Traditionally, packaging an application for deployment through Server App-V has involved installing your application while the Sequencer monitors its progress and packages the results.  Today, we are introducing the Server App-V Remote Application Packager which allows you to package an already installed application following the basic workflow below.

  1. Install the Server App-V Sequencer and Remote Application Packager on your sequencing server
  2. Launch the Server App-V Sequencer and select a custom installation workflow
  3. Launch the Remote Application Packager, when the Sequencer is ready for you to run an installer
  4. Provide the machine name with the natively installed applications
  5. Select the applications you want to package and click start
  6. The Sequencer copies over your application and produces a Server App-V package

That easy and your natively installed applications can now enjoy the benefits of easy and flexible deployment using Server App-V and VMM Service Templates.

Applicability

The traditional sequencing process may not always be an option in your environment. For example, you may not have the application’s installer or the application’s installation and configuration requirements. Virtualizing an application provides numerous deployment advantages and the tool is a great facility to achieve this especially if any of the following scenarios apply:

  1. You need to deploy an application to a newer version of Windows Server
    • Note: Using this tool does not guarantee that your application will work with a newer version of Windows Server
  2. You need to migrate an application from physical server a to a virtual machine
  3. You want to leverage VMM Service Templates to deploy a select number of application workloads

Enter the Server App-V Remote Application Packager.

How It Works

Determining Candidate Applications

The first phase the tool performs is determining the applications that are candidates for packaging. Most applications make entries in the registry that allow the tool to generate a list of the applications installed on the remote machine. After that, the following criteria are applied:

  1. Is the application’s installer MSI based?
  2. Is it present on the Sequencing machine?
  3. Is it installed machine wide and not for a specific user?

If the criteria are satisfied, the application is presented as a candidate application for packaging.

Packaging Selected Applications

The remote application packager uses a variety of techniques to gather information from the remote machine.  Most of the information is gathered using built-in remote management capabilities such as WMI, remote registry, remote SCM and administrative shares. The exception is IIS content which relies on the web deployment tool (the tool needs to be installed on both machines).

There are 3 steps performed:

  1. Create an application model – determine the application’s components (files, IIS sites, registry entries etc.)
  2. Optimize the application model – perform additional logic to ensure that everything related to the application is included in the model and can allow us to move the components in an efficient manner
  3. Copy the application to the sequencing machine – get the components from machine A to B via copy
Note: Your Sequencing OS must match the remote machine OS.

Supported Scenarios

  • Server App-V Sequencer SP1 (build 4.9.37.2003)
  • MSI based installers
  • The following Windows components:
    • Windows services
    • Registry
    • File systems
    • IIS
    • Environment variables

The tool is available here. We hope you try it and let us know if you have any questions or issues.

Derrick Isoka - Program Manager, Server Application Virtualization