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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Microsoft App-V 5.0 and UE-V (User Experience Virtualization) Public Betas Released in Technical; ...
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    Microsoft App-V 5.0 and UE-V (User Experience Virtualization) Public Betas Released

    Click the links below for more details or to download the betas. Both look very impressive.

    Download: App-V 5.0 / UE-V

    Introducing User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) and App-V 5.0 « Windows for your Business Blog
    Today, I’m excited to share two announcements: first, I’d like to welcome a new product to Microsoft’s Desktop Virtualization family – User Experience Virtualization (UE-V). And secondly, we’re announcing that our flagship application virtualization product is being updated to its next major version – Application Virtualization 5.0 (App-V 5.0).

    The public betas for both products are available for download today, UE-V and App-V 5.0, and when fully completed, they will ship as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). As a quick overview, UE-V is a user state virtualization product that allows individuals to change devices without reconfiguring applications or settings in Windows 7 or Windows 8. And the newest version of App-V gives IT a more powerful solution to deliver virtually any application, anywhere for a more flexible, integrated and powerful experience across virtualized applications.

    [...]

    With App-V 5.0, virtual applications work more like traditionally installed applications than ever before thanks to deeper platform integration. App-V 5.0 continues to leverage Windows standards to bring a consistent virtual application experience to the user while giving IT the best of both worlds - the ability to provide isolation from other applications, reducing conflicts and time spent regression testing, and the flexibility to enable connected applications that require a high level of communication to enjoy full interaction.

    App-V 5.0 is designed to be easy and efficient to use in VDI environments, allowing IT to make the best use of expensive disk resources without changing the way they get their jobs done. The way this works is simple: App-V 5.0 allows applications to be stored and managed centrally and streamed to users on-demand. Most of the time, when IT sends an App-V application to a user’s device, the device stores a copy of the application for use offline. This lets the user stay productive while disconnected. Think for a moment about VDI, in this scenario there is no disconnected use – the servers providing VDI to users are in the datacenter. For this use-case, App-V 5.0 Beta lets IT simply choose to turn off local application storage, dramatically reducing disk requirements for VDI while leaving the application provisioning and update process unchanged.

    Also new in App-V 5.0 is the web-based management interface based on Silverlight. This allows IT to deploy, track and service virtual applications without being tied to an installed management console.

    Finally, App-V 5.0 Beta supports Windows 7 and Windows 8, including support for features like seamlessly streaming applications and their updates over Direct Access, integrating with Windows To Go for mobility, or protecting against unauthorized applications with AppLocker. (Source)
    What’s different?
    As mentioned, a lot. But here are the highlights in short which are most interesting for you:

    • The management/streaming server is still there!
    • RTSP is gone. SMB and HTTP(s) streaming only. Which is fine by me. I liked HTTP streaming more anyway.
    • New management console for management server, no longer MMC snap-in. Now purely based on Silverlight.
    • No more “Q:” drive, you will be able to just see the files on disk from the outside.
    • Completely revamped client (Metro style), programmable using PowerShell.
    • The Sequencer is pretty much the same as 4.6 SP1
    • And last but not least the package format SFT is gone, and so are the OSD and ICO files. Everything will be stored in a new .APPV file format.
    • The .APPV file is actually a much more open format then the “old” .SFT file. If you rename it to .ZIP, you will see I’m not saying it’s a ZIP file BTW.

    The most important thing to realise is that you existing packages will not simply work on App-V 5.0, they will all have to be converted to a completely new format and they will run in a different/changed type of virtualization as you have seen so far with previous versions of App-V. App-V 5.0 already provides package converting tools, so my advice would actually be to focus most of your testing on your existing sequences! (Source)



    Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V): Facts and Review « Helge Klein
    16 years after roaming profiles made their debut in Windows NT 4.0 Microsoft takes another stab at synchronizing user settings across devices – a very different one. As we will see, UE-V is radically different from roaming profiles, but so similar to some other user environment management products that it seems like a best-practices implementation.

    Overview
    User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) will be part of MDOP. It manages user settings only, not data files. Microsoft wants you to use their Folder Redirection and Offline Files technologies for data.

    Templates
    In contrast to roaming profiles, where everything roams by default (with the exception of a single directory, AppData\Local), with UE-V nothing roams unless specifically included in so-called templates.

    [...]

    Conclusion
    UE-V is late to the party, very late. In the terminal server world, where profile issues have been pressing for more than a decade due to the statelessness of the servers and the tendency to use multiple concurrent sessions per user, an entire ecosystem has evolved over the years with different vendors that each offer their own variant of settings synchronization and profile management. That is about to end.

    Citrix started the consolidation in the profile management space when they bought sepagoPROFILE (which I architected) in 2008. VMware followed in 2010 with the acquisition of RTO Software. Another 2 years later Microsoft unveils UE-V.

    Now that profile management is baked into the OS and available from Citrix and VMware for their respective platforms it will be next to impossible for most vendors to survive. As always in such cases this is mostly good for the customer, who gets a product that is good enough for most scenarios, but bad for ISVs.

    The thing that is missing most, application templates, can easily be provided by Microsoft’s vast community. If Microsoft does not do it, someone else will set up a template sharing site with user ratings and community reviews (hint, hint). (Source)
    Last edited by Arthur; 6th April 2012 at 01:38 AM.

  2. Thanks to Arthur from:

    ChrisH (6th April 2012)

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    Just in case anyone needs it, here's a script that will convert old App-V 4.x packages to the new v5.0 package format.

    Code:
    ## Convert a folder of legacy App-V packages to v5 format
     
    # Source and destination folders
    $Source = "Y:\Packages"
    $Dest = "Y:\Packages.v5"
     
    # Test legacy packages and convert those without errors to the new format
    Get-ChildItem -Path $Source | Test-LegacyAppvPackage | Where-Object {$_.Errors.Count -eq 0 } | ConvertFrom-LegacyAppvPackage -Target $Dest
     
    # Move packages and related files to a sub-folder per-package
    $Packages = Get-ChildItem -Path $Dest -Filter "*.appv*"
    foreach ($Package in $Packages) {
        $Name = $Package.Name.substring(0,($Package.Name.length - 5))
        $PackageItems = Get-ChildItem -Path $Dest -Filter "$Name*"
        New-Item -Path $Dest\$Name -Type Directory
        For ($n=0; $n -le $PackageItems.Count -1; $n++) { Move-Item $PackageItems[$n].FullName $Dest\$Name }
    }
    Source: Migrating packages from App-V 4.x to App-V 5.0 « Aaron Parker

  4. Thanks to Arthur from:

    ChrisH (9th April 2012)

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    Thanks for this. I'm surprised there isn't more interest.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
    Thanks for this. I'm surprised there isn't more interest.
    I sure am - App-V is a wonder of the modern age for its price (under EES at least) and has solved a lot of problems for us

    V5 should be good for its added VDI features as well.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    I've always wanted to play with App-V (from back when it was called Softgrid) but never had enough time or spare servers to mess around with. What do you use it for at your place? Could be handy for making roaming copies of Photoshop and Lightroom although they're quite hefty apps to virtualise.

    I'm guessing you have MDOP on your EES to get App-V?

    UE-V sounds very interesting, as noted in the article only 10 years late

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    Should be a nice upgrade from 4.6.... Hopefully it will solve our current problem where it sometimes doesn't contact the app-v server, it comes up with an error when you start a programme, even if that program is cached. Only way we fix this problem at the moment is to restart the machine. Only problem with this new version is RTSP is removed and that's what we use at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    I've always wanted to play with App-V (from back when it was called Softgrid) but never had enough time or spare servers to mess around with. What do you use it for at your place? Could be handy for making roaming copies of Photoshop and Lightroom although they're quite hefty apps to virtualise.

    I'm guessing you have MDOP on your EES to get App-V?

    UE-V sounds very interesting, as noted in the article only 10 years late
    Yep MDOP on the EES - costs praticly nothing but worth a whole lot!

    We've put everything for Windows 7 into App-V - has been a big help to us as less installing subject specific programs on teachers notebooks (now they are just streamed down) and a tiny image to drag over WDS.

    It has been as stable as anything for us as well a near perfect way to get applications out there and even things like Google Earth and all our Techsoft go into it easy enough.

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    I thought I should chip in on the System Centre side of things... v4.6 integrates nicely with SCCM, as does v5 but Ive yet to have it confirmed whether SCCM2007 will support v5 packages or not. 2012 I believe will support both.

    I use it to virtualise CS4 entirely (so I can co-exist CS4 and CS5) and also a load of other apps. Its a genius piece of kit... there is some up coming blog stuff I am writing with MSFT on this which will appear over on the MS Schools Blogs pages, and then a day or so after on my blog too.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Yep MDOP on the EES - costs praticly nothing but worth a whole lot!
    It's got more expensive this year as MS have started charging per machine for it even on EES... along with the SQL (ripoff) licensing increase I'm not a happy bunny with Microsoft this year... what they giveth with one hadn (Office 365 for staff) they taketh away with the other...

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    Has anyone got App-V 5.0 working with folder redirection enabled for AppData?

    For example we have our staff folder redirection pointed to: \\fileserver\homedir\%username%\
    Where the GPO settings are to: Move the contents to the new location.

    When we log on as a staff member to test App-V 5.0 we are receiving errors about the application not being able to launch.

    I found a foreign technet article about something with folder redirection / appdata and app-v 5.0. Google Translate

    Has anyone else come across this and found a solution?



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