MMS2013: Better Together: Application Virtualization 5.0 and Office

Speaker: Ele Ocholi

It’s interesting that this would be a session at all. I remember when Softricity first came onto the scene and Microsoft had made its acquisition of the technology. You could tell they knew it had a lot of promise but Microsoft was careful about how it was positioned. Back then, it was specifically recommended that you NOT deploy Office with App-V. As it has improved, so too has the confidence in the solution.

Office 2013 Click To Run (from Office 365) now runs with full functionally using App-V with no sequencing required.  Office 2010 is now officially supported with App-V. Note you must use the retail versions to create the packages.

New with App-V 5.0: No Q drive! It is now an “integrated platform” and it follows windows standards. Dynamic configuration lets you control how isolated your applications should be. A new web-based management interface was introduced as well as some PowerShell automation and customization capabilities. There is also no longer a 4gb package size limit.

Running with App-V, you can have multiple versions of Office running on the same system, you can also sequence and connect add-ins. 

The Office Deployment tool from the MS Download Center will let you build this App-V package. The packages created in this way should not be edited (opened with the Sequencer).  Editing is not supported and Microsoft claims you should not need to.

For the Office 2013 Click To Run (from Office 365) package, you can control what applications from Office you want, languages, etc. via a XML configuration file that comes with the Office Deployment Tool.

The App-V package is created with COM integration and Objects Enabled set and so any add-ins you sequence must do the same: COM Mode must be set to “integrated”. Objects Enabled must be set to “false”.

To connect two App-V packages together like with this add-in scenario you must create a connection file listing the GUIDs for both application packages. In the demo, the connection was made by using PowerShell with the Add-AppvClientConnectionGroup cmdlet and enabling it globally.  No longer do you need to have one package look for another, these connection groups manage the relationship separately now.

To offer support for Office 2010, a Office Sequencing Kit is offered as part of MDOP. The sequencing kit walks you through the changes needed and package accelerator for Windows 7 and 8 are also being provided.


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