Monthly Archives: December 2012

App-V 5.0 – the not so positive review

App-V 5.0 is here! http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hh826068.aspx

There’s a lot of info on the internet from the Beta days, I haven’t really been tempered to play with the product until the final release, after all, it’s the final release that you will consider to roll out in production.

Nice review reads are:

http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/timmangan/archive/2012/11/01/Mangan-on-what-you-need-to-know-about-microsoft-appv-5.aspx

http://www.softgridblog.com/

 

My impression is that product screams – we just had to make it work on windows 8 and server 12 and we also want to force everyone to use powershell. It’s not about improving the product features or revolutionizing the market, it’s about selling the new OS.

 

I love powershell, it’s great, easy and allows you to get the extra features you need without writing pages of code, but in App-V 5 it feels forced.

 

Want to convert and test packages from earlier app-v versions? No, we’re not offering an UI tool for that, use powershell, it’s great!

Want to configure the app-v client options through UI? No, we don’t have that, use powershell, it’s great!

Want to update the new version of package on all of your remote desktop services farm? No, we don’t have a tool for that, write a powershell script, it’s great!

Want to add new shortcuts to the package, update scripts on-the-fly and enjoy all those amazing features that have been built up in previous releases of the product – no, we don’t have that. Open package, edit it, save, upload to server, run the script that you’ve written previously to force a server-side update.

Want to publish app-v 5 on xenapp – no, you can’t do that, write a custom powershell script, powershell is great and citrix and ms are best friends.

And the list goes on.

 

I like the connection groups, though. In App-V 5.0 they’re working the way they should have been from the beginning – not on the package layer, but from the management layer.

Shared Content Store is nice, saves up disk space, increases network consumption.

New streaming protocols – http, smb. Nice, will increase adaptability.

Integration between different software pieces should be better – app A calls app B and checks app C – all possible now because the application files are local.

 

Conclusion: Doesn’t bring much value to the table – still has a client dependency, Dynamic Suite Composition wasn’t widely used to consider Shared Content Store a breakthrough. Raw product, stay away unless desperately needed for win8/server12. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for SP1.

 

Considerations:

“The package converter detected that this package is not supported for conversion since it was created using App-V version 4.2.2.15.  The package converter only supports converting packages created using App-V 4.5 and above.  Try upgrading your package to a supported App-V version before converting.”

“Streaming optimization is slow now; first launch time is at least twice as much compared to 4.6”

“C:\ProgramData\App-V\53C8B503-1A7B-4CE5-BCBE-D62C1D0962D1\F202D56D-E6AD-4088-8F73-5D7B323E1084\Root\VFS\ProgramFilesX86\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe

The path length has made my day – I wonder what happens when the limit is reached (which will happen pretty fast).”

We just received confirmation from Microsoft that there has been what we deem a major behavior change in App-V 5.0 from 4.x. With 4.x you could add a user to an AD group that is assigned to a virtual application then on the client machine the user could right click the App-V icon in the system tray and choose ‘Refresh Applications’ and the app’s icon would appear immediately. You could also wait for the configured automatic refresh time and the app’s icon would be added immediately. Same applied is you removed a user from an app group.

This is no longer the case in App-V 5.0 as there is only one way to get app to be added or removed from client and that is to have them log off and log back on. 

 

Useful notes:

Flush client cache: Get-AppvClientPackage -All | Remove-AppVClientPackage

Sync Publishing Servers: Get-AppvPublishingServer | Sync-AppVPublishingServer

Start an app in virtual env: $app= Get-AppvClientPackage “NAME”

Start-AppvVirtualProcess -AppvClientObject $app cmd

 

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj713487.aspx

Update: Even more weird – “AppV 5 needs different PowerShell Environments: module AppVSequencer needs x64 and AppVPkgConverter needs x86”.