I know the community around App Volumes is still pretty small, but does something exist already for help with putting apps into stacks? In the off chance that posting them in the forums here results in getting advice on how to fix it (or even just troubleshoot), here are the apps I can't get working:
BMC Remedy User 7.6.04 SP3 (the home page form does not load, likely due to the temp file location)
SAP BusinessObjects Data Services 4.1 SP2 (SxS issue with the Designer and Repository Manager applications)
Tuxedo 10gR3 (SxS issue when trying to invoke any executable)
Tuxedo 12cR2 (SxS issue when trying to invoke any executable)
HP UFT 12.01 Patch 4, Virtual User Generator 11.52 (few bugs here... I had a stack that had the HP apps, but VUGen 11.50 working created with 2.5.0, patched VUGen to 11.52 and started getting SxS issues. Recreated the stack from scratch after updating to 2.5.2, now UFT and VUGen give SxS issues. There's also something in the stack that causes a conflict with the native install of Office Communicator, causing it to report SxS issues and preventing it from starting.)
I'll add to my own list...
I'm trying to create a stack for the Microsoft RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) bits. The installer is an .msu file, so not really your typical installer. Everything installs just fine, I enable the Windows features, no problems. When I attach the stack, however, the "Administrative Tools" menu isn't appearing in the Start Menu > Programs. If you right-click and display All Users, it's there, and permissions are set correctly. Also, the shortcuts/.msc files all work!
No idea why it won't show up in the Start Menu, but having it actually work is something we could never do with ThinApp.
Good to hear on this specific one but the main question still remains. ThinApp had a kind of "store" that you could use to package app. Not saying App Volumes will do the same but would something like that be useful? Keep in mind there might have to be a charge for provisioning some apps if something like this where to come out from VMware specifically. That said would a service like this be useful?
Are you asking if we'd be interested in submitting the app we need to have working to VMware, who would then turn around and provide a working App Stack vmdk? Well, considering that the App Stack either works or it doesn't, and when it doesn't it seems like (so far) it requires code changes delivered via Agent updates in order to possibly work the next time we try, I'd say we're interested. If we truly want to use App Volumes, we really need to go all-in with it, otherwise we're stuck in the same predicament we're in today: some apps work via ThinApp, some via scripted install at computer creation or user login, others we have to bake into the parent image. It's a huge pain point, and App Volumes is, for me, with 70+ stacks built and working vs maybe 5 that do not for unknown (SxS) reasons, so close to making that a thing of the past.
So if getting to 100% success means paying to have VMware sort out the issues, it should definitely be on the table. Side note: it'd be nice to have some sort of crowdsourced list of working/non-working apps, and maybe some kind of upvote/downvote system to help devs prioritize compatibility issues. Or if there's some sort of documentation that can help us admins learn where and what we can look at to effectively troubleshoot/resolve the issues that crop up (SxS) if such a thing is even possible.
Thank you for the great feedback. Ideally a crowdsourced method is prefered and more tools to help you do it yourself. First version some tools and deeper information is coming soon BTW :smileycool:
I would also like to chip in with this discussion and at this point it seems that having a community for it would be great.
We have been part of the process quite a while now (was it 0.8 we started with??) and would love to see some more customers/a greater community sop we can help eachother out when needed.
One thing about RSAT though. That setting is a user setting and thus cannot be changed within the appstack because it does not hold user settings. Also keep in mind to enable the windows update service when installing (which normally is disabled in a VDI) and what we saw is that the RSAT installation triggered an update of the KMS security database of office (don't ask me why) which resulted in a non activated office environment in base.
You're right that enabling the Admin Tools menu is per-user, which is why we set the property in a GPO No real reason to hide the menu; people either know about it or they don't, and their permissions on the network would determine what they can and can't do.
I have an .hta that I cobbled together that helps us "seal" the parent image when we're doing maintenance (mostly patching) and the first option is a toggle to enable/disable Windows Updates (service). We definitely have WU disabled in the image before we start composing any pool VMs.
As for your KMS issue, we didn't see that at all. Maybe it has to do with a particular subset of the RSAT tools being installed? Ours isn't a completely install of the tools, as most of our users only need ADUC, GPMC, etc. Maybe installing the license management piece, or the cert components touched your keystore. I should have been clearer in my post about the components we actually installed!
Following my own post, we created a Remedy ThinApp and put that into an App Stack. As a workaround, it's doing well.
SAP and Tuxedo are still no-go.
The HP testing stack - everything works well together (HP ALM/Quality Center 12.01 bits, UFT 12.01 + patch, HP Sprinter 12.01) except LoadRunner Virtual User Generator (11.50/52). Installing that app into the same stack results in breaking UFT, as well as introduces other issues to VMware Tools and Office Communicator.
I attempted to create a stack with HP LoadRunner Virtual User Generator 12.02 (the latest version) and it still fails in the same way 11.50/.52 does, though I didn't get an error for the VMware Tools, only Communicator.exe.
The following redistributables and runtimes are installed with VuGen 12.02:
VC++ 2005 x86 (8.0.61001)
VC++ 2008 x64 (9.0.30729.4148)
VC++ 2008 x86 (9.0.30729.4148)
VC++ 2008 x86 (9.0.30729.6161)
VC++ 2010 x86 (10.0.40219)
VC++ 2012 x64 (11.0.60610)
VC++ 2012 x86 (11.0.60610)
WSE 2.0 SP3 Runtime
WSE 3.0 Runtime
Let me know where to send the check to, Jason!
I'll add it to the test run and see what happens, no promises... :smileygrin:
Considering its a user load generator and the AppStack is not user specific friendly as you know. I'm a little doubtful. What happens if its in a Writable with UIA only? and then with UIA and profile?
We're not using any WVs, so that shouldn't be a factor (right?).
And yes, it's a load generator, but I'm not even getting that far. It just fails at the initial launch. Plus with the stack attached it kills Communicator.exe. Lots of fun, this one.
Also, to add some sort of legitimacy to our issues I was advised to open a SR for these apps. Not sure if it'll make it to your team or what difference it would make if it did, but I don't have any real workarounds for these apps other than to dump them into the parent image. Not awesome...
The WV would just be as a test. So install it in a WV and does it work.
And yes it will make it to me in an SR if they are unable to resolve and you are a paying customer. No promises that it can be resolved but we will put some resources on it.
So the answer is "yes". With HP Virtual User Generator 12.02 installed to a WV (uia only) it works, even with another HP stack that I was trying to install it with attached (user attachment, not computer).
Oh, how I hope that helps you crack the case.
Yes, worked with Sage, and I've flooded the SR with notes. Long story short, most things are still not working, but I had improvements to my Toad for Oracle stack (completely working) and my Avaya one-x Agent stack (working after it repairs at launch) with the 2.5.0 template. I doubt that magic works for HP VuGen and SAP BODS with their SxS issues, though. Not sure what the issues is with Citrix ICA files, either.
I also found SxS issues with the Data Transformation Client in Informatica 9.1.0 and 9.5.1. I'm pinging my users to see if they even use those bits, so it may not matter in my case, but it's still an issue.
Can you tell yet that our VDI environment is used mostly today for test and development? I have a crazy number of apps, and every team seems to want some different combination of them, plus we're in the planning/pilot stages for a full call center virtualization effort. App Volumes is perfect for the problems that have plagued us (from a management perspective), so again: awesome product, awesome team, can't wait to see what fixes/improvements are in store for us.