App-V 5 and Office 2013 – Part 3: Packaging

In Part 3 of our App-V 5 guide, we will setup and configure our Sequencer. Then, we will package Office 2013 for deployment and perform first start optimization.

Joseph MoodyMVP By Joseph Moody - Fri, March 1, 2013 - 6 comments google+ icon

Joseph Moody is an admin for a public school and helps manage 5,500 PCs. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in Software Packaging, Distribution, and Servicing. He blogs at DeployHappiness.com.

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App-V 5 and Office 2013

Sequencing applications is where you can really start seeing the power of App-V. The App-V Sequencer is an incredibly robust process that is capable of packaging pretty much anything that you throw at it. Before we can tackle our Office 2013 package, we need to get our sequencing machine ready though!

Best practices for your master machine

Starting off with a properly configured machine will help ensure that you have clean packages and less trouble testing. In our environment, we used a Windows 8 Enterprise machine that was fully updated. If your environment has multiple OS versions, you should sequence on the lowest OS version that you support. Be sure to include service packs in this calculation (for example, package on a vanilla Windows 7 machine if you don’t have SP1 installed on all computers). This will allow for most virtualized applications to be used universally.

If your organization has multiple OS architectures, you should also sequence on an X86 machine. Packages created on an X86 machine will work on both OS architecture types.

Once your machine is setup and patched appropriately, we will need to turn off unneeded or updating services. Disable Windows Search and Windows Defender as a start. If you have any custom monitoring or antivirus services, disable those as well.

Start the App-V sequencer setup now. Continue past the EULA and CEIP screen until the installation starts.

 

App-V Sequencer Setup Wizard

App-V Sequencer Setup Wizard

Once the sequencer has installed, take a snapshot before continuing. This will be your baseline for all future applications.

Packaging Office 2013

The App-V sequencing wizard does an excellent job of walking you through the entire packaging process. Once the wizard has started, you will be prompted on the package creation method. Because we do not have a package accelerator, accept the default action of a basic package.

Packaing Method

A package accelerator allows for applications to be created automatically based on setup files.

On the Prepare Computer page, the wizard will compare your computer against the recommend settings for a sequencing machine. If your machine does not pass this comparison, remediation actions will be suggested.

A Sequencing machine not correctly setup

A Sequencing machine not correctly setup.

App-V 5 supports three different types of applications and will create customized packages for each type. Because we are packaging Office 2013, we will choose a standard application. If desired, you can also use App-V to package add-ons/plugins as well as middleware for standard applications.

Package Type Selection

Package Type Selection

Next, locate the setup file and specify it as your installer. Name your package and enter the primary virtual application directory. This entry is now required because of the new App-V 5 format and storage locations. The primary virtual application directory should be the same directory as the installation path of the application.

Naming and setting the Package Directory

Naming and setting the Package Directory

Before continuing, take one more snapshot and name it Office 2013. This will allow you to roll back to your already configured wizard. If you need to make any changes or repackage Office, this will save you time! When the wizard prompts, install your application and configure any components. You should launch any used application several times to ensure all customization has completed.

After this, you will receive an installation report. This report lists any potential problems found with your application and possible remedies to those issues.

Installation Report

Installation Report

As an example, Office installs a print driver. This driver is incompatible within the App-V package. However, I can install the driver outside of the package to achieve that desired functionality.

Before finishing the creation process, we are going to do a bit of customization. While we would normally stop the wizard at this point (and allow it to create the package), we will want Office to be as optimized as possible.

On the streaming page, launch each commonly used application and perform traditional first run or immediate tasks. The process allows the App-V wizard to capture and block components that would be instantly needed by a client while allowing the rest to be downloaded as needed.

Prepare for Streaming

Prepare for Streaming

In the customization process, you can also add OS and architecture restrictions. Because I prefer to do this with other tools (such as Group Policy), I will allow the Office 2013 application to remain unrestricted.

Finally, create your package and save it. Office 2013 has been officially packaged up! In our next (and last article for this series), we will configure the App-V client and test out our virtualized version of Office 2013.

Series NavigationApp-V 5 and Office 2013 – Part 2: Component installation - App-V 5 and Office 2013 – Part 4: Deployment

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6 Comments- Leave a Reply

  1. Aaron says:

    Be aware that sequencing Office 2013 with App-V 5 in this manner is unsupported: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2772509/

  2. Joseph Moody says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Thank you for the great link! It looks like a new one (revised on 02/25).

    I think it is pretty cool how Microsoft incorporate the streaming portions of APP-V into Office365 ProPlus.

  3. Greg says:

    So is Office 2013 the same as Office 365 Click-to-run? Otherwise I can’t see anything on that page which references Office 2013!

  4. Joseph says:

    Hi Greg,

    That article has received some negative feedback about being confusing.

    Here is what is currently being said: Volume Licensed Office 2013 products do not support click to run.

    However, Microsoft released APP-5 packages for Office 2013 (Preview) that were KMS activated.

    You can read more here:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624360.aspx

    Here are the preview packages:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30423

    I hope this clears it up (and I hope Microsoft will do the right thing and support volume licenses in the same way as subscription).

    Joseph

  5. Kiran says:

    Can we sequence Office 2013 in app v4.6sp1 ??? if so how can it be done for activating the product through KMS server.

  6. Joseph says:

    Microsoft doesn’t support Office 2013 with appv 4. :(

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