App-V 5, Config Manager 2012 and Virtual Environments

Quick bit of history. In App-V 4.x we had something called Dynamic Suite Composition to link the independent apps. With Config Manager 2012 and App-V 5, we have something called a Virtual Environment. I had a wee bit of bother getting it work properly the first time. I ended up pushing out a Virtual Environment to all Cluster PCs without being able to control it.

I Originally did it like this:



I couldn’t quite work out why I had a Virtual Environment name (in this instance Unity) AND a name again for the “container” of the two apps in the VE (in this instance Firefox Browser). Turns out, I had created a Virtual Environment, and setup a rule which said deploy the Virtual Environment *IF* Firefox or Unity are present. Not good, and hence why my original efforts resulted in the VE going everywhere! I had got things a bit muddled.

That said, I felt the TechNet “guide” was about as useful as a chocolate fireguard. Check it out here. I mean come on… cursory at best. I started off:

Bring the metaphysical pain.

Bring the metaphysical pain.

…but then after reading the five or so throwaway lines, it always ends up as:

Oh Rage Face. Pure win.

Oh Rage Face. Pure win.

Anyway. I had a requirement to deploy a browser plugin called Unity; I thought I’d bump it into Firefox and use the Virtual Environment (VE) approach. I did not want to further bulk out the Firefox package with yet another add-on. Then I had a lovely eureka moment and it twigged. I set the VE up as follows:



The name of the VE is Unity, and each “container” now has the relevant app. Plus I can now use an *AND* relationship. So I am saying roll out the VE if Firefox *and* Unity are present.

Much better!

The below PowerShell screenshot sows that even with Unity offered and Firefox installed, the VE is not present!


So I expanded the concept, and added Chrome to the “browser container”. It worked fine!

Steady now.

Steady now.

I was surprised by this as I packaged Unity with only Firefox expanded to the local system. I would’ve thought I’d also need to expand Chrome to capture any file changes needed for Chrome. I guess the app is clever enough to get by!

The below screenshots show Unity working in Firefox.



This has to be the most annoying game I've come across. GTFO.

This has to be the most annoying game I’ve come across. GTFO.

Anyway, that was a brief blurb about VEs. The next time I package Firefox, for one of the damn near bi-monthly updates, I’ll strip out tings like Authorware and Scorch, and try those as bonafide separate App-V packages!


Flame on xD

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