Wednesday 28 October 2009

Top 5x5x5 Microsoft App-V Issues

This is going to be a 3-part blog focusing on the some of the application compatibility challenges in getting applications to work on the Microsoft App-V virtualization platform.

The three parts of this rather large blog post will include the following analysis;

  1. The Top-5 application "pure" App-V compatibility issues
  2. The Top-5 application compatibility issues for App-V on Windows 7 clients
  3. The top-5 App-V 4.1 to 4.5 migration issues

There is a lot of analysis going on within ChangeBase with over 5,400 applications in a number of formats in this particular analysis sample. 

As part of this compatibility review we are analysing the following application file formats;

  • Microsoft Setup Executables (EXE's)
  • WinInstall Setup Files
  • Installshield Installation packages (EXE and ISS)
  • Wise Installation packages (WSI, WSE and EXE)
  • MSI Application packages (MSI, MST, MSP)
  • Microsoft App-V files (SFT )

As part of this analysis, we  loaded over 5000 applications into our AOK tool-set and run a number of our Microsoft App-V compatibility reports.

I filtered out the results somewhat and have included the TOP-5 application compatibility issues that we generally experience when packaging or sequencing (the packaging methodology for App-V)  for the App-V platform.

And, here are the results;

Top 5 App-V Compatibility Issues

Note: This distilled report was tuned for the App-V 4.2 deployment environment. Not the most recent release (4.5 CU1 with all public hot fixes). I will generate second table for 4.5  CU1 and 4.6 BETA in the third part of the blog posting.

To give a brief explanation of some of the results I have included some brief descriptions of the reports that were run against this portfolio of over 5000 application packages and installation routines;

No Shortcut Check
This AOK Plugin analyses each selected and loaded application to ensure that each application package contains at least one shortcut. This is required as part of the compatibility requirements for some Virtualised environments.

Non Supported Reboot Requirements
This AOK report analyses each loaded and selected application to identify if a reboot is required. As part of the application packaging process, some applications may require a reboot of the installation machine. Due to the nature of the virtualised environment installation process, some elements of the reboot process may not be captured and under some conditions the process may fail completely.

Hard Coded References Scan
This AOK Plugin analyses each loaded and selected application package for hard coded values of folder paths.

Non Supported Drivers
Due to the nature of the App-V Installation process drivers are not able to be installed in the application bubble. These drivers may also cause application installation and functionality issues for both Citrix and Terminal Services as they rely on Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 server environments.

Non Supported Service Installations
Due to the nature of virtualization technologies, access to the local machine environment is not always viable or available. Machine level services require full access to the machine and may require access to pre-boot operating level services.

If you are wondering about the title, my 5x5x5 view of the world takes into account;

  • App-V Virtualization technologies
  • Microsoft Windows 7 application compatibility issues
  • App-V 4.x to 5.4 migration issues

The next stage of this report should be available in the next few days....

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