.5 Client settings which are not available in the ADM file described above. Ruben Koene from Login Consultants decided to make the App-V 4.5 Add-on ADM. This template is supplementary to the Microsoft App-V 4.5 ADM Template.

Settings managed from the Add-on ADM, amongst others, are:

  • Managing the virtual drive letter
  • Managing the client’s refresh settings (point to management server)
  • Cache location and size

You can download it from the Login Consultants website (registration required).

Free MSpress E-book about Microsoft Virtualization available

The book is called “Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions” and covers the following topics:

  • Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 (App-V)
  • Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V)
  • Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

A colleague of ours, Falko Graefe, wrote some material for this book. I don’t know how long the free download will be available, so be fast. 

You can register and download here: http://csna01.libredigital.com/?urmvs17u33

Hotfix Package 3 for App-V 4.5 available

In addition what was already fixed in Hotfix Package 2 for App-V 4.5, the following issues are fixed in Hotfix Package 3 for App-V 4.5:

  • When you add or remove a user from an Active Directory security group that is used to control access to an application, App-V does not correctly publish the application after a domain controller refresh. For example, the user does not see the new application if the following conditions are true:
    • The user is added to a security group.
    • The user is removed from the security group, but the user does not log off and then log back on. In this case, the application is not removed.
  • The Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services client intermittently generates a 0xA stop error.

Again it is recommended to only install this hotfix if you are experiencing any of these specific problems.

Request the hotfix here: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=961473

App-V 4.5 Server Sizing guide available for download!

Ever wondered how many users you can host on a single App-V streaming server? Which performs beter; HTTP or RTSP streaming? How many refreshes can a App-V Management Server handle?

You will find out in the App-V 4.5 Server Sizing guide which can be on the Microsoft App-V 4.5 documentation page:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/appvirtualization/cc843994.aspx