This series will walk through the setup of an APP-V 5 environment including server configuration, client deployment, and the sequencing of Office 2013.
Contents of this article

It seems that Microsoft released a new or updated product every week in 2012. App-V 5, released in November as part of the MDOP Update, provided a completely overhauled and streamlined way to manage applications.

App-V allows an administrator to decouple the application from the operating system. This process allows for the instant deployment of an application, easy application upgrading (without client restarts), and seamless application access control/monitoring.

Seeing App-V in practice is a lot more impressive than reading about it. Over the next four posts, we will walk through setting of App-V 5 in a new environment and package Office 2013 for instant application deployment.

App-V components ^

Out of all of the MDOP components, App-V has always seemed the most daunting to me simply because of the amount of material provided and the number of required components. As a whole, App-V can be divided into four technologies: Server, Database, Sequencer, and Client.

APP-V components

App-V components

The Server technologies consist of three roles that can be installed on a single server or delegated to individual servers. The App-V server roles are: Management Server, Publishing Server, and Reporting Server. These roles can be installed on a single server or divided out.

A full implementation of App-V will also have two databases. One database is required for the Management Server and the other database is used for Reporting Server.

The Sequencer component allows for the packaging of software and modification of App-V packages. It is normally installed on a standalone virtual machine (and is setup similar to a UE-V Generator machine).

The final component is the App-V client. This client communicates with the management server to retrieve and publish applications. The App-V client is also tracks Registry and file changes made within a virtual application for each specific user.

Requirements ^

If you do not currently have a test domain, go ahead and set one up! For guidance on setting up a test lab, see:

Your lab does not need to be elaborate and can consist of a single domain. In total, you will need 5 VMs. Using dynamic memory, I had no issues with 5 VMs on a Dell OptiPlex 380. The table below provides a breakdown of each VM. For all VMs, the minimum hardware requirements are assumed. Each VM is fully patched and joined to the lab domain.

Machine NameOperating SystemRoles/FeaturesApp-V ComponentSoftware
DC-01Windows Server 2012 StandardAD Domain Services, DHCPNo App-V ComponentNo Additional Software
App-VWindows Server 2012 StandardWeb Server (IIS) static content, default document, ASP.NET, .NET Extensibility, ISAPI Extensions, ISAPI Filters, Windows Authentication, Request Filtering, IIS Management Console.Net Framework 3.5Management ServerPublishing ServerReporting ServerMicrosoft Visual C++ 2010 SP1 Redistributable Package (x64)Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)
SQL-01Windows Server 2012 StandardNo Additional Roles/FeaturesManagement Server DatabaseReporting Server DatabaseSQL Server 2012 Standard with just the Database Engine Services and Management Tools installed.
IT-01Windows 8 Enterprise (x64)No Additional Roles/FeaturesSequencerNo Additional Software
IT-02Windows 8 Enterprise (x64)No Additional Roles/FeaturesClientClient will install additional software

If you choose to use Server 2008 R2/Windows 7, you will need to install Microsoft Windows .NET Framework 4 (Full Package), Windows PowerShell 3.0 , and KB2533623.

After all of your VMs are setup and patched, take a snapshot of each machine. In my next post, we will setup the App-V server components and the SQL side. Finally, if you do not have access to MDOP 2012 yet (or the App-V 5 Beta), you can follow along by using the TechNet Virtual Lab for App-V 5.

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6 Comments
  1. Chris 9 years ago

    Love your articles Joseph, thanks for these. Question.....is Windows 8 Enterprise necessary? Can I get by with Win 8 Pro? Also, 32bit?

    +1

  2. Joseph 9 years ago

    Thank you Chris!

    If you are going to use features like Windows to Go, AppLocker, or DirectAccess - you must have Windows 8 enterprise.

    The fact that AppLocker isn't a part of Windows 8 Pro makes our environment use Enterprise.

    I would recommend 64 bit if at all possible. As Microsoft moves the client to 64 bit, you will already be ahead of the game if your environment is set up that way.

    +1

  3. David 9 years ago

    Joseph,

    I walked through the steps as you outlined but I get errors upon launching any of the office apps due to licensing. Is a KMS server necessary? Is there a way to get it to work with MAK licensing? No licensing info was given as far as I can tell in the article.

    Thanks,

    Dave

    +1

  4. Joseph 9 years ago

    Hi Dave,

    After this article was published, Microsoft released a Fast Published explanation of APP-V 5 with Office 2013.

    You can read that article here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2772509

    The supported licensing scenarios (currently) are Office Subscription only.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
    Joseph

    +1

  5. Tamir 9 years ago

    Hi Joseph. thanks for this great article!
    I was wondering about your post + lab environment + the KB Microsoft has released.
    from what I see in the documentation - the only supported method for Office 2013 in App-V is with the Deployment Tool Click-To-Run. which means that sequencing it manually to an .appv file is not fully supported.
    1. what can you tell me about this? I haven't try to sequence the full Office 2013 version for enterprise. just want to know if it's not a waste of time and what do I lose if I do it? (no activation problem?)
    2. I saw that the click-to-run version is supported for Office 365 subscription only. from your knowledge - does that mean there's no supported solution for enterprise organization with a VL?
    3. I tried to create a package for Visio 2013 with the click-to-run tool just for the record. I tried to download the sources and package it from 2 complete different environments. in both of them when I tried to load the package to the client (via App-V server and via standalone powershell) - it hanged for a very long time and didn't import the package with an error message I'm sure everyone else got. did you ever got a chance to deal with it?
    thanks in advance
    Tamir

    +1

  6. Joseph 9 years ago

    Hi Tamir,

    Thank you very much!

    As of right now - the only supported way is through the Click To Run tool (which pretty much sucks).

    In a production environment (at least right now), I wouldn't try sequencing it the same way as Office 2010.

    From everything that I've seen, Microsoft is pushing people to their subscription model and are not supporting volume licensing.

    Thank you,
    Joseph

    +1

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