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Sequence Like a Boss - BriForum 2015 Denver

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Presented By- Ryan Will and Drew Walz
In the continuation of the popular Sequencing for Success series, learn how to sequence like a boss. Just because an application doesn't work at first pass, it doesn't mean it can't be virtualized. In this session, discover how shims and symbolic links can improve application compatibility. Learn how to identify the files and folders that need them. Find out how to use the same tools to troubleshoot application errors once an application has been virtualized.

Session Takeaway: Because there are still many applications that have issues being virtualized, you will learn techniques that offer a second look at an application previously thought of as unable to be sequenced. Knock a new App-V project out of the park!

Published in: Technology
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Sequence Like a Boss - BriForum 2015 Denver

  1. 1. Ryan Will and Drew Walz
  2. 2. Bio: Ryan Will  Eight years in the industry  Seventh year of working with App-V  Systems Architect II at nGenX  Fourth BriForum, Second year speaking  Blog: www.RyanWill.com Twitter: @RyanWilldotcom Email: Ryan@RyanWill.com
  3. 3. Drew Walz: Bio  Beating on windows apps in Terminal server/RDSH scenarios since 2002  Director of Systems Architecture for nGenx Corporation  Started my IT career providing dial-up internet tech support. Twitter: @drew_walz Email: drew.walz@ngenx.com
  4. 4. Agenda Sequencer build Client build •Demos Troubleshoot application errors •Scripts •Symbolic links •Shims Sequence once, Reuse many times •Demo Identifying files/folders Application printers Amyuni Print Drivers & App-V Recommended tools & resources
  5. 5. Start with a solid foundation < Not a solid foundation
  6. 6. Sequencer build  Use a Virtual Machine  Snapshots  Roll back to clean between sequences  Use multiple snapshots for different scenarios  Power off VM before creating - http://www.tmurgent.com/TmBlog/?p=1311
  7. 7. Sequencer build Keep as clean as possible
  8. 8. Sequencer build  Run Windows update  Keep updates in sync with your client build  Prerequisites and Windows Updates  Test prerequisite updates  Disable UAC and System Protection  Domain joined  Run empty sequence. Compare to domain and non-domain  http://ryanwill.com/app-v-5-sequencer-reboot-error/  Can break domain machine trust after 30 days  No anti-virus
  9. 9. Client build  Keep updates in sync with the sequencer  Windows updates  Prerequisites  Install non-virtualized pre-requisites  Set anti-virus exclusions  Client version should be the same or higher  Backwards compatible  Have at least one VM with snapshots for testing.  The more the better.
  10. 10. Troubleshooting app errors
  11. 11. What happened?
  12. 12. Troubleshoot app errors App Prerequisites  Make sure the prerequisites exist… somewhere  Are they on the client machine?  Are they in the App-V package?  If they are not virtualized, make sure they are on the client  App-V 5.0 SP2 + will capture Visual C++ Runtimes
  13. 13. Troubleshoot app errors Next steps  Enable/Disable local interaction  Enable for Office add-ins  Allow VFS write access  Run ProcMon and check for  Access denied  Missing files/folders  Check sequencer exclusions  Tools, Options, Exclusion Options  Test on a clean client in standalone mode  http://bit.ly/1CBeUTD - http://virtualvibes.co.uk
  14. 14. Troubleshoot app errors Check the client logs Event Viewer – Applications & ServicesMicrosoftAppVClient ViewShow Analytic and debug logs  Check the client logs when  AppV package won’t launch  Unusual application crash/errors  Download AppV_Manage  http://www.tmurgent.com/appv  Check the local app/system logs
  15. 15. Troubleshoot app errors Check the sequencer logs Event Viewer - Applications & ServicesMicrosoftAppVSequencer ViewShow Analytic and debug logs  Check sequencer logs when  Application packaging fails  Crashes while sequencing an application • Not much help when a packaged application crashes on a client
  16. 16. Demo #1- App launch error  Demo Removed
  17. 17. Demo #2- App error and crash  Demo Removed
  18. 18. Sequence once, Reuse many times Scripting Symbolic links Shims
  19. 19. Scripts
  20. 20. Scripts  Use what you know  VBS, PowerShell, Batch Script (CMD)  Copy files to/from the VE  Licensing  Use a script to copy license files containing different keys  Some vendors have site media  Files/Folders  INIs  Templates  Registry changes  Custom registry keys for a specific user/department
  21. 21. Symbolic links A file-system object that points to another file system object. Can be a file or folder Created via command line No separate installation needed No scripting knowledge required
  22. 22. Symbolic links • MKLINK Command: • /D – For a directory • Leave blank for a file Parameters:
  23. 23. Using Symlinks with AppV  May require modifying the AppV package Demonstration BriForum 2014 – Sequencing for Success http://ryanwill.com/?p=287
  24. 24. Shims Created via Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) A shim is a small library that transparently intercepts an API and changes the arguments passed, handles the operation itself, or redirects the operation elsewhere - Wikipedia
  25. 25. Shims  Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?linkid=205020  Blogged: Creating shims  http://ryanwill.com/?p=273  Demonstration BriForum 2014 –  Sequencing for Success http://ryanwill.com/?p=287
  26. 26. Symlinks & Shims - Advantages  Good for a large quantity of data  Avoid launch delays due to file copy  Store files/folders outside of the Virtual Environment  App stores data in Program Data, Program Files, etc.  Allow data to persist between package GUIDs  When you can’t use scripts  Company policy may limit scripting abilities  Haven’t upgraded to AppV 5 SP2 HF4 +  Work around VFS write access
  27. 27. Identify where an app writes data
  28. 28. Identifying files/folders Tools  ProcessActivityView  Monitor a single process for files read, modified, and deleted  Can detect a missing file if the app tries to access it  ProcMon  Can be overwhelming  Great if you’re having trouble finding to where an application writes data  WinMerge  Great for comparing differences between text files and directories
  29. 29. Identifying files/folders Recommended steps to monitor an application  Use a test VM that you can roll back to clean  Install application natively  Configure the software  Get as close to live deployment as possible  Take snapshots of your VM (timesaver if you need to start over)  Prepare monitoring tools  Start application and get to the data change point  Start monitoring tool(s)  Make changes in application and wait  Stop monitoring tool(s) and look for your changes
  30. 30. Demo #3 – How to locate where an app writes data  Demo Removed
  31. 31. Application Printers
  32. 32. Application printers  Typically a PDF converter  Must be installed separately on the client machine  Occasionally locked down to app specific use  Can be hard to track down separate installers  Adobe Acrobat: Adobe PDF Converter  No separate install released by Adobe for Acrobat users  A PDF Creator Add-on is packaged with other Adobe software  Works with Acrobat Sequences  Adobe PDF Pack Desktop Printer  Untested with Acrobat. Subscription pricing - probably not worth it.
  33. 33. Application printers Printer installation media  Search the install media  Look for an MSI or EXE  Check TEMP directory during installation  %Temp%  Extract MSI, check for separate installer
  34. 34. Application printers Printer installation media  Contact software vendor for standalone install method  Vendor: “Just install the software. We don’t support separate installs”  Contact print driver vendor for standalone install method  Vendor: “Sure we’ll give it to you if you buy a license from us”  Modify MSI to only install print driver  Capture printer install with MSI packager  Advanced Installer, EMCO  Very messy
  35. 35. Amyuni Printer Drivers & AppV  Abila, Intuit, Sage, Vertafore, etc.  Amyuni Document Converter Driver  Printing restricted to the app it came with  Look in Program Files for the installer or extract the MSI  License key stored clear text in HKLM  RDS Hosts – Delete from the AppV package  HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetHardware ProfilesCurrentSoftware  Alternate Registry Editor location - HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG  Must be accessible and shared between users  Make sure users have modify access to the printer key  Will be created on the local system with printer install
  36. 36. Locating print drivers Amyuni – Program Files
  37. 37. Locating print drivers Amyuni - Install.ini
  38. 38. Locating print drivers Amyuni HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetHardware ProfilesCurrentSoftware<PrinterName> Grab the Code and License
  39. 39. Locating print drivers Amyuni  Command line to install:  Install.exe -s "Printer Name" -n "License" -c "RealLongCode-SeriouslyWhyDoesThisNeedToBeSoLong“
  40. 40. Recommended tools & resources  Process Monitor  ProcessActivityView  EMCO - MSI Package Builder  Advanced Installer  InstEd MSI Editor  RegFromApp  TechNet App-V Forums  https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/appvirtualization/en- US/home?category=appvirtualization  RyanWill.com – App-V articles and links to other great blogs  RyanWill.com/blog-list/ - Links to great blogs
  41. 41. Hopefully now you can say… Any Questions?

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