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Creating App-V packages for in house applications without sequencing RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have a number of in house applications written in .Net. These applications make no changes to the system other than adding the files to the filesystem and creating a shortcut for the user to start them. We currently build packages for these using the sequencer, but this doesn't fit in with our goal of automated deployment using TFS Release Manager. Is there anything similar to MakeAppx.exe for AppV, which we could then use within release manager to generate the packages? We could then script the publishing phase using Powershell. I know that it's possible in theory, as we've experiment with using Advanced Installer to produce an AppV file without sequencing and it has been able to.
    Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:54 AM

Answers

  • There is a least two ways to create appv packages without manual sequencing, if they only contain files and registry information:

    1: The first method is mostly like editing a zip file with scripts. First make an empty appv file with the sequencer, then use the commandline tool tweakappv from advanced installer to edit files and registry into the package every new "version", you can also change the versionnumber and version GUID and package GUID if you have a GUID randomizer. Then you can use the upgrade function in appv with only an new version GUID, or publish it as a completely new package with a new packageGUID.
    You can find hints here and in an old blogpost I wrote

    2: Or check out Appv autosequencer, Tim Mangan wrote about the autosequencer, it should help you to automate the package process if it's as simple as you say.

    AutoSequencer is a component that would be used on a Hyper-V enabled machine to control a virtual machine that has the App-V Sequencer installed. Great for that package you have to touch each month if you are an IT Pro, or for an ISV to output an App-V package right from Visual Studio. You probably don’t use the command line sequencer, but in addition to the wizard based GUI sequencer interface, the sequencer also has a command-line sequencing capability that can automatically create an App-V package from an unattended installation script. So the AutoSequencer manages the VM state, copies installers into the VM, runs the command-line sequencer and finally collects the output package.




    Saturday, February 16, 2019 6:59 PM

All replies

  • There is a least two ways to create appv packages without manual sequencing, if they only contain files and registry information:

    1: The first method is mostly like editing a zip file with scripts. First make an empty appv file with the sequencer, then use the commandline tool tweakappv from advanced installer to edit files and registry into the package every new "version", you can also change the versionnumber and version GUID and package GUID if you have a GUID randomizer. Then you can use the upgrade function in appv with only an new version GUID, or publish it as a completely new package with a new packageGUID.
    You can find hints here and in an old blogpost I wrote

    2: Or check out Appv autosequencer, Tim Mangan wrote about the autosequencer, it should help you to automate the package process if it's as simple as you say.

    AutoSequencer is a component that would be used on a Hyper-V enabled machine to control a virtual machine that has the App-V Sequencer installed. Great for that package you have to touch each month if you are an IT Pro, or for an ISV to output an App-V package right from Visual Studio. You probably don’t use the command line sequencer, but in addition to the wizard based GUI sequencer interface, the sequencer also has a command-line sequencing capability that can automatically create an App-V package from an unattended installation script. So the AutoSequencer manages the VM state, copies installers into the VM, runs the command-line sequencer and finally collects the output package.




    Saturday, February 16, 2019 6:59 PM
  • I've also created an Auto Sequencer that is tailored to work with VMWare based environments.

    https://github.com/PLAPS/Avalon

    I haven't updated it in a while so it may need to be updated a bit to include the latest VMWare PowerShell cmdlets.

    I've been using this in our production environment for many years now and it works great for things like in-house developed .net apps, Chrome, and other stuff that's updated regularly.

    Thursday, March 21, 2019 5:08 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Arne, and apologies for late response - I didn't get a notification about it. Tweakappv seems ideal for what I'm looking for. 

    Perhaps I'm being a bit too stubborn, but firing up a VM just seems overkill for creating what we need, even if AutoSequencer does do all the heavy lifting

    Kevin

    Friday, March 22, 2019 12:45 PM
  • but firing up a VM just seems overkill for creating what we need

    You just need a clean workstation, and a VM is the easiest way to handle.

    Roy Essers

    Friday, March 22, 2019 4:18 PM
  • I'm sure you're right, and I am probably being a bit too anal about it. Having said that, other than my reluctance to have the sequencer do something by observation that I can specify directly, I'm also thinking about the impact of opening VMs on an already under-resourced build server. Worrying about nothing?

    Kevin

    Friday, March 22, 2019 5:03 PM
  • depends on the package your're creating.... by default my sequencer only has 2Gb of memory which is most sufficient in most cases.... Today I'm sequencing a package with about 150.000 files in it, which slighly needs some more ram and processing capacity :).

    Roy Essers

    Tuesday, March 26, 2019 12:35 PM