With the release of MDOP 2013 R2 on Dec 2nd 2013, I would now like to provide you with more details on some interesting updates we have made to App-V 5.0 SP2 as part of this MDOP release.

In App-V 5.0 SP2 you may have noticed that the sequencer itself looks relatively unchanged. Although this is true from a workflow and UI standpoint, the SP2 Sequencer has had a large amount of changes made “under the hood” so to speak. The majority of these changes are to support two critical features in SP2, VC Runtimes (SXS Assemblies) and Shell Extensions.

In this post we will focus on VC Runtimes, we will discuss Shell Extensions in a separate post.

VC Runtimes updates in App-V 5.0 SP2

Prior to App-V 5.0 SP2, managing VC runtime dependencies for virtual applications was cumbersome. The administrator would have to install the run-times natively, and manually manage them. This was the case in App-V 5.0, 4.6 and earlier. Managing these dependencies was an administrative challenge, requiring the administrators to manually track and deploy all of the possible dependencies that the virtual applications would require. Without going through this effort they risked the potential of the virtual applications crashing or malfunctioning, which would lead to user complaints and issues. Not only was this difficult for the admins but it also goes against the App-V goal of having “completely virtual” applications where all our users need is the App-V client and an .appv package.

App-V 5.0 SP2 focuses on providing a solution to this problem that is not only be robust but simple as well. To accomplish this, changes were made to both the App-V 5.0 SP2 sequencer and client. On the sequencer side, the sequencer does all of the work for the administrator by detecting, identifying, and packaging the dependencies in the .appv package. On the App-V client side, the client now has logic to look at the dependencies in the package, detect whether or not those dependencies are already installed and if they are not; install them on the client. Because the dependencies are all bundled in the package there is no additional workflow needed by the administrator to ensure that the virtual applications will work correctly.

Although most of this new features functionality is happening in the background just by sequencing there is one small change in the Virtual Application Package Report that allows the administrator to see the VC Runtimes that are detected and added to the package. This report is illustrated below.

VCRuntimeReport

For more details on App-V 5.0 SP2, click here.

This blog post is part of a series of guest posts we’re publishing in the coming weeks on MDOP 2013 R2 – Ben

Ronald Dockery
Senior Product Marketing Manager
Windows Commercial