App-V 5.0 Notes

By Rory Monaghan

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Through my own use of the Beta and also through a lot of research I have put together the following footnotes. Idea of this is to be concise so and really it’s for my own reference 🙂 I’ve started thinking when there’s something I want to document I should post it here because it’s a pretty nice filing system, click on the category or search the key words..Nice!

Any way. I have to give credit to Tim Mangan on this one also because SOME of this info was from his mouth! Check out his site HERE for a great detailed explanation. That is not the intent of this entry however, this is bullet points only.

  • No more Q:\ (Virtual Drive)
  • Now Requires .Net 4.0 and Silverlight on your machines. Silverlight used for UI of consoles. Yes, I’m serious.
  • Applications mount to folder C:\ProgramData\App-V\GUID\GUID\ Applications files including the .exe reside here. If you run the .exe from here it still launches the virtual application and is not a risk. App is virtual not local.
  • Microsoft have now split the DB into two databases. One is a steady base DB that rarely changes and the other is dedicated for reporting with more comprehensive reporting available now. 4.6 SP1 reporting was pretty sparse.
  • Connection Groups replaces DSC. As OSD’s don’t exist, this is now configured during the publishing phase. Actually makes it easier because you set the priority and it’s visual rather than setting it in text and keeping track of which is primary and which is secondary, In my opinion of course!
  • Office 2013 will be provided in App-V format. From what I can see App-V 5.0 is kind of a hybrid solution of App-V and AppX. But I may be drawing a blurry line.
  • Enforce Security Descriptors is no longer an option and is mandatory
  • Still uses ZLIB compression
  • Sequencer has an Edit tab rather than allowing you to select it at the opening screen. It’s good because in 4.6 SP1 upgrades don’t make sense as you can’t get to certain things easily.
  • No more RTSP, RTSPS or FILE. Now it’s SCCM, App-V Server or Standalone.
  • SCCM 2012 SP1 to have features more closely matching the server setup. Release TBA. Expected by first quarter of 2013
  • You can now set per application isolation. Meaning you can allow local applications to see certain virtual applications. Meant to be used only as required. A get out like setting LOCAL_INTERACTION_ALLOWED only it’s completely non-isolated rather than just defaulting to see the local file system first.
  • No more 4GB size limit, Microsoft have said they are sure there’s a limit but don’t know what it is as they haven’t created an app large enough that couldn’t be handled.
  • Certain Extension Shell based features may work now. No definitive list yet and hopefully more will be included before release. Examples that do work so far is the Send to mail link and also the Send to for Zip files with WinZip.
  • They have split up the application into a User config and a Deployment config. The beauty of this is you could pre-script the Deployment config to put any local components down e.g. an app that requires a driver.
  • The background loading currently in the beta version is much slower than in 4.6, this is by design as there was a significant network hit when users would login in the morning and get a new application an all try to load at once. Tim Mangan said he tried a 6GB application and it didn’t fully load for 4 hours!!! At the moment over here I’m using a script for pre-caching applications for laptop users, in version 5.0 it looks like this wouldn’t be a good option.
  • Not all applications virtualized for 4.6 SP1 will work in version 5.0.
  • Some will work and but still fail conversion using the Powershell tool
  • There’s a powershell tool to check if your applications are likely to work as a virtual application. This appears to be an extension of the previous report functionality in 4.6 SP1.
  • Possibly the biggest win with this version is the new Remote Client Access which optimizes the App-V Client for VDI purposes. Currently with App-V 4.6 SP1 with read only cache ensures the cache is stored on a repository and loads using that. It requires more management that just doing conventional App-V as any upgrade or additions need to be scheduled like an old style deployment which taints the App-V Experience(IMO). With this new feature in APP-V 5.0 it streams each app as calls into Memory and blows it out after used…never stores to disk.
  • 4.6 SP2 which is also in beta allows you to select Windows 8 as an option for deployment and will be capable of working side by side with version 5.0 if you need to rush migrating from 4.6 to 5.0 and not all apps convert successfully.

As the weeks go on I’m sure I’ll have more App-V 5.0 goodness.

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