locked
[AppV5 sp3] Virtualized Office / Outlook 2010 - mail not available in some local applications RRS feed

  • Question

  • It's been asked and discussed multiple times before, but I never see a solution. So here is my go:

    Another challenge giving me grey hair. We have virtualized Office 2010 in AppV5 sp3, for this test with integration enabled. What works mostly fine, even the control panel item is created. I've created send-to shortcuts, with the correct paramters, and that works fine though. We have some apps though that run locally, one of them is plain ol' mspaint.exe, or Windows' built-in Picture Viewer. When a user tries to send a mail from the image he has opened at that moment, the mail button is either greyed out or it gives a 'no default mail client' error. But also Internet Explorer is running local, as hooking that to AppV5 is not yet on my want-to-have list. When users open a PDF in IE, the mail functionality gives 'no default mail client installed'. When I run the application from the virtual environment, it sure works. However, some applications will just not always be running from virtual, like the build in picture / photoviewer. Users seem to be used to be able to mail from there, so my goal is to keep that with AppV5.

    I've been doing a lot of logging with ProcessMonitor, and it seems to come down to Extended MAPI calls. But in the end I was not able to fix it. I read through this which contains some valuable info, some of which I found out already by ProcessMonitor. It lays out where a regular office installation puts some registry values, and where AppV5 doesn't. However I still haven't found a way to fix this. I don't mind to have some HKLM regkeys or even a local .exe or .dll as long as I end up in my virtualized Outlook.




    Monday, July 27, 2015 12:16 PM

Answers

  • Yes, the problem is that not all users even need AppV5 applications. So explicitely forcing them into a bubble will give non-appv5 users issues, although that number of users is quicly declining fast now.

    In addition, currently these servers unfortunately host both AppV4 and AppV5 apps, as we are currently migrating. That would give additional issues with RunVirtual. We did not have budget to setup a dedicated farm. So after migration is done, we will one by one re-build the farm servers to remove the AppV4 'litter'. In the meanwhile I wish we took another approach, but we've started it now so we have to finish it this way now.

    I've taken another approach. I have put the required DLL files and registry fiiles locally on the machine, and put the actual key/value that holds the outlook.exe command in HKCU. Now these Extended MAPI calls are picked up locally but the virtualized Outlook is started. I've got this running in our test setup now and it works perfectly fine.

    While mixing local and virtual up like this is not a good idea, it seems to work perfectly fine for us. We'll have more users test this and most probably we will go with this. Thanks for the suggestions!




    Thursday, July 30, 2015 2:31 PM

All replies

  • You're not going to like this BUT Sequencing Office is a bad idea. Microsoft did a pretty good job with App-V 5.0 and Office but there's still some integration issues like those you mentioned another example is the built in Windows Assistance feature. What you could do is use RunVirtual but that can be limiting too. e.g. Set RunVirtual Keys for Paint and Picture viewer to your Office GUID. The limiting aspect to me is the manageability of

    this:http://blogs.technet.com/b/gladiatormsft/archive/2014/02/05/app-v-5-on-run-virtual-rds-run-virtual-virtualizable-extensions-and-dynamic-virtualization.aspx

    My preference and that of many others. Do not sequence Office.


    PLEASE MARK ANY ANSWERS TO HELP OTHERS Blog: rorymon.com Twitter: @Rorymon

    Monday, July 27, 2015 2:56 PM
  • I know it's not 'best practice' although we don't have much choice. Our RDS servers have to serve several small compartments in my company. They are shared between 'customers' so to say. Not all have MS Office 2010. Some use LibreOffice for their own reasons. It's not possible to move each to their own RDS farm.

    Maybe I should write a MAPI client myself, and point that to virtualized Outlook, or even better lookup the mailclient in HKCU\Software\Clients\Mail, basically working as a proxy.


    Monday, July 27, 2015 3:19 PM
  • Is there any problem for you using RunVirtual to launch the likes of Paint and Photo Viewer into the Virtual bubble for Office? Have you tried this? It's far from ideal but in the end would likely be the least amount of effort.

    PLEASE MARK ANY ANSWERS TO HELP OTHERS Blog: rorymon.com Twitter: @Rorymon

    Monday, July 27, 2015 6:49 PM
  • Yes, the problem is that not all users even need AppV5 applications. So explicitely forcing them into a bubble will give non-appv5 users issues, although that number of users is quicly declining fast now.

    In addition, currently these servers unfortunately host both AppV4 and AppV5 apps, as we are currently migrating. That would give additional issues with RunVirtual. We did not have budget to setup a dedicated farm. So after migration is done, we will one by one re-build the farm servers to remove the AppV4 'litter'. In the meanwhile I wish we took another approach, but we've started it now so we have to finish it this way now.

    I've taken another approach. I have put the required DLL files and registry fiiles locally on the machine, and put the actual key/value that holds the outlook.exe command in HKCU. Now these Extended MAPI calls are picked up locally but the virtualized Outlook is started. I've got this running in our test setup now and it works perfectly fine.

    While mixing local and virtual up like this is not a good idea, it seems to work perfectly fine for us. We'll have more users test this and most probably we will go with this. Thanks for the suggestions!




    Thursday, July 30, 2015 2:31 PM
  • I want to update you all; after a successful period in test we have now rolled out this solution to our production farm and presto - local apps can send mail through virtualized Office. Though I admit its maybe a bit dodgy, sometimes that's what it takes to get happy customers. Even if I do not recommend to use this yourself, maybe someone in the same position as I would want to give this a try. If so, please inform me and I'll post those regkeys and needed files.
    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 2:33 PM