App-V Client Management via GPO

Deploying the App-V Client to end-user machines can be headache. Microsoft provide ADM files for managing the configuration of the App-V Client via Group Policy in AD DS, however if you are trying to deploy the client yourself, you will soon discover that the Microsoft ADM files don’t allow you to configure an App-V Publishing Server. The only options you have with the ADM files are to override the sequenced application package and icon source roots.

Using this method, you install string for silent installation will look something like this:

setup.exe /s /v” /qn SWIPUBSVRDISPLAY=”App-V Server” SWIPUBSVRTYPE=”RTSP /secure” SWIPUBSVRHOST=”SERVERNAME” SWIPUBSVRPORT=”322” SWIPUBSVRREFRESH=”on” SWIFSDRIVE=”Q””

As anyone can see this isn’t exactly elegant, and if you are using SCCM to deploy the App-V Client as I am, you will soon discover SCCM has a character limit for the installer path which means you may have to turn to building a batch file to execute the installation and then call the file in the SCCM Program.

The other problem you will have are that you are then hardcoded to use the server name and port specified in the install. Yes, you could use a DNS CNAME to direct your clients to the App-V servers, and sure you can use a GPO to edit the registry keys on the end-user machines after the fact, however none of this is elegant as properly managing the deployment.

Introducing Login Consultants, a Netherlands based virtualization specialist company. This company provide a third-party ADM file for you to import into AD DS for extending the management options for App-V from the Microsoft ADM file, and best of all, you can register and download the ADM file for free from http://www.loginconsultants.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=20&Itemid=149.

Using the Microsoft ADM file and the Login Consultants ADM file in conjunction, your install string turns into this:

setup.exe /s /v” /qn”

Much cleaner, easier to setup in Configuration Manager and then it gives you the ability to manage all of your App-V server configuration, including server name, ports, protocol, SFT_SOFTGRIDSERVER environment variable and all the other settings you need via Group Policy.

For centralising and streamlining management, this is a huge boon, as it means you have a one size fits all deployment of the App-V Client and then allowing you to manage everything else from either AD DS or from the App-V Management Server.

richardjgreen

Richard works as a Cloud Consultant for Fordway Solution where his primary focus is to help customers understand, adopt and develop with Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and System Center. Richard Green is an IT Pro with over 15 years' of experience in all things Microsoft including System Center and Office 365. He has previously worked as a System Center consultant and as an internal solutions architect across many verticals. Outside of work, he loves motorbikes and is part of the orange army, marshaling for NGRRC, British Superbikes and MotoGP. He is also an Assistant Cub Scout Leader.