GLADIATOR@MSFT

Adventures in Desktop, Application, and User State Virtualization

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  • Blog Post: App-V 5 and Citrix Integration Resources

    Whether it is integration with XenApp, XenDesktop, PVS, or UPM, App-V 5 is the recommended application virtualization and streaming model for Citrix Session and VDI environments. I work with a lot of customers who leverage App-V in this capacity and they have been asking me to maintain a “living...
  • Blog Post: App-V 4 Application Troubleshooting: Breaking Down Virtualization Issues Pt. II

    App-V 4.5 and 4.6 virtualize at the user mode layer. One of the most identifying factors of seeing that a thread stack is that of a virtualized application is the presence of the SFTLDR.DLL file. This is what is injected into every process a virtual application will create. This file is responsible for...
  • Blog Post: AppV 5: Important Considerations and Ramifications for Package Upgrade and VFS Write Mode

    If you are running any version of the App-V 5 client or Sequencer prior to App-V 5.0 Service Pack 2 Hotfix 4 – stop reading. This does not apply to your environment. If you are running HF4 or sooner, you need to have a good understanding of the net effects of toggling VFS Mode on and/or off during...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: On the (now sometimes) Immutable Package Cache Location

    When you add/configure and publish a package in App-V, the primary file assets and source registry hives are stored in the package cache location. It defaults to %PROGRAMDATA%\App-V. The package cache will store packages in a <PACKAGE_GUID>\<VERSION_GUID> directory structure for each package...
  • Blog Post: App-V 4 Application Troubleshooting: Breaking Down Virtualization Issues Pt. I

    If you are working with an application that has been virtualized with App-V 4.x and that application is not functioning as expected, one of the first steps in troubleshooting should always be to try to determine if the issue is related to sequencing or related to virtualization. For the standard application...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: Application Troubleshooting: “Fly-by-Night” Error Messages

    To continue the discussion of application troubleshooting, I wanted to provide some clarification on a certain type of application failure. In a blog post a while back ( http://blogs.technet.com/b/gladiatormsft/archive/2013/05/15/app-v-process-exit-codes-and-why-they-matter-when-troubleshooting-virtual...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: On App-V Nomenclature

    As you may have figured out by now, App-V 5 has components that are referred to by multiple names depending on context. In some cases, App-V 5 basically takes the synonym concept to interesting levels. This can be misleading if misinterpreted. This can lead ISV’s and IT Pros down the wrong path...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: Installing to the PVAD: Don’t do it . . . Yes . . . I said it.

    If you have ever dealt with me directly as a customer, attended one of my presentations, or even simply stomached one of my diatribes in a casual, technical conversation, you have no doubt heard about one of my pet peeves (no, not “Tips –n- Tricks” – we’ll visit that another...
  • Blog Post: App-V: On Registry Staging and how it can affect VDI Environments

    UPDATE: PLEASE READ THIS AFTER READING THIS ARTICLE: http://blogs.technet.com/b/gladiatormsft/archive/2014/08/22/app-v-5-revisiting-registry-staging.aspx The App-V 5.0 Virtual Registry is isolated for each application (or virtual environment when using Connection Groups.) With this release, there...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: Revisiting Registry Staging

    Last year, I wrote a blog post on registry staging in App-V and how it can affect initial publishing times – particularly on VDI ( http://blogs.technet.com/b/gladiatormsft/archive/2013/09/25/app-v-on-registry-staging-and-how-it-can-affect-vdi-environments.aspx ) and many people wrote me to tell...
  • Blog Post: Chatting All Things Dash V with Richard C on RunAs Radio!

    Last week, Chris Jackson appeared on RunAs Radio talking about about the benefits of Windows XP Migration (Yes, we still have customers who have not made the jump to a modern OS.) You can view the recording here: ( http://www.runasradio.com/default.aspx?showNum=374 ) It is an honor to be following...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: Be Careful Toggling Shared Content Store Mode

    One of my colleagues in support let me know of an important note for those upgrading to App-V 5.0 Service Pack 2 Hotfix 4. It appears that the value for Shared Content Store (registry value SharedContentStoreMode in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\AppV\Client\Streaming or the same option using...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: The Case of the Failed Connection Group Descriptor (or . . . Another Reason not to Use Notepad for XML File Creation)

    Have you ever noticed that when you go to save a newly created file in Notepad, the default encoding is ANSI? And this matters to App-V how you ask? Normally this may not matter to you but I should inform you that this actually is important – especially if you are a purist and insist on...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: On Virtual Fonts

    App-V has many virtualization subsystems that make up how App-V isolates itself from other applications. Often I, and others have discussed virtual COM, virtual kernel objects, virtual services, etc. when discussing App-V in depth. Until now, one virtual subsystem that has not been discussed much in...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: On Roaming Exclusions

    When you use App-V with roaming profiles or a service or product that may roam integration settings of virtual applications, it was historically assumed by App-V that once a package’s extension points are laid down (or integrated,) roaming user profiles will carry it alongside the user’s...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: On Using Sequencing Templates

    Sequencing Templates (.APPVT) files are designed for automating the sequencing of applications. While you can take advantage of some of the benefits of templates with manual, interactive sequencing, be careful making assumptions when sequencing following the importing of a template in the Sequencer GUI...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: On Dynamic Configuration

    When you create a package using the App-V sequencer, everything that you will need for the package will be self-contained inside the .APPV package file. In addition to the file and registry assets, the APPV file also maintains XML metadata that governs the operating system integration configuration and...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: More on Connection Groups

    To continue my obsession with Connection Groups, I wanted to talk about some technical specifics that apply to Connection Groups and will help you determine your Connection Group deployment strategy. Connection Group Priority The concept of priority with regards to Connection Groups relate to what...
  • Blog Post: TechEd North America 2014: Come See Me Talk About App-V 5 Sizing and Capacity Planning

    Yes, it is time for another shameless plug. If you plan on attending TechEd North America this year (in warm Houston, Texas May 12-16) please make sure to clear your schedule on Thursday afternoon so you can see my presentation on App-V 5 Sizing: Planning and Designing a Highly Available, Scalable, and...
  • Blog Post: Connection Group Case Study: Notepad++

    Notepad++ uses plug-ins that register through a configuration file. This is one of the most common methods used by applications. Too often people run into problems because they order the primary application too high in the packages list inside the connection group. As a result, the configurations conflict...
  • Blog Post: On the Design of (and Sequencing for) Connection Groups

    I constantly stress to my customers that significant assessment and planning revolving around the design and implementation of connection groups is essential to a successful lifecycle for virtual environments. One of the primary challenges with connection groups is that while understanding the mechanics...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: Why are all of these Different Language Shortcuts Displaying in my Start Menu?

    If you have been using App-V 5 SP1 with RDS (Remote Desktop Services) or Citrix XenApp servers, you may have noticed that when you installed the App-V 5.0 Service Pack 1 RDS Client using the EXE installer (no extraction) - this creates shortcuts for all 24 language packs on the start menu for Windows...
  • Blog Post: App-V 5: Capturing Data Source Configuration

    You may have noticed that in previously releases of Softgrid and App-V, it was recommended as a best practice to manually create a dummy (I hate that word – I prefer “artificial”) ODBC data source (DSN) connection on the sequencing prior to sequencing anything that interacts with ADO...
  • Blog Post: App-V: Don’t use WMI for querying virtual registries.

    It is important to understand that the virtual registry is designed for virtualization of an application’s registry and it facilitates it through the interception of standard Win32 registry APIs. These APIs (i.e. RegOpenKeyEx, RegEnumKeyEx,  RegEnumValue,  RegCreateKeyEx, etc.) I have, from time to time...
  • Blog Post: App-V: Why would new users on RDS/Terminal Servers not get any App-V Applications?

    App-V: Why would new users on RDS/Terminal Servers not get any App-V Applications? I recently came across a situation where a customer was in a panic because newly provisioned users were unable to receive any applications on their RDS Servers. Existing users were actually able to launch applications...