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Unable to target a User with an App-V 5.x App and have the middleware installed Globally so I can use plugins to IE

I think we have a strong business case around the Application model in CM12 SP1 and using App-V 5.0 to do user-based software targeting. As Kaido and I are doing a workshop for learning more on App-V and the possibilities , we ran into some challenges I believe are critical and needs to be solved in a certain way . What the correct way is , I leave that up to the smart engineering guy’s in Redmond .

One of the great promises of application virtualization is dynamic delivery of software to end-users; however delivering plugins or add-ons to installed (i.e. not virtualized) software has thus far been a stumbling block. Internet Explorer has been particularly challenging due to the inability to separate the browser from the OS in a supported manner. So using App-V to deploy plugins like Flash or Java has meant changing the user experience with virtualization or falling back to standard install methods. App-V 5.0 is very good news though, with the ability to seamlessly run an installed application inside a specified virtual environment. This means that the Flash plugin can be delivered as a virtual package and made available to Internet Explorer without resorting to hacks or changing the user experience by providing a special shortcut. Providing Office add-ins would also benefit from the same approach.

With the introduction with App-V 5.0 they introduced two great features called “RunVirtual” feature and “Virtual environments (aka Connection Groups)” , what made it look like the perfect solution . Unfortunately not for User-based software deployments thru ConfigMgr that needs integration with Office , internet explorer , etc that are locally installed .

Scenario :

- Customer wants to deploy all their virtualised apps to users thru System Center Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 and use App-V 5.0
- They sequenced Java 7 update 25 and Adobe flash player 11 and LOB app x
- LOB application X needs to use middleware Java 7 Update 25 and at the same time needs to act as a plugin to Internet Explorer
- Created all app-v 5.0 Applications and deployment types
- We made Java 7 update 25 a dependency of LOB application X and selected “autoinstall”
- We created a Virtual environment in Configmgr 2012 Sp1 between Java 7 update 25 and LOB application X
- Created a second deployment type that executes and sets the “Runvirtual key” with a script on the client machine and make that dependent on your Java 7 update 25 deployment type to have the integration with internet explorer.
- We Target and deploy the plugins to “all LOB application X users”

Results :

- Applications will install OK and the dependencies are executed correctly.
- The Virtual environment is working correctly . Both apps can see each other’s “bubble”.
- The integration between java 7 update 25 and Internet Explorer doesn’t work even do the registry key is set within the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\AppV\Client\RunVirtual”. This is because it is deployed as a user and not as a machine !
- Until we deploy java 7 update 25 to “all Systems” or “computer based targeting” instead of “all Users” or user based targeting , we will have *no* working integration between Java 7 update 25 and Internet explorer !

Remarks :

- Right now , it doesn’t make sense to me as we need to deploy the Java 7 upd 25 virtualised application as a computer targeted deployment and we still need to figure out the users computer name ( - global switch) and separately deploy your LOB application x to a user collection .
- In Configmgr we would not be able to use the dependency option , because it will install the dependency also under the user context . This means we need to deploy prerequisites separately and cannot chain them anymore and loose all advantages of the application model ( meaning user centric)
- It does not make sense at all to me . A lot of companies do not want deploy computer targeted and user targeted . Especially when you virtualise applications that need interaction with for example “internet explorer” or Microsoft Office ( that is 99% locally installed).

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