02/21/14

App-V Sequencing Visio 2010 and Visio 2013 with App-V 5.0

I had big plans to put together a recipe for sequencing Visio 2010 just because I felt as though you need to read between the lines of the Microsoft Guide for Sequencing Office 2010 with App-V 5.0 to figure it out. Which you can find HERE .On reflection, I think it would be unfair of me to do a complete beginning to end recipe because somebody did go to the trouble of creating the guide and having gone through it a couple of times before attempting, it does make sense. At first I was a little confused around Step 12 as it made special mention of Visio. I also got a little frustrated due to needing to read the headings to make sure the step was applicable to what I was trying to do. I was concerned I may be missing a step or making a mistake but it is as simple as following from top to bottom and including that subsection after Step 12.

I have sequenced Office 2010 quite a few times with App-V 4.6, I can’t say that I ever particularly enjoyed doing it or enjoyed the end product. The requirement to plan and deploy that dang OffVirt.msi as a local traditional install left a bad taste in my mouth. If you’re asking, why am I raving about Office 2010 and the OffVirt.msi? well, that needed to be deployed for all Office 2010 products including Visio and Project and it was a bit of a pain in the ass :) Well, good news, Microsoft have taken advantage of some of the new features of App-V 5.0 to improve the delivery of Office 2010 Products. Now you do not need to deploy the OffVirt.msi before you deploy the virtual Visio or Project or whatever…you can include the OffVirt.msi in the package and simply download and add the Integrater.exe (Which is part of the Sequencer Kit found in the link in the first paragraph) to the Scripts folder, which can be found in Package Files within the App-V Sequencer. By doing this, it appears that the Integrator.exe is run when Adding the App-V Package to the client, it see’s the OffVirt.msi and runs it to ensure the licensing for Office is set on the local machine enabling the App-V package to work. Some other features are enabled to work for Office using the Offvirt.msi, check out parameters used in the Guide linked in the first paragraph for more.

So, if I’m not going to provide a recipe, why am I bothering with a blog post? That’s for two reason, two points I feel you need to be aware of before sequencing Visio 2010 and those are as follows:

1.) Many times the appeal for us techie folks of App-V is the ability to run multiple versions of the same application side by side thanks to our old friend Isolation. Unfortunately as the licensing gets passed to the local machine in order to function, we cannot have multiple versions of the more recent Office Products. Be they Office 2010 Products or Office 2013. What do I mean? I mean if you want to have Visio 2010 Standard edition and Visio 2010 Professional edition on one client machine, you cannot. The greater of the versions will apply e.g. All users will get Professional rather than Standard. The same logic applies to Visio 2013. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass. If you are using these products with something like Citrix Terminal Services you could simply Silo the different versions onto separate servers to get around that problem. Otherwise, you may be a little our of luck.

2.) Beware of the Windows\Installer folder. In the past, a common practice which is highlighted in an older blog post by Aaron Parker HERE was to delete the Windows Installer folder as this is a cache for the Installation of applications which use MSI, MSP or MST files. These could be leveraged for application repair or possibly upgrade in the MSI world but this doesn’t apply to App-V, so we removed them. The Good News is that we can still delete any MSI, MSP or MST files which cause unwanted bloat but you need to be very careful about what else is in there.

I had tweeted about my progress with Sequencing Visio and got a reply from Dan Gough, a seasoned App-V expert, I encourage everyone to check out his blog http://packageology.com/

Twitter

I had just figured out what he was going to tell me. I was receiving an error:

Error2

Pretty useless error, it actually made me double take…I was wondering if there was a legit network issue! I tried to clear the app and try again on a couple of different machines before I decided to second guess the error and check the Event logs…note to self: Start with the Event Logs :)

Error1

When I checked the event log, I saw the above. Virtual Fonts subsystem failure!?! WTF?, I decided to check out the AppXManifest.xml file, for anybody who is new to App-V 5.0, you can do this by making a copy of your applications .appv file and renaming it to .zip, then simply open it.

Manifestxml

By doing a quick CTRL+F and typing in Fonts, I found that fonts that were captured during sequencing and as you’ll notice they were found to be residing in the Installer cache location. Which I deleted. So, what was the fix? I just did a quick re-sequence and only removed the MSI, MSP and MST files, leaving the rest of the Installer cache. If you look in the same XML file you’ll also see other files including some .ico files that are also referenced in this folder. So it’s best to leave the folder in the package. In fact both Nicke and Dan, who can be found in my Blogroll have suggested to me that it’s a good idea to only delete the installers themselves in most cases as when you delete the .ico files it can mess up how the icons appear when carrying out certain actions such as Open File. I did notice that for the font issue, I could also resolve this by setting VirtualFonts to disabled in the User Configuration XML file and publishing the application using this. As I had Office locally installed, the fonts appeared to already be included on the local system so it worked but unfortunately, the icons were specific to Visio and so those files were required to be in my package.

I hope this helps somebody out there!

Rory

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01/27/14

Webinar: Getting to Know App-V 5.0 SP2

Hi Guys,

With the overwhelming popularity of the App-V webinar I just completed, I figured it would be a good idea to give out links to what I talked about:

Permissions in App-V: http://packageology.com/2013/06/file-permissions-app-v-5/

Decision Matrix: http://rorymon.com/blog/index.php/app-v-decision-matrix-v-4-0/

Regards the Question about Setting Override\Merge on VREG and any other sequencing questions: App-V Sequencing Guide

Any possible SCCM Integration Questions: HERE

Unfortunately Powerpoint crashed right as I looked at the Diagrams for the Full Infrastructure. I wanted to point out, in my diagram for 5.0 that the App-V Streaming Server was show, this is NOT an option in App-V, However! It is an option in App-V 4.x and as Co-Existence is supported between 4.6 SP2\SP3 and 5.0, Microsoft does list it as a supported configuration. More on this HERE

How to setup for Shared Content Store: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj713455.aspx

All you need to know about the App-V Client: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=41635 …

As I answer questions, I may post them over here or on the Dappug.com….sorry to Dan Gough, I butchered his Web Address!!

01/21/14

My Macbook Experience

I posted a blog about my Macbook Pro shortly after I bought it, for anybody who missed it, you can read it HERE. It’s now been over a year, I thought I would give an update on my experiences so far.

I own a Samsung 7 Series laptop, it’s great. I also own a server with multiple Virtual Machines, I use these as a test lab. My Macbook has become my primary home device. It’s so lightweight and the screen is so visually appealing that it completely trumps my Samsung and is my preference. BUT! As I had kind of expected, my Macbook still has not become my work horse machine, my go to machine I use for productivity, further more, When I bought the Macbook, I figured this would be the machine I would use for editing my images\graphics and working on my websites. Well, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. I always had this notion that MACs were popular with artists because the software was superior, I find the image editing software that comes with the OS is very lacking, even, dare I say, more lacking than what comes pre-loaded on Windows!! For the little editing I require for images on here, I would sooner use Microsoft paint for cropping, using the color picker etc. I was disappointed with the built in utility and so I downloaded GIMP, but I guess over the years it has lost it’s shine a little bit, plus I had all kinds of issues with it crashing out on me! So, as of this typing, I am still using Windows for my web work…strange, eh? I’ve heard from people that GarageBand is great for recording Podcasts, haven’t tried that yet. I have used iMovie quite a bit, I think it’s needlessly complicated but does get the job done! Craps out on me a lot less than Adobe Captivate but I think given the choice, I’d probably use SnagIt\Camtasia.

So I guess I should state my likes and dislikes at this point.

Dislikes

The Updates are even more annoying than Windows Updates. Why? Because I will get prompted to update, I decide to allow the updates and then get an error stating that I need to shut down iTunes….one problem, as far as I’m aware, iTunes isn’t open! But it is, The Operating system leaves applications running in memory after you close them, kind of like on most mobile operating systems. So you need to go to Force Quit to exit the application to allow the update to install. That update installs and then BANG! Close Safari for the next update and so on and so on. It’s very frustrating.

You can’t open multiple instances of the same application. I figured this one out when I was preparing to go back to Ireland shortly after I bought the laptop. I wanted to use a few calculators to figure out my spending money, bills etc. But try as I might, I couldn’t get another instance of the calculator to open. It turns out that there is a way, you can run a command in the Terminal to do this…but why, oh why do I have to do that!? It seems like the most fundamental thing for an application to do. I guess I took Windows for granted on that one.

The Seamless OS upgrade was not quite seamless for me. Two of the applications which came pre-loaded on Mountain Lion OS appeared in a paused state when I moved to Mavericks, annoyingly, I couldn’t tell what apps these were. I eventually figured it out and downloaded them again. One of my most important apps, Parallels Desktop, also stopped working. I don’t know what happened, I couldn’t fix it either but eventually after throwing enough spanners at it, it just started working again. My NAS can no longer be accessed from my Macbook now either, a friend of mine has pointed that SMB 3.0 is now the only version supported so this i likely the root cause. Which sucks, because I have a lot on it…for now, I just used my Laptop when required.

The myth of the Apple ‘Echo system’. After moving to the US, I found out due to not having a previous line of credit in the country, I could not get a decent cell phone on contract. If I wanted to buy a decent phone on Pay as You Go, it would cost about 700 dollars!! So for a year and a half, I was using my Irish phone with a T-Mobile sim card in it. I was getting Edge for my internet access, it was painful. So once I got some credit going I looked at phones. I was advised to get an iPhone since I had a Macbook…as there’s this Echo System and everything will be in sync. So, I investigated what this everything was. It turns out it’s all stuff I don’t use on my Macbook. Contacts, Calendar, iCloud etc. I already had Dropbox and SkyDrive (with a lot more free space) for my personal cloud. I have been using Gmail since it originated, when it was still invite only, I’m pretty well in bed with it at this stage, any meeting invites I get, get stored in the Google Calendar because of this. Also, I have never been in the habit of storing contacts on my computers…so it seemed pointless to me. As it turns out, when I got my Samsung phone bam, all of my contacts, calendar etc. all came right back. I guess because I had Android previously and because I use Gmail, this was already in sync. The beauty of this, is the fact with Googles echo system, I’m not tied down to Googles hardware, I have a wider variety than just getting whatever iPhone is out there. So the Apple echo system is really just something to make you feel like you’re tied into their hardware. Don’t worry about it, there’s plenty of good alternatives.

Face Time. Does anybody actually get enjoyment from using this or is it a simple means for a quick video chat? It seems very limited in what it can do when compared to Skype with all of it’s optional plug-ins or even something like Google Hangout. Of course there’s much better professional solutions for web meetings and conferences. It just seems like such a waste, there’s so much more you could do with it. But I guess the draw for them is that you have it on your iPhone and have it on your Macbook, so if you are in bed with Apple you can have the illusion that this is the only way it’s possible to have the same video calling experience on two different devices.

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