Microsoft App-V: Part 2
This part will focus on sequencing an application for App-V. For this part, you will need a clean machine with the App-V Sequencer installed. I recommend using a VM that is fully patched with nothing but the Sequencer installed. I would not join this VM to a domain, or have anti-virus or Windows Updates enabled. They generate too much background noise that can be picked up by the Sequencer. I will be using the latest version as of this writing, version 5.1.
You will find the Sequencer in the App-V folder on your MDOP CD. It would also be available from the splash screen. The installation is simple – just click next until you’re done.
Sequencing an App
I am going to Sequence Notepad++, because it’s fairly simple, and I can also illustrate adding an additional file after installation so that I can get the Compare plugin. Be sure to copy your installation files to your machine before starting the Sequencer.
The first screen you see when launching the Sequencer asks if you are creating a new virtual package or modifying an existing one. We are creating a new one, so I will select There’s also several resources that are available to help you with App-V.
Next, we have the option to create a package from scratch or use a package accelerator. Package accelerators are already defined App-V packages that you can use. There are a few Microsoft products that have these (including Office), as well as others that people have put together. For this demo, we will create one from scratch, so select “Create Package (Default)” and click Next.
The prepare computer screen will tell you if there’s anything going on that might affect you package. One of the most common items it will find is a pending reboot. Review these, decide what to do, and click Next.
The “Type of Application” screen asks you what you are packaging. We packaging an application, so I will keep “Standard Application (default)” selected. Review the other two and decide which one are you doing.
Next, select the installer for your application. Most applications are fine with this method, but if you have something really custom, the option is always there to do a custom installation. The difference here is that when you select the installer, the Sequencer watches its process to see what it does. You will not get as much junk captured with this method. If you do the custom installation, it basically takes a snapshot of the machine before you install and snapshot after, so anything that changes it captured.
One the next screen, give your virtual application a name. When you click next, the Sequencer will launch the installer. Go through the install as you would.
After installation, you have the option to run an additional installer if needed. If you are done, check the “I am finished installing” check box to proceed. On the next screen, you can run the software to remove any license agreements or configure an options. To run the application, simply select it and click run selected. This is also the point where you can add any additional files, like I am for the Notepad++ Compare Plugin.
After you have executed the programs, click Next for a report on what the Sequencer found with the application. It will attempt to exclude any files that it does not think is necessary.
Next, you see this screen:
You can decide what to do here based on your environment and the application you are deploying. After that, the Sequencer creates your application.