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In my opinion, the App-V client is the central component in the App-V architecture. After all, the client seamlessly transitions users from physical to virtual to environments and back again. Staying in step with Microsoft’s Modern interface, the App-V 5 client is designed with important information and actions at the center. On top of that, actions made in the App-V client have corresponding PowerShell cmdlets. These commands are displayed in the client for any administrative use such as the automation of updates or resolving issues.
The App-V 5 Client
Like most of the other MDOP components, the App-V client can be deployed in a variety of ways. The simplest is a manual install. You could also use an installation script. The last deployment method is with an MSI; this is always my preferred way. If using the script or MSI, you can use Group Policy, MDT, or SCCM as your distribution method. Because Group Policy Software Installation is universally available, we are going to use it.
Extract the App-V 5.0 client folder to a network share. Be sure to include the correct language packs (or copy the entire langpacks folder for ease).
The App-V 5.0 Client Components
If you haven’t installed the MDOP Administrative templates, do so now. They can be downloaded here. If your organization is not running a central store for Group Policy, now is a great time to set one up!
Create a new Group Policy Object and name it App-V Client. Edit the GPO and open the Software Installation Node. First, assign the appropriate App-V 5 client MSI to your GPO. This will depend on your supported OS architecture. Next, add a second MSI to this GPO that is linked to the correct language pack for your organization.
The client MSIs assigned in our GPO
Our App-V client software is setup, now let’s configure it. Within this same GPO, expand Administrative Templates/System/App-V.
The App-V ADMX categories
Select CEIP and enable the Customer Experience Improvement Program automatically for any App-V clients. Next, select Publishing and expand Publishing Server 1 Settings. Enter your Publishing Server name and server URL (with the defined port). Next, configure any global publishing refresh options. For reference, the screenshot below can be used for a general configuration.
Publishing Server Settings
Lastly, open the Reporting container and edit the Reporting Server setting. Enter your reporting server URL. Because all server components for this setup were installed on the same VM, our URLs are the same (except for the specific website port). Configure the reporting time, upload time, and any delay. If you are interested in testing the reporting features, set this time to 1 minute with no delay.
Reporting Server Settings
Our GPO is completely setup; link and scope it to a group of computers. Restart so the client can install the client.
Once the App-V client has installed, log into a computer and launch the client. See any published applications? Hopefully not! As our last action, we must link a client to a virtualized application.
On your Publishing Server, open the management URL (remember - the one you added to your Favorites in Part 2 of this series). Select the Packages icon on the left (second icon down) and then Add Packages. Enter the full UNC path to your .APPV package that you created in Part 3 and press Add.
Right click on your newly added package and Publish it.
Our Microsoft Office 2013 package is now published!
Finally, right click on your application and choose Edit Active Directory Access. Because every user will likely use Microsoft Office, we will publish it to Domain Users.
Because we are an impatient lot, let’s update our client and look at our Virtual Apps. Voilà! Microsoft Office is listed! Check out your Start Screen and you’ll also see your published application!
Office 2013 on the App-V Start Screen
Instead of spending time in imaging or during a startup, your users can stream Office in less than a minute (and have instant access after that)! As an administrator, you can gain invaluable insight into how Office is used (when you use the reporting features). As the best feature of all, you can instantly roll up to Office 2015 (or uninstall Office 2013) in a single stroke! Application management at its finest!