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A few App-V announcements (Updated)

Written on Mar 05 2009 5,693 views, 2 comments

by Tim Mangan

Microsoft has made a few of announcements recently.   Now that I'm back from the MVP Summit in Redmond I have time to summarize recent announcements surrounding Microsoft App-V.

[Note: This has been edited for clarity and detail based upon additional information supplied by Microsoft since the original post].

4.5 Hot Fix 3

This is a client side fix for a number of small issues that came out in January, as detailed in this KB Article.  This Hot Fix includes Hot Fix 2 and presumably Hot Fix 1 - although I have yet to find any information on Hot Fix 1.  You can download the hot fix via the KB article, but check out CU1 also.

4.5 CU1

CU1 (Cumulative Update 1) contains prior hotfixes, and new updates.  CU1 has two purposes:

  • Production level update for XP and Vista desktop client software, Server 2003 and 2008 Terminal Server (Remote Desktop Service) client software, and the sequencer.
  • Sequencer and Client for use on the Windows 7 Beta. 

Microsoft has stated the following to me, which I quote: “Customers must keep in mind that CU1 is a final release that provides support for running App-V and Windows 7 Beta/Windows Server 2008 R2 in a lab environment so that customers can start testing now.  Full support for Windows 7 will come 90 days after Windows 7 general availability". Since the client is 32-bit only and Windows Server 2008 R2 is 64-bit only, I find this statement confusing.  I think that you could put the server components (which were not updated in CU1) on Windows Server 2008 R2 for testing, but there is no 64-bit Remote Desktop Server client . I believe that the "final release" part means that there is no plan to release further App-V  updates for any changes to Windows 7 until the 90-days after the full release of WIndows 7.

To obtain, you must apply via  Microsoft Connect. Microsoft has indicated that existing packages from the 4.2 and 4.5 sequencers should work on Windows 7 with only an OSD tweak for the OS tag.  Unfortunately that was also said for the 4.2 to 4.5 migration but many customers had to reopen packages to move to 4.5 (mostly due to .net) and I would expect the same here.  I have run about a dozen 4.5 packages on Windows 7 without issue so far.  Microsoft has also has release notes on CU1 here, which provides more details on the changes.

4.6 TAP Program

As part of the CU1 announcement, Microsoft announced that they will soon be looking for MDOP customers that want to take part in a Technology Adoption Program (TAP) program for the 4.6 release.  The announcement indicates that this release would support a 64-bit client.  While the announcement is an MDOP announcement, one would presume that the TAP would include the 64-bit Terminal Severe Client.  The Terminal Severe community has been hammering for a 64-bit App-V client for some time.  Given that it seems that Windows Severe 2008 R2 will be released in 64-bit only, this is badly needed.  To be a TAP customer, you need to have a large installation and be willing to work with what is essentially beta code in production, with a lot of help from Microsoft.  Look for a TAP announcement before the end of March.

SFT Format Documentation Released

Microsoft has released a word document describing the SFT, DSFT, and CP file formats under The Microsoft Open Specification Promise.  While unfortunately not including the PKG format, this is a good step forward in opening up the platform for third party tools.  Both Kalle and I have written tools around the SFT over the years but it is good to know there is official documentation behind them (Kalle's SftExplorer tool is excellent).  In September Microsoft, along with Citrix, made an announcement regarding migrating several formats including SFT to a single VHD standard  here.  No official word has been made regarding when such a change would be made, but you could guess that documenting the current format either means they are encouraging third parties to create converters or that it might be a while so learn to love what you have.  Unfortunately, no tools to convert can really be written until we see the details of how VHD will be used/tweaked to accommodate the needs of App-V.


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Tim Mangan wrote re: A few App-V announcements (Updated)
on Fri, Mar 6 2009 4:59 PM Link To This Comment

I received some feedback from Microsoft regarding CU1.  I have edited the post to reflect this feedback.

Greg Lambert wrote re: A few App-V announcements (Updated)
on Mon, May 18 2009 10:27 AM Link To This Comment

This stuff looks really cool - have spoken with the boys from App-V (Sean D.) and the file format documentation looks really helpful.

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