Sequencing application is a creation process where you create packages that can be delivered to the end user. The App-V sequencer monitors the installation process for an application and records all necessary files , services and registry settings needed for that application to run in a virtual environment. With Application Virtualization you can’t virtualize all your applications so make sure before you start you know what the applications will do. Keep the 80 – 20 rule in mind.
Any application or service which is installing boot or device drivers can’t be sequenced. Some applications can be made as virtual packages as long as the host operating system has the dependencies fulfilled outside the App-V virtual environment. For example a USB print driver is available locally and a scanning application is sequenced with App-V sequencer. The virtual application running in it’s isolated environment and depending on available services running on the host.
Sequencer machine configuration
The whole chain of application virtualization starts at the beginning. For every package we sequence we need to put all our efforts we can to make sure the quality of the package is good as we can make it. Make sure you have an internal process how sequencing should be done and describe that process in a procedure. If you are not in the office the process should continue.
The following list can help you before you start to create the package:
- Sequence on a machine that matches with your clients which will run the virtual package. Make sure the sequence machine is identical to the production machine. Same OS, Patch level and core applications!
- Physical or virtual machine? It depends on your applications and environment. I would prefer to do it with Hyper-V virtual machines but sometimes when we have host dependencies we need to sequence on a physical machine.
- Add additional hard disk or create a virtual disk to Q:\ drive
- Shutdown programs and services. E.g. virus scanning, windows search, windows update, defender, sccm client, etc.
- Create step-by-step a recipe for the application. Before you start make sure you have all information, binaries and configuration files from the application owner/requester.
- Familiarize yourself with the installation before you start with sequencing!
- In Windows Explorer – Folder Options enable “Show Hidden Files, folders and drives”, show “Protected operating system files” and “Launch folder windows in a separate process”. This helps you to see what is being hidden after the application is doing after the install.
- Make sure the installation files are extracted before you run the installation. Sequencer is capturing all interactions during the monitoring process.
- Never start App-V Sequencer before you start! After you installed Sequencer make sure it won’t start. Having Sequencer opened and creating a snapshot to revert back will generate same GUID for the package.
- Create a 8.3 directory name. E.g. Q:\MSWORD.v01
- Start App-V Sequencer and follow the wizard to create virtual package .
- Make sure for consistent naming on the package. E.g. Microsoft_Word_2010-MNT
MNT = mounted on Q:\ drive. If you can change the destination folder
VFS = virtual file systems. If the application is installed on C:\ drive without an option to change that
- Run the setup. If possible choose custom installation. Make sure to install all required components.
- Locate the executable and run that. Configure all application settings. E.g. disable auto update. Exit the application and run it for couple time more.
- Stop monitoring and check the Q:\MSWORD.v01\VFS folders. Microsoft installations create C:\MSOCache where all installation binaries are stored. Start the monitoring wizard again and move the content of the MSOCache folder to a library. Doing this the package size of Microsoft virtual packages will become smaller.
- Delete or add applications which you want to publish to the user. Most of the time you don’t need Notepad or Internet Explorer or any other application seen by the Sequencer. Know your application.
- Save the application and use the same name as you give it in the beginning. Also make sure you use folder structure for the Content file share on the server.