App-V Basics: Installing and Configuring the App-V 5 Infrastructure (Part 2)

by [Published on 14 Jan. 2014 / Last Updated on 14 Jan. 2014]

In this second part of Installing and Configuring the App-V 5 Infrastructure, the author continues with the configuration of the App-V 5 back-end components, followed by the installation and configuration of the App-V 5 Client.

If you would like to be notified when Wilco van Bragt releases the next part in this article series please sign up to our Real-Time Article Update newsletter.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to App-V Basics: Installing and Configuring the App-V 5 Infrastructure (Part 1).

Introduction

In part 1 of this article series I described the prerequisites and the installation steps of the App-V 5 Server components. This second part continues with the configuration of the App-V 5 back-end components, followed by the installation and configuration of the App-V 5 Client. At the end we will have an operational App-V infrastructure, so a user can start to use an App-V 5 virtualized application.

Configuration App-V 5 Server components

We ended the article with the final installation window, pointing that the next step is starting the management console via http://<<SERVERNAME>>:<<PORTNUMBER>>/Console. You should also keep in mind that Silverlight is required to use the console. Also App-V is primarily based on PowerShell, which means that the available GUI-based consoles are only providing the most basic configuration settings and information. However the App-V Management Console is providing the required part to set-up the App-V infrastructure.

If have used an earlier version of App-V 4.x so the console is slightly different, but because it’s only offering the required steps it’s easy to use. The console starts with an overview in which there is explained what the sequencer does, while the other tiles are pointers to the other three components in the console. I will describe them from bottom-up.

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Figure 1: App-V 5 Management Console

The bottom option is labeled Admin and provides the option to add or remove administrators from the App-V infrastructure. The server icon shows the registered Publishing Servers and the possibility to add/remove Publishing Servers.

The last and most important part in the console is called Packages. Within this part you have two options: Packages and Connection Groups.

Connection Groups group one or more App-V packages to enable member applications in these packages to interact with one another while maintaining isolation from the rest of the system. This gives sequencing engineers the flexibility to maintain packages independently, and removes the redundancy of adding the same application several times onto a machine. If you are familiar with App-V 4, it is comparable with the Dynamic Suite Composition (DSC), however the technique is different (because App-V 5 is built differently). It’s good to see that combining packages are now built into the product and can be configured via a GUI (instead of editing the OSD files manually as in the previous version), and also can be assigned access to those Connection Groups. The exact configuration is already described in lots of articles on the Internet - for example on TechNet with more detailed technical information. In this article, I will not go into more details about this topic, as this goes beyond the scope of this article, but at least, you need to know what the possibilities.

At the packages part you can add or upgrade packages. These packages are created using the App-V Sequencer. I already wrote an earlier article series about installing the sequencer and creating packages in the article series App-V Basics: Installing and Using the App-V 5 sequencer. For this article I assume that you already have these packages. The packages can be streamed using HTTP or SMB. For this article I created a UNC share and copied the sequences into this share.

Then, using the console, the package can be added using the Add or Upgrade package button at the Packages part.

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Figure 2: Add a package to App-V 5.

The next step is to browse to the package location based on the UNC path (when using SMB) or the HTTP path and specify the .appv file.

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Figure 3: Specify the location of the package.

The package will be imported and after a while a message will be shown that the package has been added.

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Figure 4: Package Imported.

When the package is imported it will show in the main screen. Via the right mouse button a menu is displayed for further configuration options.

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Figure 5: Application Configuration Options.

Via Edit Active Directory Access you can assign user/groups or edit already configured users/groups. When imported no group is assigned, so this step is mandatory when you import the application for the first time.

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Figure 6: Configure Active Directory Users/Groups Access.

Via the Edit default Configuration changes can be made to the application shortcuts and file types as they are provided within the sequence. If the sequence is already optimized, not many changes are required, but it’s possible to override the setting within the package.

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Figure 7: Application Configuration Options.

The other options Transfer default configuration from and Transfer access and configuration from can be used when you are adding a newer version of a package. With this option you can copy a setting from the previous version to this version.

The last option is Publish. It’s important to know that the package is not published by default, so you need to publish the package before clients can use that. Logical choice, it gives you the possibility to change the configuration before it’s available for the end-users.

Now, we have some applications published in the basic configuration of the App-V Back-end which is ready for deploying packages to the App-V Clients.

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Figure 8: Packages published.

Installing and Configuring App-V 5 Client

To start the App-V virtualized application you need to have the App-V 5 Client on the machine. There are clients available for client operating systems and for RDS servers. In this article I will use the RDS client to show the installation steps based on a Windows 2012 server, but those are comparable to the client OS installer. Also the App-V 5 client has several prerequisites. The App-V client requires PowerShell 3, .Net Framework 4, Visual C++ 2010 and Visual C++ 2005 SP1. These are by default only available on a Windows 2012 server, which I used for this article. This is also the case if you use Windows 8. For Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 2008R2 you should ensure that these are installed (except the Visual C++ which can be installed out of the App-V client installation). You also need to have a specific Windows Updates, see the exact details here.

The installation is started via APPV_CLIENT_SETUP_RDS.exe and will show the RDS client installation start screen.

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Figure 9: Client RDS Setup.

The next step is to accept the license terms of the App-V Client.

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Figure 10: Client RDS License Agreement.

Just as the back-end components, the client can be automatically updated using Microsoft Update mechanism if you would like to. If you prefer doing the updates via another method you should choose not to use the Windows Update option.

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Figure 11: Client RDS Windows Update.

Microsoft also appreciates if you would like to join the experience improvement program, but logically also offer the possibility to decline joining the program. This is actually the last step before the actual installation starts via the Install button.

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Figure 12: Client RDS Customer Experience Improvement Program.

When the installation is finished, a Setup Completed Successfully message is shown.

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Figure 13: Client RDS installation finished.

If you have experiences with previous App-V versions then you would go to the App-V Client Console and configure the App-V server connection there. However with App-V 5 this has changed, now you are required to use PowerShell for this part. The first step is to import the Appv client module via the command “import-module appvclient”. Secondly you need to add the Publishing Server via the command Add-AppvPublishingServer – Name <<PublishingServer>> -URL http://<<PublishingServer>>:portnumber

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Figure 14: User PowerShell to add the App-V 5 Publishing Server.

After adding the publishing server you can use the App-V Client Console to do some basic steps. For example you can update the client with the server concerning the available applications. You can also see on the virtual applications tab, the available applications, a graphical view, which part of the application is downloaded to the client and the option to download or repair the virtualized application, which will probably be used the most, together with the Update button on the front page of the client.

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Figure 15: App-V Client Console Virtual App Tab.

When the client updates with the server, the shortcuts will be available on the client as configured within the Management Service. From that time, it’s possible to use the App-V 5 virtualized applications.

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Figure 16: Starting an App-V 5 virtualized application.

Conclusion

In this article series I have shown the basic steps to install the App-V 5 back-end infrastructure and the App-V 5 client including the required configuring steps to get the App-V 5 infrastructure up and running. Together with the App-V 5 Sequencer article series you are ready to start exploring App-V 5 and discover much more possibilities available within the product.

If you would like to be notified when Wilco van Bragt releases the next part in this article series please sign up to our Real-Time Article Update newsletter.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to App-V Basics: Installing and Configuring the App-V 5 Infrastructure (Part 1).

See Also


The Author — Wilco van Bragt

Wilco van Bragt avatar

After working for a couple of consulting firms as a senior technical consultant and technical project leader Wilco started his own freelance company VanBragt.Net Consultancy in April 2008. Wilco is certified n Citrix (CCIA, CCEE/CCEA, CCA), Microsoft (MCITP, MCTS, MSCE, MSCA) and Prince2 (Foundation). Wilco is also a RSVP (RES Software Valued Professional), Citrix CTP (Citrix Technology Professional) and a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) on RDS.

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