App-V Recipe: Skype

Application Name: Skype                             Skype

Application Version: 6.16.0.105

Download: Skype

Install Directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype

Sequencing OS used: Windows 7 64-bit

Sequencer Version: 5.0 SP2 Hotfix 4

Exclusions Added: [{Profile}], [{LocalAppDataLow}], [{SystemX86}], [{System}], [{Windows]}\ServiceProfiles, [{Common AppData}]

Note: Disabling the Autoupdates does not appear to work for all updates. Some can be forced

Skype in App-V Note:

For this recipe I am illustrating how to sequence the general release of Skype which is freely available for all to download. This is not a business version. You can sequence the Business version and use the Group Policy Template if you’d like. I will also say, I use Skype every day for work. As such, I’ve had to update my package quite regularly. This has not been ideal. At the bottom of this post, I will include notes on how to ensure users chat logs are maintained through upgrades. I am aware that Skype is a touchy subject for many companies due to security concerns so if you are not using this in your to many people in your environment or you’re not a hardcore App-V Sequencer, it may not be worth deploying in App-V as it takes me quite a lot of effort to maintain…but I’m a hardcore App-V guy.

I would say, if you can get away without sequencing each new release as it comes out. Go for it, otherwise, maybe think twice. I enjoy sequencing 🙂 If you don’t want to have to keep on top of things or you wish to use Skype in the office but your company won’t let you, you should check out Spoon HERE it’s a virtual Skype that’s ready to run and they keep them updated as a new release get’s put out. Very handy!

Preparing the Sequencing VM

Copy SkypeSetup.exe to the VM and add Exclusions as above to your exclusion list.

Begin Sequencing

Click Next through the Sequencing Wizard until you get to the below screen

Step1

Click ‘Perform a custom installation’ and click Next (This is just my preference)

Step2

Enter an application name that meets your own naming standards. Enter C:\Dummy as the Primary Virtual Application Directory and click Next >

Step3

When you see the screen above, launch the SkypeSetup.exe

Install1

Select your language and click I Agree – next

Install2

You may want to uncheck the Install Skype Click to Call as per the above screenshot. You’ll want to un-check this if you are unable to use Global Publishing to deploy this application or if using RunVirtual or the /appvve method are not acceptable. When making this decision, keep in mind this uses your Internet Explorer browser, you must decide if this is acceptable for you. I would suspect in Enterprise, this would not be acceptable. Where would you draw the line? What if you have multiple applications that have IE add-on’s which don’t work when sequenced? Will you create a Connection Group with an existing application that’s launching into IE? It’s up to you, personally I think that can lead to a messy situation! I actually did include Click to Call and used RunVirtual for my own use because I use Skype every day and don’t expect to have many more IE add-on’s required, particularly those that don’t work when sequenced.

There’s actually two add-ons with Skype. One which seems to work fine without RunVirtual or /appvve as it’s picked up as a Browser Object and handled by the client as such. The Click to Call Feature add-on does appear when just published globally but does not function fully UNLESS as I just said above you use RunVirtual or /appvve.

Click Continue

Install3

Installation will complete and Skype will launch itself within moments of the install completing.

Quit

Navigate to the Skype Icon running in the task bar (near the clock) right click and click Quit

Quit2

Click Quit. Launch Task Manager, kill any process with Skype in the name (if you included Call to Click this will be running and needs to be killed)

UpdaterDel

Navigate to the Install Directory and delete the Updater folder as seen above

AUpdate

If you chose to install the Click to Call feature, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Toolbars and delete the AutoUpdate folder. Otherwise skip to the next step.

Services2

Navigate to Services under Control Panel –> Administrative tools and Stop the Skype Services if they are running, then set them to Disabled

DisableVersionCheckReg

Navigate to the registry of your machine HKLM\Software\SysWow6432Node\Skype\Phone and set a DWORD reg DisableVersionCheck with the Decimal value of 1 as above. Honestly, I’m not sure if this registry setting is still valid in this version. I believe disabling the services will suffice but I made further changes to safe guard myself.

UpdateReg

Also navigate to the Installer hive and change the value for InstallUpdates to, as seen above.

ClickToCallUpdateCheck

I also set the NextUpdateCheckTime registry for Click to Call to a larger number than the default to be on the safe side.

Step11

Click ‘I am finished installing’ and then Click Next > on the Sequencer

Step4

Click Next>

Step5

You can ignore these warnings. Click Next>

Step6

Click Stop Now and Click Next >

Step7

Click ‘Continue to modify package without saving using the package editor’ and Click Next >

Step8

Click Close

Step9

Enter a Description to put your stamp on the app.

Step10

Under the Deployment tab I moved only the Windows 7 OS’s, this is because I don’t want this version of Skype going to either my servers or more importantly my Windows 8.1 machines. There’s a Skype App so I’d prefer to keep my environment pristine and without duplicates.

Step12

Check all Checkboxes under Advanced for this application. I did this as I discovered a dll file with COM in the name, also due to the DCOM warning we saw earlier.

Services

Both services should be disabled in the Virtual Services tab. Note: You’ll only have one service if you did not include the Click to Call Feature.

DeleteMSI

Under Package Files, ensure you delete the cached MSI under the Installer folder. You can now Save your Application to your content share.

Extra Notes

If using Click to Call you will need to either have a shortcut which launches IE with a Target such as: “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” /appvve:63eb97e4-dd0b-4f71-9b40-3699ff78de49_66452f2c-157f-4a9f-9a19-ea23a1a9980f which is “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” /appvve:ApplicationID_VersionID or you could set the RunAsVirtual registry key as per the link I provided earlier in this post.

Global

Ensure you publish the application globally!

ClickToCall

Bada Bing. Skype Click to Call should be working.

AutoUpdatesDisabled

You should also see that Automatic Update within Skype are Disabled.

You will need to set a Firewall Exception for Skype in your environment to allow the communication, but that’s kind of a no brainer considering it’s a VOIP

I would advise that there’s several User Changable settings within Skype and so, if you use UE-V, you will want to run this application through there. If you use RES or WorkSpace Manager, ensure you capture these. Also chat history is stored within a file named main.db, you will want to ensure this get’s carried across for each user when updating to a new version or even removing and bringing back down the same version. You may also need to plan to carry out backups of each users main.db file to persist their chat history.

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