App-V 5.0 Integration with SCCM 2012

This post is based on integration of App-V 5.0 SP2 with SCCM 2012 R2 but can also apply to integration of App-V 5.0 with SCCM 2012 SP1. I will have a How to further down but, usually I post a conclusion and give my own perspective on things but considering I have covered quite a lot about App-V on my blog, I felt like posting this first for those I know who are familiar with App-V and don't necessarily want to see the How to. So let me give a little of my own experience and insights with App-V 5.0 integration with SCCM 2012. I really was not a fan of App-V integration in SCCM 2007, in fact I am not much of a fan of SCCM 2007 in general! But SCCM 2012 is worlds apart from 2007, I really love it. I have used several Distribution tools in my short career but this is by far the most powerful and to me, most enjoyable to use. The fact it has a much better integration with App-V draws me in even more.

Why is it a good idea to use App-V 5.0 with SCCM 2012?

You get extra benefits when deploying your virtual applications through SCCM, a major coup is the ability to use the 'Requirements' section of the Deployment Type settings, this just like with a traditional application deployment, it allows you to set criteria for a deployment e.g. only deploy to machines with a certain amount of RAM, Disk space and lots more! Another great benefit is the virtual environments. There's an option for you to create virtual environments which are basically a group of App-V Applications which have been imported into SCCM. These application are essentially set to allow visibility of one another. It's as simple to use as clicking Add and picking which applications should be in the 'group'. You can then set the priority of the applications, which should be the primary applications, which is secondary etc. This is like Connection Groups only even more straight forward and powerful.

AppVVEnvironments

 

If you've already got SCCM 2012 in your environment, you'll have your back-end already configured complete with your Distribution points. Well, that's all you need even for streaming as SCCM 2012 allows you to stream your applications from your DP's. You also have the option of Download and Execute which will ensure the applications are cached on delivery versus on demand when the user launches the application. A reason why you may prefer that method is if you have a large set of users who work offline a lot and may be likely to not have the ability to stream.

How do I integrate App-V 5.0 with SCCM 2012?

First things first, When deploying App-V applications using SCCM, you still need to ensure the App-V Client is deployed to your end user devices. Note that the SCCM Client is used to deploy the advertisement and to control the App-V Client, it doesn't completely replace the App-V Client.

You can deploy the App-V Client any way you want. For more information on ways to deploy the client, take a look HERE . You can also deploy the App-V 5.0 client through SCCM itself, more info found: Deploy the App-V 5.0 client In the first link, I show examples of setting the publishing server settings, I show deploying GPO Settings etc. You don't really need to worry about that, because SCCM 2012 will take over control of the client once you deploy an application to a machine with the App-V Client. Like I stated, SCCM 2012 takes control of the App-V Client. So really you can just deploy the App-V Client without any configuration for a back-end server as SCCM will set what it needs.

Deploying App-V Applications

Step1

 

Just like with any other application for deployment through SCCM, Navigate to Software Library, right click on Applications and click Create Application.

Step2

In the Drop Down Select App-V 5.0

Step3

 

Browse to your App-v 5.0 application that you want to deploy from a reachable share.  Click Next.

Step4

 

Click Next

Step5

Enter a valid Publisher for the application and version name. You can also enter in a Category, reference and comments, if you wish. Click Next

Step6

 

Click Next

Step7

 

Click Close

Step8

Under Applications and on the bottom part of the Windows Browse to the Deployment types and click properties.

Step9

 

Under Content, You can select whether the application should be streamed from a Distribution point (Leverages existing SCCM DP's as Streaming Servers, applications are streamed down on command, similar to the App-V Management Server) You can also set whether or not to download the content. There's other tabs which offer greater flexibility than the App-V Management Server such as Requirements, here just like with traditional application pushes in SCCM 2012 you can specify criteria for an application push e.g. You may decide that only machines with 4GB or RAM or more should get your Virtual Camtasia, the requirements section of SCCM 2012 is incredibly granular and powerful. We also see that you can map dependencies for the application or use the Virtual Environment tab which I will describe in more detail further down. For Now, Click Apply and Click OK.

Distribute Content

Step10

 

Right click on the application and click Distribute Content, just like any other application.

Step11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click Next

Step12

 

Click Next

Step13

 

Click Add and Click Distribution Point, alternatively you may want to use a Distribution Point Group if you have more than one DP to distribute to. For this post I'm assuming one DP.

Step14

 

Check the Distribution Group and Click OK

Step15

 

Click Next

Step16

 

Click Next

Step17

 

Click Close

Step18

 

Wait for this to complete, you can verify completion under the Monitoring menu.

Deploy

Step19

 

Again Right Click on the application and this time click Deploy.

Step20

 

Click Browse to browse to a collection.

Step21

 

Before deploying this application, I actually create a device collection for a demo of machines with the App-V Client. (I select Device Collections for my environment, I think this provides better flexibility and ease of management...it's more consistent with other deployment types in my environment too)

Step22

 

Click Next

Step23

 

Click Next, unless you have secondary location you'd like to add.

Step24

 

I select Available which makes the Application Advertisement appear to the user as optional for them to download. Alternatively you can select Required which will ensure it gets 'installed' on the users machine.

Step25

 

You are welcome to create a deployment schedule to co-ordinate for a certain time which suits your environment. I just leave as default and click Next.

Step26

 

You can set the level of notification for the deployment. The notification just appear in the users desktops taskbar. Check the box to commit changed at deadline, it ensure the action is completed by the set deadline.

Step27

 

Here you can set some administrator settings such as to alert when a certain number of failed deployments are recorded, run in maintenance mode and even to flag in SCOM.

Step28

 

Click Next

Step29

 

Click Close

Test the Application

Browse to an desktop you deployed to. You may want to open Configuration Manager under Control Panel, Browse to Actions and Run the Deployment and Machine Policies. Then open Software Center.

Step30

 

You should now see your application available for Install. Check the box and click Install. You should then get the applications shortcut on the desktop.

Client

 

If you browse to the App-V 5.0 Client UI (which for 5.0 SP2 is actually an App-V Application available for download) you'll notice that the application may be in a state in which it has not cached. This is expected unless the application specifically had the checkbox checked during sequencing to ensure the app caches immediately. Go ahead and launch the shortcut for the application.

Client2

 

You should now see that the application has streamed from the Distribution Point and has cached on the machine.

Reg

 

If you look under the App-V Registry hive you'll notice the registry key values now show that the applications are managed by SCCM 2012.

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Rory Monaghan

Microsoft MVP in App-V.  Citrix CTA.  VMware vExpert.  Unidesk Certified Engineer.

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