RES Workspace Manager 2014 SR2 delivers many new features that we are excited to share with you. Recently we highlighted the integration with Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp7.6 as well as integration with VMware Horizon View 6. In this blog, I will focus on the new Microsoft App-V 5 integration options.
Package Delivery Mode
For Microsoft App-V 5 packages, it is now possible to select the package delivery mode per application object in the RES Workspace Manager Console. This allows the Console user to configure Microsoft App-V 5 applications to be (partly) cached in a user session, making it possible to launch the application on demand.
In addition to our existing application management capabilities for Microsoft App-V 5 applications (ie. context awareness, security, roaming user settings), RES Workspace Manager is now able to deliver Microsoft App-V 5.x packages.
The package delivery mode, in its basic sense, consists of five options as shown above:
- None – a shortcut to the application is available in the user session, but the package will not be delivered by RES Workspace Manager
- Minimal (global) – the package is available for all users on the machine and only the required parts to launch the application are delivered
- Minimal (per user) – the package is only available to the user that launched the application and only the required parts to launch the application are delivered
- Full (global) – the package is available for all users on the machine – at application launch only, the required parts to launch the application are delivered and once the application is launched the full packaged is delivered in the background
- Full (per user) – the package is only available to the user that launched the application – only the required parts to launch the application are delivered and once the application is launched the full packaged is delivered in the background
The Full Package delivery mode loads the complete package. This basically performs the same delivery as Minimal but after the application is launched, an actual “mount“ of the application is performed in the background. This allows you to get a similar result as the Microsoft App-V 5 Autoload feature where all packages are mounted. With RES Workspace Manager, this can be managed per-application instead of with all applications at once.
Always Use the Latest Version of Package
With the one of the above-mentioned Package delivery mode options (Minimal and Full) configured, the option Always use latest version of package becomes available. With this option, RES Workspace Manager will always use the latest version of the Microsoft App-V 5 package from the configured Package root folder.
The version of the package will be checked and updated when the user starts the Microsoft App-V 5 application in the RES Workspace Manager session.
With the Always use latest version of package feature, RES Workspace Manager enables a very easy and straightforward method to deliver new versions of Microsoft App-V Packages by adding them to the central location (Package root folder). This also means that reverting to a prior version of a Microsoft App-V Package is accomplished by simply removing it from the central location. RES Workspace Manager automatically uses the latest available version of the Microsoft App-V Package.
Package Root Folder
When adding Microsoft App-V 5 packages in the RES Workspace Manager 2014 SR2 Console, the Package root folder is automatically configured. The Package root folder is the central location where the actual Microsoft App-V packages are located. RES Workspace Manager will look at the configured root folder and the subfolders two layers down (not up) for the latest version of the Microsoft App-V package.
By default, RES Workspace Manager uses the same path for the Package root folder as selected when browsing to the package location while you’re adding the application in the RES Workspace Manager Console. Depending on the Microsoft App-V 5 content folder structure, the Package root folder might be changed. Changing the Package root folder is only available when a Package delivery mode is selected (Minimal or Full) and Always use latest version of package is enabled.
In the example scenario below, all versions of the “VLC Player” packages are located in subfolders (with the versions as folder names) part of a parent folder with the application name “VLC_Player_ENG”. The correct Package root folder to select in RES Workspace Manager is the parent folder and not one of the version subfolders. RES Workspace Manager will automatically discover the latest version of the Microsoft App-V 5 package.
Note: After upgrading to RES Workspace Manager 2014 SR2, configuring the Package delivery mode for existing Microsoft App-V 5 packages (packages that were configured in an earlier version than RES Workspace Manager 2014 SR2) will require you to (re)specify the central location of the Microsoft App-V 5 packages.
The new Microsoft App-V 5 integration options in RES Workspace Manager 2014 SR2 provide an easy way to manage the delivery Microsoft App-V Packages on a per-application basis. Together with the capability to Always use the latest version of package, RES Workspace Manager 2014 SR2 removes the requirement to use additional solutions for distribution of the Microsoft App-V packages.