Implementing App-V – Part IV: Sequencing Applications

 

Other posts in this series:

Implementing App-V – Part I: Introduction to Application Virtualization

Implementing App-V – Part II: Choosing and Preparing the Environment

Implementing App-V – Part III: Integrating Clients

Ok, we had a good look about the entire App-V platform so far: Explanation about application virtualization and the components involved in App-V (Post I); installation of the App-V Server including some troubleshooting tips (Post II); integrating App-V client components, testing the default application and some troubleshooting about this process as well (Post III).

Now it is time to sequence some real applications and deliver them to clients. As always, I’m going to start with an easy one, so you can see all the tricks involved to get the things working. But first, we must prepare the App-V Sequencer machine.

As we’ve seen in Post I, the main component involved in the sequencing process is the App-V Sequencer.

Sequencer Quick Checklist

  • Use the same base operating system for both, Sequencer and Target (client) machines. Microsoft does not support using different type of OS between these two. Off the record: I’ve used many applications that worked perfectly when this requirement was not fulfilled.
  • The Sequencer machine must have a second partition available. The common use for this one is to assign the Q:\ drive letter.
  • Sequencer and Client machine must have the same Windows Installer version.
  • In the Sequencer machine ensure that the directories %TMP%, %TEMP% (user temporal data) have sufficient space, since the application use this directory to store temporal sequencing data.
  • Before sequencing an application you should close all other programs, including Antivirus.
  • As a recommended best practice, use VirtualPC or any other type of virtual machine for the App-V Sequencer. Combine this using snapshots or differencing disks to always have available a fresh OS to deploy applications. 

For more information about the sequencing process and requirements, check the Sequencing Guide from Microsoft and also the Sequencing Best Practices.

App-V Sequencer Setup

Once you’ve checked all the requirements mentioned above, the installation process is quite simple and straight forward.

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App-V Sequencer main window:

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Sequencing Applications Step-by-Step

As I mentioned earlier my first pick will be a simple application, this will allow us to get familiarized with the sequencing process. I want to start showing the App-V compatibility with some non-Microsoft applications, I’ll be using Mozilla Firefox.

1. In the App-V Sequencer program window select “New Package”.

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2. A new wizard will start, select the package name “Firefox”.

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3. In the next window you are ready to get started with the applications installation and capture, so you can start creating the installation folder in the Q:\ drive.

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Within this folder, the application will store all the program files and the sequencer will use them to package the application.

Note: You don’t need to place the installer inside this folder.

4. Click on “Begin Monitoring” to start the installation process.

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5. The capture process will start by selecting the folder in the Q:\ drive.

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6. Once you’ve selected the folder, the virtual environment will start to load, wait for the “Monitoring started. Please begin installation” message appears.

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7. Locate the installer and start the installation process.

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8. In the installation process, the main step will be in the destination folder option that the program use to place the program files. Select the folder you’ve selected to be monitored. In my case: Q:\Firefox.

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9. Once the installation is complete and you verified that the program was installed correctly, get back to the sequencer window and click on “Stop Monitoring” and click on “Next”.

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10. In the next window you can add some more files inside the package. This can help you if you are using customized applications, that need to load local files.

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In my case I don’t need any.

11. In the next window, the sequencing process detects the applications that compose Mozilla Firefox, in my case the Firefox standard app and the Firefox safe-mode.

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You can add new ones, remove the detected and modify the components involved: File type associations and icons.

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For every application shown here, we will need to make a small change. Click on each application in the right list, and select the “Edit” option. In the “OSD File Name” you will probably see a long name, like “Mozilla Firefox 1.9.1.3523.osd”.

You need to change this one removing all the spaces in the name, likeFirefox.osd”.

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Change this in all applications involved and click on “Next”.

12. The next step is optional, where you can launch the applications for a final check that they are working properly. Click on “Next”.

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13. Sequencing process is complete. Click on “Finish”.

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14. The package is ready for the final customization regarding the application deployment.

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In the App-V Sequencer window, select the “Deployment” tab and change the Protocol option to “RTSP” (this will automatically change the Port to 554), and in the Hostname option select the name of the App-V Server, in my case “appv-server”.

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In the Operating System list, you can add all the baselines where this application can become available. And note also the option to generate an MSI package, that you can use it with the App-V Stand Alone mode (explained in Post I of this series) and/or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) integration with App-V.

15. Before saving the package, you can explore other options within the Sequencer, like the registry files that are modified by the application.

Once you are done, click on save this package locally.

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With the project saved, you can check on the files created and verify that the OSD files were not created with names composed by blank spaces.

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Adding the Package to the Server

Now that the package has been sequenced and created, it is time to add it to the server.

1. Copy the files created in the App-V Sequencer to the “content” folder in the App-V Server.

2. In the App-V Server, open the App-V console. Right click in Applications and select “Import Applications”.

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3. Select the SPRJ file for the Mozilla Firefox and click “Open”.

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4. In the General Information window, accept the default options and click on “Next”.

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5. In the “Published Shortcuts” select the shortcuts that the clients will have created.

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6. In the “Access Permissions” select the group that will load this application. In my case, I’m using Domain Admins.

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7. In the “Summary” window, click on “Finish”.

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And now you have the application ready in your App-V Server to be deployed.

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Testing the Application

After completing the importing wizard, the application is ready to be deployed in the client machines.

Access the client machine, and if you want to avoid the process of log-off and log-on to test it, locate the App-V Client console (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Application Virtualization Client\SftCMC.msc), select “Publishing Server” and click on “Refresh Server”.

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The new icons will appear in the desktop or in the places you’ve selected.

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Mozilla Firefox starting

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Troubleshooting App-V Published Applications

The most common error about App-V applications I’ve experienced are regarding the firewall exceptions discussed in the Post III of this series. But, there’s also another problem that appears related to the package it self.

If the package that you’ve created, the OSD file name uses spaces between, like “Mozilla Firefox 1.9.1.3523.osd”:

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Then most likely when you try to deploy this application, after importing it in the server, you’ll get these errors:

The package requested could not be found in the system data store or the files associated with this package could not be found on the server”. “Error code: 4513CDC-1690150A-20000194

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To fix this, you’ll need to regenerate the sequenced application as shown above, editing the application information and remove any blank spaces in the OSD file name.

More Resources

Other posts in this series:

Implementing App-V – Part I: Introduction to Application Virtualization

Implementing App-V – Part II: Choosing and Preparing the Environment

Implementing App-V – Part III: Integrating Clients

38 Comments »

  1. —English Translated with google —–

    I’m install App-V in a Server 2003, IIS6, could make the whole configuration of SQL 2005, set the files. OSD pointing to rtsp: / / srv :554, the station was being sent the shortcuts … put them to perform the following error appears “The specified Application Virtualization Server has closed the connection” The specified Application Virtualization Server has closed the connection, check with port scanner port 554 is receiving requests, and there are no spaces blank file path … Does anyone have any idea what can I do to solve this problem? The only difference is that all the steps that the server is unable to provide any letter Q, directing the generated files to the \ \ server \ content .. Is this the problem?

    ——– Portuguese —–
    FOi instalado o App-V ,em um server 2003, consegui fazer a configuração toda do SQL 2005 , configurar os arquivos .OSD apontando para o endereço rtsp://srv:554 , nas estações esta sendo enviado os atalhos … porem ao executa-los aparece o seguinte erro “O Application Virtualization Server Especificado fechou a conexão” O Application Virtualization Server Especificado fechou a conexão , em verificação com scanner de porta a porta 554 encontra-se recebendo requisições , e nao havendo espaçõs em branco no caminho do arquivo… Alguem tem alguma ideia do que posso fazer para solucionar tal problema? A unica diferença que tem de todos os passos é que no servidor nao consegui disponibilizar nenhuma letra Q , direcionando os carquivos gerados para a pasta \\server\content .. sera que este é o problema?

    • Hello Dan,
      The applications run locally using the App-V Client component and cache, that’s why use a virtual Q:\ drive.
      That’s why you’ll see soon as the App-V application running is closed, the next time you try to run it again it loads almost instantly since is working with the client’s cache.
      Hope it helps,
      Cheers!
      Augusto

  2. —— English translated with google ————

    In search of virtualization solutions, I came across the following question
    App-V in 2008 he has umna part of the application that allows its use over the Internet, the
    App-V in 2003 is a feature that allows it to use the Internet? For verifications could not find such a solution to the APP-V server 2003

    —- Portuguese ——————-

    Em busca de soluções de virtualização, me deparei com a seguinte questão
    o App-V no 2008 ele tem umna parte do aplicativa que permite sua utilização pela internet, o
    App-v no 2003 existe alguma função que permita sua utilização pela internet? Pois em verificações nao consegui localizar tal solução para o APP-v no 2003 server

    —————————————-

  3. I have managed to deploy the MS Office 2003 as a stand-alone msi file. I also wanted to build our internal excel plug-in into Office 2003 package that i created using Dynamic Suite Composition Tools (DSC). But my problem was my excel plug-in installation file does not allows me to choose Q drive and is a unattended installation. Is there any way for sequencer to let the excel plug-in to install on local machine instead of Q drive? Thank you

    • Hello Alan,
      Yes, you can use the C:\ drive to install your app-v application; just create a folder using the normal standards for app-v directories (don’t use \Mozilla Firefox\, instead use \Firefox\), and select that directory in the monitoring phase of sequencing.
      Hope it helps,
      Cheers!
      Augusto

  4. ————————– English ——————————–

    I want to know is whether the APP-V in 2003 have some form of access applications over the web browser, like it is available (built-in) in 2008 …

    regards

    Tomas Costa
    ——————————————————————–
    ———————- Portuguese ———————————-

    Na realidade o que quero saber é se o APP-V no 2003 possui alguma forma de acesso dos aplicativos pelo navegador web , igual ao que é disponibilizado (built-in) no 2008…

    Atenciosamente

    Tomas Costa

    ———————————————————————

  5. ————————– English ——————————–

    In fact I want to know is whether the APP-V in 2003 have some form of customers access applications over the web browser (Internet or internal network), similar to what is available (built-in) in 2008 …

    regards

    Tomas Costa
    ——————————————————————–
    ————————— Portuguese ——————————

    Na realidade o que quero saber é se o APP-V no 2003 possui alguma forma dos clientes acessarem dos aplicativos pelo navegador web ( pela internet, ou pela rede interna), igual ao que é disponibilizado (built-in) no 2008 …

    Atenciosamente

    Tomas Costa
    ———————————————————————

  6. Hi,

    I’ve also read the quote below at some point when I was evaluating App-V, but can’t remember where I saw this….

    “Use the same base operating system for both, Sequencer and Target (client) machines. Microsoft does not support using different type of OS between these two.”

    Can you recall where you read this from?

    I’ve mentioned this to several Microsoft employee’s and they just look baffled.

    Thanks, Mike

    • Hello Mike,
      That requirement is actually presented with the App-V Sequencing Guide by Microsoft (linked on my post as “More Resources”).
      I quote: “Sequence on a machine that matches the Operating System and configuration level for the target clients (…) If you choose to sequence on one Operating System and deploy to another then you do so at your own risk. In addition to the Operating System, you want to make sure your sequencer is at the same service pack and hot fix level of your deployed workstations.”
      Cheers!
      Augusto

  7. I see the reason to use Q: if you are deploying to different platforms that may not have a consistant local C: (old TS servers with M:, PCs with D: as active, etc.). But if you have a consistant image with C: and RDS is C:, I see no reason why we can’t monitor on C: and not bother with Q:

  8. Hi,
    Need a help…Some application requires reboot after installation e.g. POWER ISO. But in the middle of the installation capturing process is automatically stopped by APP-V sequesncer. And of course for that the installation can’t get complete as APP-V forcefully terminates the reboot processes. Results when I try to launch the application it asks for need to re-install each time. What could be the solution for this? Can anyone help me out?

    • Hello Subhra,
      The Sequencing process includes a reboot simulation when its capturing the installation; but there are some applications that are not suitable for sequencing, a good example of those are applications that includes drivers.
      I’ve never worked with Power ISO but probably is installing a virtual driver to emulate a media drive. Can you confirm that?
      Hope it helps,
      Cheers!
      Augusto

      • Hi Augusto,
        Yes sir….Power ISO is a disk image utility that can open, create, edit, compress, encrypt, mount and extract ISO files and you can create a virtual drive also. Problem is in virtual drive part.

        Thanks Augusto

      • Hello Subhra,
        A workaround for that could be installing the driver in the client machines prior the App-V deployment package, with that you shouldn’t have any problem with the application.
        Cheers!
        Augusto

  9. Hi augusto,

    thanx alot for your detailed blog about AppV, its really great. i have achieved almost all what you have mentioned in four different Parts.

    now my query is, can i virtualize OFFICE COMMUNICATOR 2007 thro AppV, i tried, when i click the icon in client PC, i get the update message in the right corner of my window as

    “microsoft communicator launched” and immediately get
    “microsoft communicator shutdown”

    kindly help me out..
    regds

    Sim samy

    • Hello Sim,
      Unfortunately OCS is not supported as a virtual application by Microsoft, this application is highly integrated with the operating system and cannot be isolated in one package.
      Cheers,
      Augusto

  10. Great Post

    I’m having trouble finding the Softgrid entriee in the registry on any app-v manager,client,streaming comp i set up ? They are not where the trial guide says…….

    thanks

  11. hi thanks for your useful guide I think I’ve followed each and every step I’m always getting the following error

    Application Virtualization Error
    —————————
    The Application Virtualization Client could not launch Firefox 11.0.0.4454.

    The specified Application Virtualization Server could not be accessed. Try again in a few minutes. If the problem persists, report the following error code to your System Administrator.

    Error code: 4615186-19D02E0A-10000002
    —————————
    OK

  12. Hi Augusto, how are you? Thank you for this post, it really helps out all of us trying to learn more about App-V.

    I have a question, I am implementing App-V 5.1 on a Windows Server 2012 R2. I have already gone through the DB Steps and the Management Server (both running on different servers). Now I am stuck on how to install my App-V Sequencer. At the beginning of your post you say that Sequencer has to be installed on the same version of my workstations through my company. I have windows 7 as my wks, however I am planning to upgrade them to Windows 10. That means I should create my App-V Sequencer on a Windows 10? I thought I could use the Sequencer on the same box as my Management / Publishing Server. Please help me with this question, I am really stuck with my project.

    Thank you in advance.

    Eden Oliveira

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