WCL290: App-V 5.0 What’s New

This was a great session on the new enhancements in App-V 5.0. The App-V 5.0 beta is now out, so you can give in a spin around the virtual block. Immediately you will see that both the admin console (which is now a web page) and the client feature the Metro UI. Under the covers there are a lot of changes, and will really help you if you are using App-V with VDI. One of the biggest changes is that no longer does App-V use the Q drive, or any drive, for that matter! Also gone is the 4GB package size limit, and full PowerShell support. If you are using App-V 4.6 or looking at virtualizing applications, you must check out the beta.

Full Session notes:

  • Session Agenda
    • Managing App-V 5.0
    • Virtual Application Connection
    • Virtual Application Execution
    • Shared Content Store
  • Server App-V just released (see MMS 2012 presentation for more details)
  • App-V 5.0 beta is now out so go check it out
  • App-V 5.0 Pillars
    • Integrated Platform
      • Virtual applications work like installed applications – Virus scans now work
      • Virtual applications use Windows standards
      • No dedicated letter required
    • Flexible Virtualization
      • Multiple App-V applications can share the same environment
      • Designed to support highly integrated applications
      • Preserve existing investment in App-V
    • Powerful Management
      • New web-based management interface
      • Optimized for VDI with one work flow for updating the shared content cache
      • Rich PowerShell scripting allows automation and customization
  • Key Changes between 4.6 and 5.0
    • 4.6: Uses dedicated drive letter (Q drive), 5.0: no more dedicated drive
    • 4.6: 4GB package limit, 5.0: no more 4GB limit
    • 4.6: Isolated from local applications, 5.0: Virtual application extension (OS talk to native apps)
    • 4.6: Share middleware with dynamic suite composition, 5.0: Share peer applications with virtual application connection
    • 4.6 Read-only shared cache supports VDI, 5.0: Shared content cache can be updated with normal workflow (no more hoops to jump though)
    • 4.6: limited command-line scripting, 5.0: Rich PowerShell scripting for sequencer, client and server
    • 4.6: installed management console, 5.0: web based console (built on Silverlight)
  • App-V 5.0 Packaging
    • New package format
    • Similar UI to 4.6 SP1 but very different under the covers
    • Easily convert 4.5+ packages to the new format (done through PowerShell)
    • New file extension (.appv)
  • App-V 5.0 Dynamic Configuration
    • Modifies a Package’s Virtual environment
      • Virtual subsystem overrides
      • Disable virtual subsystems
      • Script support
    • Dynamic Configuration Types
      • Dynamic deployment configuration
      • Dynamic User configuration
      • Can combine
    • No package update is needed
      • Modify existing package content
      • Add to an existing package
  • Deployment and User Configuration
    • Deployment configuration – File you apply to the package and it applies to all of the users.
    • User Configuration – Affect the user on the machine, per user per package. Uses the same package file, but different configuration file.
  • Virtual Application Connection
    • Creates virtual bubbles that applications can share, such as apps with complicated dependencies
    • Examples include Word and Visio. Now you can edit a Visio diagram in Word.
    • Easily create application connections with in the management GUI. No package changes are needed.
    • A package can be in multiple package groups (e.g. Java)
    • Configuration is separate from the packages (XML file)
    • System Center 2012 SP1 will fully support App-V 5.0
    • Fully manageable with PowerShell
  • Virtual Application Extension
    • Extension point is registered natively with Windows
    • Global visibility – native to virtual, virtual to virtual
    • Supported Subsystems:
      • Shortcuts
      • File Type Association
      • AppPath
      • URL protocols
      • Software clients
      • COM local servers
    • No configuration to get this to work (e.g. click on a link in IE to automatically open Outlook using the URL mail protocol hook)
    • Best Practices
      • Is the interaction well defined? Does the OS of a native application need to interact with the Virtual Application?
      • Application connection – Use for virtual-to-virtual
  • Shared Content Store
    • Store applications centrally
    • Save disk space in VDI/RDS
    • Applications are excluded from the shared store
    • Applications can be updated per the usual process
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