ACDC: Application tab explained

Many of you have downloaded the App-V Client Diagnostic and Configuration tool from our website and I received some positive feedback about the usage of the tool that was released about two weeks ago.

Now let me drill down and show you some detailed information about the tool.

Today I’ll show you the Applications tab.

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When the applications tab is selected ACDC will connect to WMI and retrieve package and application name and display it in a parent - child relationship. Depending on the number of packages and applications this may take some time.

The packages are colored depending on their status.

  • Green means the application is currently running
  • Orange means the application is not fully loaded and might not work offline
  • Red means the application is added to the app-v client, but is not loaded at all. Depending on your delivery method you might have an issue here.

This view differs from the default Client management console where only the applications are displayed. The advantage here is that packages with many applications (like Microsoft Office for example) will not fill up your console to quickly.

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After you select a package or application the detail pane on the right will display detailed information about the package or application. This information is retrieved and bundled from WMI, Registry or OSD file.

Below you’ll find all the possible information available (if applicable)

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One piece of information I’d like to highlight and that is Dynamic Suiting Composition.

ACDC will display DSC information in the right pane, showing dependency NAME, VERSION, GUID, HREF and Mandatory parameters.

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However if the dependent application is not available in the app-v client this information is only partially available. Only the information that has been added to the OSD file of the main application can be displayed.

Additionally ACDC will tell you whether the dependent application is not available and display this information in red. This information if particularly useful if you are troubleshooting the app-v delivery methods which don’t automatically load dependent applications like the App-V MSI method or the App-V integration with Configuration Manager 2007 R2.

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All the displayed detailed information can be copied to the clipboard for comparison, reporting or other purposes.

Launching the apps

The applications are not displayed for informational purposes only. If you need to troubleshoot you’ll need to launch them as well. Luckily ACDC provides a rich set of features around packages and applications for you to diagnose their environment.

Besides the actions that the default Client Management GUI has (like Add, Unload, Delete, Repair and Clear) ACDC gives you extended actions like:

  • Launch predefined commands in the virtual environment
  • Launch custom commands in the virtual environment
  • Edit the local OSD
  • Load from custom SFT path

Launching commands within the virtual environment

Getting inside the virtual environment and running your command within it was always one of the default questions I received when I was implementation App-V at customers.

Although I’ve written some articles that provide different ways to get inside the virtual environment in the past, it always seems to be hard to explain it to "technically challenged" people.

With ACDC it now becomes as easy as starting the application itself. ACDC provides 4 predefined (frequently used) commands to launch:

  • Command Prompt
  • Registry editor
  • Windows Explorer
  • Internet Explorer

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And if you have a custom toolkit you also you can put these tools in the "External ACDC Launch Files" directory and they will incorporate in the tool.

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Edit the local OSD

Settings in the OSD can influence the way the application runs. However editing the OSD and delivering it to the app-v client (multiple times) is somewhat time consuming.

What I always do in this scenario is edit the locally cached OSD until I was certain about the specific setting(s), before editing it back in the source. Finding the correct one however is difficult because they are all named with a GUID which you can find in the Client Management GUI.

All this is no longer needed because you can right click on any application and select Edit to open the locally cached OSD in notepad. This function even incorporates with Login Consultants OSD editor if you make that available in the same directory as ACDC.

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Warning: be careful editing the OSD files because once they have a new timestamp they will not be overwritten by the Management Server during an refresh.

Load from custom SFT path

If you run into the situation where a package is not or not fully loaded and the package is unable to load for some reason, you might try loading it from the original URL (mentioned in the OSD) or an alternative source.

ACDC gives you the ability to browse to a directory and selecting the SFT file to load from. This must off course be the SFT from this particular application to work.

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The good thing is that ACDC can be run under both as a Limited User and under Administrative privileges. Some functions however do require Administrative privileges.

That’s about it for the Application tab. I hope this information was useful to you.

Next I will go through the other tabs as well.