Sequencing Office 2010; an add-on to Microsoft’s recipe

I have previously written a detailed article about virtualizing Microsoft Office 2010 with Microsoft App-V 4.6 and even included instruction video’s to show you how this can be done.

While the article and video’s were read by a lot of people, all this information was based on the beta version of Microsoft Office 2010 and the Microsoft Office 2010 deployment kit for App-V. As the beta expires October 31st (and I was still running it) I decided to give you a short update on my findings when I used the final version of all the products.

I used the Microsoft’s recipe to sequence Office 2010 as a base and will give you some additional information where I went my own path.

I used the 32bit App-V 4.6 RTM sequencer (4.6.0.1523) on a 32bit version of Windows 7 RTM along with the 32bit version of Microsoft Office 2010 and version 1 of the Microsoft Office 2010 deployment kit for App-V (which can be downloaded here). I’m going for the full integration scenario enabling as much “OS integration proxies” as possible (more info on these proxies in my previous post). If you are running a different configuration the results may vary.

Setting up the sequencer

Since the recipe mentions that the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 package is needed for deployment to App-V 4.5 SP2, I included this in my sequencer installation even though it’s not a requirement of the sequencer software. The recipe was not really clear if the installation needed to be on the sequencer or on the client.

Compared to earlier material I also noticed an additional registry key that was not needed in the beta software. Add the value [VSL] to the multi-string value for the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SoftGrid\4.5\Sequencer\SxSAppExtensions

The recipe says to “Set the Windows Update service to Disabled” while I actually Stopped and Disabled it.

Now before installing the Microsoft Office 2010 deployment kit for App-V and give yourself a lot of headaches, be sure to check that you have a Volume License Key of Microsoft Office 2010 as MSDN or TechNet keys are not supported for virtualizing Office 2010. I haven’t seen a MS knowledge base article for this but it has been discussed here.

I used the following commandline to in the deployment kit, but alter it to your needs:

msiexec /i OffVirt.msi ADDLOCAL=Click2runMapi,Click2runOWSSupp,Click2runWDS,OSpp,OSpp_Core PIDKEYS=VLK-KEY-GOES-HERE USEROPERATIONS=1

Begin Sequencing

The recipe mentions that you should install to Q:\Temp123.wxp but as one of my personal best practices I installed to Q:\Temp123.wxp\Microsoft Office 2010. If you follow my example you should be aware that a couple of steps along the way of the recipe this location is referred to as “Q:\Temp123.wxp” but you should include your subdirectory here as well.

A lot of registry tweaking is gone compared to the beta and we are left with adding and deleting two registry keys. I’ve included the reg commands below:

reg add "HKCR\CLSID\{9203C2CB-1DC1-482d-967E-597AFF270F0D}\TreatAs"
reg delete "HKCR\CLSID\{9203C2CB-1DC1-482d-967E-597AFF270F0D}\TreatAs" /va /f
reg add "HKCR\CLSID\{BDEADEF5-C265-11D0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F}\TreatAs"
reg delete "HKCR\CLSID\{BDEADEF5-C265-11D0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F}\TreatAs" /va /f

The recipe doesn’t mention changing the shortcut location, but I did that anyway to prevent conflict with my other virtualized versions of Office. I set shortcuts to: [\Programs\Microsoft Office 2010] instead of the default [\Programs\Microsoft Office].

I noticed a shortcut to Sharepoint outside this path and decided move that to the path above as well.

Now comes the heavy stuff: unfortunately you still need to add the proxy applications manually (there is one for MSOSync now) which is a lot of work and is very, very error-prone. Be careful, follow the recipe step by step (I kept the names default to not make a mistake here) and you’ll be ok.

I did not include the the Office Document Cache in the startup folder as mentioned in the recipe as I don’t like stuff to startup for me. If want you a “as-close-to-normal-installation-behavior” as possible you can choose to do so.

Additionally you also still need to manually sync all the OSD’s (although I still know that technically not all of them are used by the proxies, but to be safe I changed them anyway) which is also a lot of work and also very very error-prone. Copy and paste will help you here but be careful for pasting typos or double spaces or something as it will cause issues on the client. I used version 14.0.4755.1000 by the way.

Edit your sequence

The recipe doesn’t mention anything about cleanup of the sequence so I want to give you a heads-up of everything I removed from the sequence. Be sure that you save and test the basics of your package before you start throwing stuff out. Otherwise you have to do it all over again.

To make the installation smaller I deleted:

CSIDL_Windows\Installer (50Mb)
SFT_MNT\MSOCache (600 Mb)

This causes a reduction of the SFT file from 1422 Mb to 733 Mb (compressed SFT) which is a huge improvement!

Now I’m not saying that it’s a best practice to delete these cached copies of the original installation source, but I haven’t found any reason to keep them. The ability to support Windows Installer (MSI) repairs could be one of the reasons, but I don’t want them to occur in the first place. If repairs are running in the virtual environment I would definitely investigate the reason before throwing the package in production. Another reason could be that they are needed for maintenance of the sequence, for that case I’ve kept a original version from which I can do maintenance, but I’m not going to deploy a double sized package to my client for an unknown reason. If anyone has seen issues with it please let me know!

Something else I deleted from the virtual environment is the following:

USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings

Having Internet Explorer settings inside the virtual environment can cause al kinds of crazy behavior when the application is deployed to the client. In my opinion Internet settings should only be deliberately put in the package through a way of scripting of some kind and not be accidently snapped. Remove it so the application simply looks at local settings, not the virtualized ones. I come back to this subject in a future post.

I found some other installation residue which I ended up deleting. Could be that you don’t find them in your version as I’m not sure if they came from the setup or another situation at my sequencing client.

USER\S-1-5-18
USER\S-1-5-19
USER\S-1-5-20
USER\%SFT_SID%_Classes
CSIDL_Windows\PCHEALTH

Client deployment

On the client you need to install the Microsoft Office 2010 deployment kit for App-V just like you did on the sequencer, however the command lines are a little bit different.

I also noticed that when I copy and pasted the command line from the Microsoft recipe there were quotes (”) in it instead of quotes (") > I don’t know how to call them. I’ve spend many hours troubleshooting an MSIEXEC command line with quotes that I copied from a document (or website) which is why I changed all the quotes to this one (") as a precaution.

I ended up running two commandlines:

msiexec /i OffVirt.msi PIDKEYS=VLK-KEY-GOES-HERE USEROPERATIONS=1

msiexec /i OffVirt.msi ADDDEFAULT=Click2runOneNoteProxy,Click2runOutlookProxies,Click2runWDSProxy,Click2runOWSSuppProxies PACKAGEGUID={691293EC-D48B-4ADB-8457-07B5ADCF7282} PACKAGEVERSION=14.0.4755.1000 OUTLOOKNAME="Microsoft Outlook 2010" ONENOTENAME="Microsoft OneNote 2010" MAPISERVER="Microsoft Virtual Office Simple Mapi Proxy Server" VIRTUALSEARCHHOST="Search MAPI Protocol Handler Host" MLCFG32CPL="Virtual Mail Control Panel Item" OWSSUPPServer="Microsoft SharePoint Client Support Manager"

You could probably combine the two command lines to one, but I haven’t tested that myself.

Update: I got an email from Pierrick Brossin stating that you actually need to run the command lines twice. They can’t be combined to one. He also informed me that setting up the proxies through an MST doesn’t seem to be working as well. Thanks Pierrick for the heads-up!

So these are the pitfalls I found while sequencing Microsoft Office 2010 with Microsoft’s recipe. If you have any additional comment, please let me know. Hope it helps!

SCCM 2007 R3 has been released

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3. A bit of topic, or not?

I don’t believe so. Since the integration of App-V into System Center, which was done in SCCM 2007 R2, a lot of App-V enthusiasts have been picking up SCCM and a lot of them are liking it. The same goes for me.

Also Microsoft is putting a lot of effort into getting these two technologies integrated as nicely as possible. With the release of SCCM 2007 R3 there is nothing new to report on the App-V integration.

The release of R3 is mainly focused on Centralized Power Management, Mobile Device Management and Enhanced Scalability and Performance.

For more details about the release goto the System Center Blog.

Microsoft MED-V 2.0 Beta available for download

Microsoft just released a Beta of MED-V 2.0 to the public.

You can download it from Microsoft Connect.

MED-V (Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization) is a part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. In other words if you have App-V for desktops, you have MDOP, which means you have MED-V.

What MED-V does in short, is like XP Mode, running a legacy version of Windows (most probably XP) as a Virtual Machine on a physical Windows 7 desktop. What MED-V adds to that functionality is Enterprise management. The whole idea around running a virtual legacy OS on a new OS, is application compatibility.

I personally do believe you should always first try to get an application running through App-V because it requires less management and system resources on the physical machine.

Go to the MDOP Blog for all the details on this release.