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App-V 5 Office Add-ins, Connection groups and RunVirtual RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, I’m currently in a test-phase for implementing the following scenario:

    Users work (with App-V 5 SP1)  on Win7 x64 Clients and Server 2008 (XenApp) with Office 2010 SP1 x86 installed locally. Our goal is to virtualize as much Office Add-ins as possible. Some of these add-ins must work together. Not all users share the same add-ins.

    So, I was thinking about the following solution:
    -Sequence all Add-ins separately (and do so for future add-ins).
    -Create one Connection Group with all addins (and add future add-ins)
    -Use RunVirtual to trigger this  Conection group (so HKLM keys for excel.exe, winword.exe etc)

    I’ve sequenced a couple of add-ins and this works fine. As soon as I start excel, all my virtual add-ins are available for use. So far so good.

    Now the scenario where a user does not have AD rights for, let we say add-in 2. Because we use connection groups, it’s not possible to “disable” this add-in. In App-v 4.x you could use DSC with non-mandatory option, but that’s not possible anymore. So I need to create a NEW connection group with all add-ins except add-in 2.
    The downside is, that this will take much more administrative tasks, and MORE  imported, I need to CHANGE the RunVirual key, because I’ve got an other connection group.

    For those Win7 clients this wouldn’t be much a problem, I can create a script which sets the right reg-key but on Server 2008 this is not possible, I only got 1 HKLM path.

    So bottom-line: Does anyone has the same scenario and came up with a better solution??

    Monday, July 15, 2013 2:48 PM

Answers

  • RunVirtual is global only, so only works for the machine and you can't target a Connection group to users using that method.


    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" or "Vote as Helpful" on the post that answers your question (or click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question). This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.


    This forum post is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of my employer, Microsoft, its employees, or other MVPs.

    Twitter: @stealthpuppy | Blog: stealthpuppy.com | The Definitive Guide to Delivering Microsoft Office with App-V

    Monday, July 15, 2013 11:37 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • RunVirtual is global only, so only works for the machine and you can't target a Connection group to users using that method.


    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" or "Vote as Helpful" on the post that answers your question (or click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question). This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.


    This forum post is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of my employer, Microsoft, its employees, or other MVPs.

    Twitter: @stealthpuppy | Blog: stealthpuppy.com | The Definitive Guide to Delivering Microsoft Office with App-V

    Monday, July 15, 2013 11:37 PM
    Moderator
  • Aaron, thanks for your answer, but after diving a bit deeper into the RunVirtual feature I came to the same conclusion :) Therefore my question if anyone else came up with a better solution.

    Seems VirtualizeMe-123 had a similar issue, check his posts in App-V 5 App Connection group . The only difference is that he also virtualized Office, so creating multiple connection groups and multiple AD-groups to deliver was his solution.

    I think I need to fall back on creating multiple shortcuts (and also all FTA’s), for every connection group which replaces the vendor shortcuts from Office.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 3:15 PM
  • Additional resources here:



    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" or "Vote as Helpful" on the post that answers your question (or click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question). This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.


    This forum post is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of my employer, Microsoft, its employees, or other MVPs.

    Twitter: @stealthpuppy | Blog: stealthpuppy.com | The Definitive Guide to Delivering Microsoft Office with App-V

    Thursday, August 8, 2013 7:17 AM
    Moderator
  • Depending on your actual requirements, you may be able to publish the add-ons to all workstations and use Group Policy (or scripting) to populate the RunVirtual sub-keys.  For example, Bob in Accounting gets a RunVirtual subkey EXCEL.EXE (default = insane GUID1) based on his membership in the Accounting group.  Bob gets the EXCEL add-on when he launches excel. 

    Janine in Engineering, is not in the Accounting group.  But it doesn't really matter if it is being advertised to her and she doesn't have rights.  If she's not in the group, it won't show up because EXCEL isn't running in the bubble.

    Alternatively, if Accounting and Engineering workstation accounts are in different groups, you can publish different add-ons to those groups.  If I remember correctly, "Globally published" just means published to a workstation versus published to a user.

    Hi, this is my first post here.

    d

    Thursday, August 8, 2013 11:08 AM
  • Hi and welcome :). Correct and this will work on normal (single user) clients, but in a multi user envirnoment like Xenapp, it won't.

    At the moment I'm testing several options:
    1) virualise office, and work with multiple connection groups depending on the users addin needs. This will work on both local client or Xenapp.
    2) office local, main app-v app with shortcuts to office and member of multiple connection groups, again depending on the users addin needs. This should also work on local clients or Xenapp.
    3) office local, create multiple connection groups depending on the users addin needs, set RunVirtual key (and publish them globally) during login script (it would be nice if you could run some kind of deployment script for connection groups, but as far as I know this is impossible). This will only work on local client.

    Option 1 seems the easiest (and most flexible) way to go.
    I still got 1 issue though. Besides COM addins, there are also normal excel addins (XLA), these get them enabled they must be registered in an OPENx key under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Excel\Options\. The problem is the fixed number x, if you work with multiple addins (and groups). One option would be to disable them by default, and let the user choose which one to enable, so still looking for a sollution to automate this.

    Thursday, August 8, 2013 12:13 PM
    1. create empty package
    2. create connection group
    3. add empty package to connection group
    4. add all required addin / plugin packages to connection group
    5. set modify permissions for specific 'addin ad user / package group' on the 'addin packageroot' folder
    6. remove allusers permissions on the 'addin packageroot' folder
    7. use appvve switch in exe shortcut combined with empty package guid

    Jeroen Spaander

    Friday, September 13, 2013 12:25 PM
  • 8. set list folder content and read permissions for authenticated users on the 'addin packageroot' folder :)


    Jeroen Spaander

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013 6:08 PM