Application Virtualization Explorer 4.1 out now

We have just released a new version of Application Virtualization Explorer (AVE) which adds couple of oft-requested features, as well as improves the experience overall!

First new feature, which you probably already saw coming if you have been paying attention to our last week’s Lib-V release, is the support for App-V 5.0 package MSIs. Now when you save 5.0 package out of AVE, we will write the MSI file along with the other App-V 5.0 files.

Adding the support for package MSI was actually rather straightforward, as 5.0’s MSI files are actually simpler than one used by App-V 4.X! There’s no more OSDs or other extraneous files carried on within the MSI, just the logic to make App-V Client to import package upon running MSI (or removing it if removing MSI). One interesting side-effect that we noticed is that with 5.0 MSI you will need to have MSI file named exactly the same as the main .APPV file. If you remember, with 4.X MSIs there’s direct reference to the .SFT file inside the Properties -table but that’s not the case with 5.0 MSIs!

Another new and interesting feature we decided to add to AVE is package conversion functionality. This feature is only available in the Professional Edition, as that edition has the support for pre-5.x packages, and it allows you to import 4.X (or even older, as long as you have .SPRJ file available) packages into 5.0 -supporting AVE. What we try to do, above and beyond App-V’s own Sequencer and its conversion capabilities, is to convert all the scripting and also “synthesize” some of the application extensions directly from the information in the virtual registry!

Granted, most of the more complex app extensions are not lifted during conversion, but we may look into adding support for some of those in the future, depending on the feedback we get about the functionality. Please also note that some of the older legacy App-V packages may contain applications that just don’t work in converted form and so we don’t promise 100% hit rate (but that’s something you already knew from Sequencer as well ;-)).

As an example, here’s one rather old App-V package converted into 5.X using the new feature otherwise fine, but which sadly is bombing out on the client when trying to execute the main executable (16-bit weirdness suspected…):

Microsoft Bob, converted to 5.0

(and yes, this package was originally packaged with SoftGrid 3.2, back in 2006!)

In addition to completely new features, we have ported few things from the Classic AVE to the new AVE. One is App-V package repository browser which allows you to quickly open up App-V 5.0 packages from the (central) package repository you likely have somewhere in the network without manually browsing around. Another is ability to import complete directory structures into 5.0 packages, something that has been possible with pre-5.X packages but was missing in 5.0 -supporting AVE.

In addition to new features, we have also fixed number of smaller and bigger issues.

 

As usual, you can download the newest edition from our Customer Portal if you have valid maintenance in effect for your existing AVE licenses, or try out the new version by downloading the trial version from our AVE homepage.

Enjoy!

 

 

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About Kalle Saunamäki

As one of the first four Microsoft App-V MVP's, Kalle has been doing application virtualization since 2003 and virtualization in general from 2000, and is a recognized in-depth technological expert in Microsoft application virtualization community.

View all posts by Kalle Saunamäki

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