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APP-V 5.0 Improvements

App-V 5.0, currently in beta, is coming with lots of improvements:

  • No more Q: – Primary Virtual Application Directory (AKA Install to Location)
  • Stream Optimizing Packages :
    • On-demand streaming delivery (Default): A package created and skipping the stream optimization step will be streamed on-demand to the machine via stream faults.
    •  Stream optimized: A package that goes through stream optimization process contains a primary feature block and this entire block is streamed before launching.  This can be performed in the Stream Optimization step in the Sequencer, just like 4.6 SP1 release.
    •  Fully downloaded : The package will be fully downloaded before it can be launched.  There is a checkbox that allows you to specify all applications in the package to be fully downloaded.
  • Application Installers that require a reboot
  • Creating add-on/middleware Packages
•App-V 5.0 now allows multiple App-V packages to interact with each other through a concept called Virtual Application Connection.
•Unlike Dynamic Suite Composition in previous versions of the product, this is no longer a part of the Sequencing process so the add-on/middleware package creation process changes a little bit.
•To sequence an add-on package you’ll still see the same experience of natively installing the parent app, and then sequencing the add-on package.
•Once completed, these apps are connected together via Application Connection Groups.
  • Shortcut/File Type Association (FTA) Editing. A shortcut was supported in App-V 4, however the command-line in the shortcut always referenced sfttray.exe and then invoking your virtual application. Now, there is a direct reference.
  • Package Formats. The App-V 5.0 file format is very different from the previous formats.  A quick look at what the Sequencer now produces:
    • q.appv package.  This contains the sequenced application files, registry, stream map, and manifest.
    • qDeployment configuration and user configuration template files.  These template files are used to customize package functionalities on the client during run-time.
    • qReport.xml file.  This is a saved report of the Sequencing warnings and errors that occurred during the sequencing.
    • qMSI file.  This is the MSI that allows administrators to deploy sequenced packages via MSI.
The App-V 5.0 Sequencer comes with a PowerShell module called the Package Converter (allow conversion from 4.5).
  • Modifying an Existing Package
    • No OSD tab.  The new file format does not use OSD files.  Metadata about application shortcuts are stored in the manifest and custom scripts are stored in new Dynamic Configuration files.  Future blog posts will cover Dynamic Configuration in more detail.
    • The Virtual File System (VFS) tab has been replaced with a Package Files tab.  It is now possible to manipulate all files in the package, not just those in the VFS.
    • The deployment tab has fewer options: Compression is always enabled, MSI packages are always output, security descriptors cannot be overridden (they follow the ones in the files and registry), and packages no longer need streaming protocol information.
  • Do not requires of a unique 8.3-compliant name anymore. Now, all packages are executed under their unique (very long) GUID

In addition, to:

In addition to this we’ve also included:

  • Reporting:  App-V 5.0  now allows you to report on virtual application inventory and utilization, helping IT departments track software assets throughout the enterprise.
  • Integration with the System Center Configuration Manager 2012: With the upcoming release of Service Pack 1 for System Center Configuration Manager 2012, you will be able to manage App-V 5.0 virtual applications throughout their lifecycle.
  • End-to-end programmability: App-V 5.0  adds PowerShell automation to the management server and the sequencer. For those IT Pros who prefer to get under the hood you now have complete programmability and automation for virtual application management and packaging.

For more information about App-V and our other desktop virtualization tools please click here.

 

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