Sunday, December 19, 2010

ConfigMgr 2007 with App-V integration

With ConfigMgr 2007 Release 2 (R2) it is possible to add App-V packages to the ConfigMgr console, and advertise them to ConfigMgr clients. With that functionality, no additional App-V Management or Streaming server is needed anymore. Now there is one solution for managing and publishing MSI-based & Virtual-based applications! I will explain in this blog what to configure in the ConfigMgr console, and how the App-V packages will be published to the ConfigMgr clients.

How it works?

ConfigMgr 2007 supports running sequenced applications created using the App-V Platform. App-V packages are running on ConfigMgr 2007 clients without having to install applications on the computer. Target computers must be running Windows XP (or above) to run virtual application packages. After you create a sequenced application using the App-V Sequencer, you must import the package into ConfigMgr 2007 and deploy the App-V package to ConfigMgr 2007 clients.

First you must make sure you are running ConfigMgr SP2 and R2 or R3 for having fast App-V package delivery. While Release 2 (R2) is needed for App-V functionality, Service Pack 2 (SP2) is needed for fast App-V package delivery. Because with ConfigMgr SP1 it could take up to 10 - 15 minutes for having the App-V packages available, while with SP2 there is almost no delivery delay! With ConfigMgr SP2, delivery can be as fast as with App-V streaming server, which is a great feature!

Client setup

On the computer there is a ConfigMgr client and a App-V client needed. There is no additional configuration on the App-V client needed. You need to enable Virtual Application Deployment in ConfigMgr, and ConfigMgr configures the App-V client for you. Any existing policies will be overruled. Best practice is to put the ConfigMgr client and App-V client in the Task sequence, which is used at deployment. Otherwise App-V delivery is not possible.

ConfigMgr 2007 setup

I will describe here which configuration is needed in the ConfigMgr console. These are all needed for having App-V functionality in ConfigMgr 2007.

Warning: this approach will affect every App-V client with the ConfigMgr client connected to the site. This because App-V management in ConfigMgr will overrule the existing App-V configuration.

In the ConfigMgr Distribution point properties (General) choose for "Allow clients to transfer content from this Distribution point using BITS, HTTP, and HTTPS"

In the ConfigMgr Distribution point properties (Virtuall Applications) choose for "Enable virtual application streaming"

At last, in the Advertised Programs Client Agent properties (General) enable "Allow virtual application package advertisement"

Because ConfigMgr supports two types of App-V delivery (streaming and local delivery), you need the above setting. Streaming delivery is simular to App-V streaming server and uses HTTP(S). Local delivery does "download and execute" the App-V package using BITS (same as MSI-based applications). With local delivery the App-V package will be saved on the computer, and is alltimes available (same as MSI-based (installed) applications)! Streaming is recommended on (VDI) desktops or fat clients.

App-V packages

In the ConfigMgr console you can add MSI-based & Virtual-based applications. I will describe the steps for adding App-V packages here.

Right-click on Software Distribution - Packages and choose for New > Virtual Application Package. Find the XML file, and add the App-V package.

Create an (sub)Collection for every application you want to advertise. Create a Active Directory group for every application, and add it to the collection.

Create an advertisement for every application you want to distribute, and add it to the collection with the same name. Choose for the following settings:
  • Schedule: Mandatory assignments (occurs on current date/time)
  • Distributing points: Stream virtual applications from Distribution point
  • Interaction: Allow users to run the program independently of assignments
While sequencing choose for leaving icons in the Start menu and/or on the Desktop. This because no App-V Publishing server will be available, and users will see no icons to start the application.

Results on the computer

When all of the above steps has been set, App-V delivery will be available. On the ConfigMgr client there will be a policy refresh everytime you logon. At that point the App-V package will be available after 5 - 30 seconds. This will depends on sizing and configuration of the ConfigMgr server.

Again more functionality becomes available in the ConfigMgr console!


  1. The steps are the other way around:

    1. Allow clients to transfer content from this Distribution point using BITS, HTTP, and HTTPS"

    2. "Enable virtual application streaming"

    Step 2 is grayed out when the first is not taken.

  2. Thanks for mentioning. I have corrected it in the blog now.

  3. I was under the impression that going down this route would hijack the current App-V client side settings so that it no longer references the existing streaming server. Is this the case? Will this approach only affect the PCs targetted via the collection or will ticking those boxes above affect every App-V client with the Config manager client? If so, it might be worth adding some sort of warning :-)

  4. Hi, this approach indeed will affect every App-V client with the ConfigMgr client connected to the site. This because App-V management in ConfigMgr will overrule existing App-V configuration. I will put a warning on this blog for that :-)

  5. Great article!

    We are using full App-V infrastructure today. We are thinking about the use SCCM server for App-V's later on. One of the things with SCCM we learned after our Win 7 clients become SCCM client is to disable the App-V delivery by SCCM.

    I will perform more testing our LAB with SCCM and transition later this year/next year to SCCM.