Dealing with App-V Limitations: COM+

By Rory Monaghan



As App-V Sequencers, we’re all aware that applications with COM components can work when sequenced with App-V with the correct setting configured depending on what version of App-V you are using. e.g. in App-V 5.0, this option is under the Advanced Tab in the Sequencer UI. COM+ is a little different. With App-V 4.6 and App-V 5.0 it has been my experience that COM+ just does not work. Let me explain something about COM+ really quick and this is just from experience. I honestly don’t understand the intricacies involved but it appears to me that not all applications which use COM+ install the component services at install time. I believe developers can use scripting which executes COM+ components during run time, as required.

When the application installs a COM+ component service, the App-V Sequencer will detect this and report it during sequencing. In which case, I strongly suggest you take a look: HERE , following these instructions should allow you to proceed with sequencing the application. This is an example of why I love App-V 5.0, the ability to run embedded scripts in the system context makes much more possible. With App-V 4.x, this would have required managing multiple packages, when I was working for service providers, multiple packages was a big No, No. So many decided, rather than having multiple packages just go ahead and deploy it as a traditional local install. With App-V 5.0, it can all be taken care of within the App-V package. SWEET!

If you have an application which does not work and you may suspect there’s COM+ at play. You could run a ProcMon trace and look for references to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\COM3. I have not found a way to successfully sequence applications which may use COM+ but do not install a Component service. But the good news! COM+ is a pretty outdated concept now. It’s certainly not used very often by third party vendors. It is something I’ve seen in some old in-house developed applications.



As per the graph, if you have an application which installs a COM+ Component Service, you can try to follow the URL linked above. If you have an application which does not install a COM+ Component service but leverages COM+, you will need to deploy via a traditional local install, if the application is not required offline, you could go with RDS or XenApp in order to stick with a virtualized environment. Which is possible if the applications are internally developed and communicate with a server in-house.

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