Wednesday 8 December 2010

Microsoft App-V: COM+ Support

With the impending release of Microsoft's application virtualization product App-V 4.6 Service Pack 1, there have been a number of questions from our clients, partners and my colleagues about COM+ support for App-V.

At present, Microsoft App-V suffers application compatibility issues with COM+ components. As quoted by  J.C. Hornbeck (Manageability Knowledge Engineer) in a MSDN social/forum posting;

"The problem with COM+ is that it's dynamic - it happens at runtime. Because of that there's no way for the current sequencer to capture this information in a ‘static’ form within a package.  COM and DCOM by contrast are recorded in component services and are static."

As you can see from this rather succinct explanation, the problem with COM+ lies in the capturing process or using Microsoft's terms; the App-V sequencing process. If this sequencing process of building up the required files, shortcuts and  registry settings misses specific required settings during installation, configuration and then initial loading, then the application is likely not behave as expected.

And, unless there is a significant change to App-V's architecture in 4.6 SP1, then we will not see support for COM+ applications.

All this said, some COM+ components, depending on how they were crafted and then utilized your COM+ may (and we do mean may) work.

I think the best course of action here is to identify COM+ applications PRIOR to the sequencing process.

Once an application has been identified as having a COM+ component, test the application with the following App-V setting "Local Interaction Allowed" included in your OSD XML file.


Here is a great of explanation of App-V on Wikipedia (someone did a good job here)

1 comment:

Nack said...

I just had a 4.6 class and asked the customer (which were quite large in terms of number of applications) - which applications uses COM+?

Unfortunately they had never identified one and even though trying quite a few of their non-common (such as adobe / autodesk / microsoft) applications we didn't hit one.

Is this really such a big-problem in reality? Any examples?