Restarted working on mayaDeploy


I have restarted the coding of mayadeploy, a Full Package Management Solution for Small Business, It will be re-coded in Python & G++, using WX as GUI library.

Few silent features are as follows,

  1. Based on Server & Client architecture
  2. Using this managers will be able to deploy packages on to his reportee’s computer without any human intervention. (Only for App-V Packages for now)
  3. Will support following file types for deployment:- msi, exe, batch files, App-V Packages
  4. Ver: 2 will support even hardware & software reporting
  5. Will have entire Software Life cycle support.
    1. New Software request or Existing Software request
    2. Integration, packaging, UAT and Deployment lifecycle integrated.

as always i am requesting yours comments and suggestions to make it a success.

Alpha 1 Version of App-V Interview Questions


Dear All,

My first try to consolidate all the app-v interview questions. http://sourceforge.net/projects/softgridhelper/files/Documentations/AppV%20Interview%20Questions_Ver_0.0.1Alpha1.pdf/download

As always your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Enjoy,

Mayank Johri

FAQ: Valid OS Tag Values in an OSD File.


Target OS OSD Tag Value Minimal AppV Client
Windows NT VALUE=”WinNT”/> 4.1
Windows 2000 VALUE=”Win2K”/> 4.1
Windows 2000 Server VALUE=”Win2KSvr”/> 4.1
Windows 2000 Terminal Server VALUE=”Win2KTS”/> 4.1
Windows XP VALUE=”WinXP”/> 4.1
Windows XP x64 VALUE=”WinXP64″/> 4.6 x64
Windows Server 2003 VALUE=”Win2003Svr”/> 4.1
Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server VALUE=”Win2003TS”/> 4.1
Windows 2003 Terminal Server x64 VALUE=”Win2003TS64″/> 4.6 x64
Windows Vista VALUE=”WinVista”/> 4.2
Windows Vista x64 VALUE=”WinVista64″/> 4.6 x64
Windows 2008 Terminal Server VALUE=”Win2008TS”/> 4.5
Windows 2008 Terminal Server x64 VALUE=”Win2008TS64″/> 4.6 x64
Windows 7 VALUE=”Win7″/> 4.5 sp1
Windows 7 x64 VALUE=”Win764″/> 4.6 x64
Windows 2008 R2 Terminal Server x64 VALUE=”Win2008R2TS64″/> 4.6 x64

App-V Interview Questions


  1. What is App-V Sequencing
  2. What is VFS sequencing
  3. What is MNT Sequencing
  4. What is SystemGuard
  5. What are the protocols supported for streaming
  6. What is active upgrade
  7. Which applications can be sequenced.
  8. How to manage exclusion list
  9. Can network shortcut applications be sequenced
  10. Can host files be sequenced
  11. Define the normal upgrade process
  12. What precautions are needed while sequencing
  13. How reboots are handled while sequencing
  14. Can all types of services be sequenced
  15. Why application is launched more than once while sequencing.
  16. How much disk space is required on sequencing machine
  17. Which hardware component be updated to get better performance in sequencing process.
  18. What is a suite and how we can create them
  19. What is the difference between update and active upgrade
  20. What is the difference between suite and dynamic suite
  21. Why only Q drive is necessary for sequencing can we have any other also.
  22. Name few disadvantages of using SCCM server for deploying App-V Applications
  23. Name few advantages of using SCCM server for deploying App-V Applications

Download the Alpha Version of the App-V Interview Questions from http://sourceforge.net/projects/softgridhelper/files/Documentations/

FAQ: AppV : Can I stream application if it was sequenced on other OS


Short Answer is Yes & No.

Long Answer: If the application was sequenced on WinXP and streamed on Vista then there is more chances for the application to work but reverse is not recommended.

Also if the application when physically installed does not work then even the virtualized application will also not work.

FAQ: App-V: How to use the custom Exclusion List while Sequencing


Steps to create the custom exclusion list.

  1. Launch the AppV sequencer.
  2. Goto Tools -> Options
  3. Select “Exclusion Items” tab
  4. Add new exclusion items using “New Button”
  5. When all the exclusion items are added then press “Save As Default” button
  6. Copy the default.sprj file from “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Application Virtualization Sequencer\” or the folder where the sequencer was installed to some network share from where it can be accessed later.

Using the custom exclusion list

  1. Copy the saved default.sprj file to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Application Virtualization Sequencer\” before launching the Sequencer.
  2. When launched the sequencer will take the exclusion list from the default.sft file.

PitHole: softgrid – Not running apps while in Capture Mode


Following are the few of the reasons why one should execute the applications while in capture mode.

1. Applicataion initialization: Most of the applications initialize on there first lauch and it is a good idea to capture that, Applications can do that by many ways such as self healing, etc

2. Component evaluating: This is something Sequencer does, it scans all the files and there working and based on that it sets the softricity attributes to the files and folders,

Microsoft Application Virtualization: Tips to pick right apps for sequencing


The following guidelines can be applied to test if any given application is a good candidate for sequencing or not.

  1. Application Size: If the maximum client cache size is set for 4 GB (The Max can be 64 GB), then the maximum size of application (sft file) which can be streamed on that machine is 4 GB.
  2. All applications which have the installed footprint greater than or equal to the max client size, set by the client, should not be sequenced. The Max application size Softgrid can handle is 4GB, [This is my guess as Q: drive has FAT filetype and the max filesize FAT can handle is 4GB ]. More details at http://www.softgridguru.com/viewtopic.php?t=2763.

  3. Device Driver: Softgrid presently do not support sequencing of device drivers thus any application which install device driver should not be sequenced.
    The only exception is when the device driver can be installed locally without installing the application. In this case the Device driver should be installed locally and only the application without the device driver should be sequenced.
  4. Plugins: Specially Office plugins, although they can be sequenced without any issue, they should not be sequenced due to usage issues. For example you sequenced 4 excel plugins and one user is using all 4 of them. Say he opened excel through one sequenced version, created the document and closed it. Now App-V & OS does not have a mechanism to open that excel sheet using that particular sequence  The only workaround is to sequence all the plugins in a group. But now the issue is to maintain all the plugin sequences also if you are working for a company which heavily relay on Office Plugins and most user use different set of plugins than managing the sequence will be a nightmare.
  5. Windows Context menu: Presently App-V does not have mechanism to handle Windows Context Menu, thus these types of applications are not good candidate for Sequencing.
  6. Custom Application Protocol: Some applications have custom launch protocols, such as “abcd://testing” etc. These types of applications cannot be sequenced without installing a prerequisite. See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa767914%28VS.85%29.aspx and http://www.codeplex.com/customurl for more details how to archive it.
  7. Shortcuts: Application should have a minimum of 1 Shortcut. If no shortcuts are present then the application should be sequenced in a Suite along with the application which needs it.
    If Macromedia Flash is the application in question to be sequenced then the shortcut should be pointing to the locally installed IE.
  8. Middleware: Middleware applications are not a good candidate for sequencing as they can be used as prerequisites by various many applications in the build and thus should be installed locally. but if multiple version of it are needed then it should be sequenced along with the application which needs them.
  9. Path hard coding: The application should not have folder/file path hard-coded in the application itself. Some application hard code the path of files in registry or ini file or executables. In these cases it has been found that the application can be sequenced most of the time, but extreme care should be taken while sequencing & testing. Configuration files such as ini, conf, txt etc are good places to look for the hard-coding.
  10. Base Build Applications: Applications which are already part of base build should not be sequenced. One can sequence them but they are of no real value.
  11. Auto Update: Application with automatic updates should not be sequenced. Sequenced application most of the time fails to properly update itself. Also allowing auto update leads to non compliance of application version. These type of applications should be sequenced only if the auto update feature can be disabled during sequencing procedure and users should be educated not to enable the feature.
  12. Services: For services -item, you should note that services that can be started when application starts and shut down when application main executable shuts down can be included in sequence. Only services that run as their own are (like boot-time services do but there are others) not suitable for sequencing as under SoftGrid all application starting happens under user’s session context. Special thanks to ksaunam.
  13. COM+: Some application which uses COM+ might not work properly in virtual environment, thus this type of applications needs be tested properly.
  14. COM DLL: Few application which uses COM DLL surrogate virtualization, i.e. DLL’s that run in Dllhost.exe, does not work properly in Softgrid Environment. Thus this type of applications needs be tested properly.
  15. Licensing Policies: Applications with licensing enforcement tied to machine, e.g. the license is tied to the system’s MAC address. This type of application should not be sequenced if the activation can not be done by the user at the first launch of sequenced application.
  16. Internet Explorer & Service Packs: Internet Explorer, Services Patch and Service pack can not be sequenced.
  17. Hosts file can not be sequenced
  18. Applications using or accessing WMI to access virtual environment such as registry, files etc.
  19. Applications which require or allow locally installed applications to access it. such as MS Office applications. NOTE: Sequencer should make sure no instance of locally installed application is running before virtual application is launched.
About Company
A global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing, Capgemini has 90,000 employees across 30 countries with revenues in excess of $13 Billion. Our 10 years in India have seen us grow into a dynamic organisation that’s 20,000 strong. As part of Capgemini, you’ll have the opportunity to develop strategies on some of the world’s biggest brands for markets that span the globe. At Capgemini, we make it a policy to partner our clients and help them find a solution. We call this the Collaborative Business Experience. And the results show, when both our clients and our employees prosper. So, if you want to make the most of global opportunities, come join us.

Job Description:

Required:

2 to 10yrs in application re- packaging using tools like Installshield adminstudio/Wise package studio

Repackage legacy setup to Windows installer format

Create MSI transforms

Job Loc: Mumbai.

  1. Application Size: If the maximum client cache size is set for 4 GB (The Max can be 64 GB), then the maximum size of application (sft file) which can be streamed on that machine is 4 GB.
  2. All applications which have the installed footprint greater then or equal to the max client size, set by the client, should not be sequenced. The Max applicaiton size Softgrid can handle is 4GB, [This is my guess as Q: drive has FAT filetype and the max filesize FAT can handle is 4GB ]. More details at http://www.softgridguru.com/viewtopic.php?t=2763.

  3. Device Driver: Softgrid presently do not support sequencing of device drivers thus any application which install device driver should not be sequenced.
    The only exception is when the device driver can be installed locally without installing the application. In this case the Device driver should be installed locally and only the application without the device driver should be sequenced.
  4. Plugins: Specially Office plugins, although they can be sequenced without any issue. But due to usage issues, sequencing of them should be avoided. For example you sequenced 4 excel plugins and one user is using all 4 of them. Say he opened excel through one sequenced version, created the document and closed it. Now App-V & OS does not have a mechanism to open that excel sheet in the correct sequenced version of excel. The only workaround is to sequence all the plugins in a group. But now the issue is to maintain all the plugin sequences also if you are working for a company which heavily relay on Office Plugins and most user use different set of plugins then managing the sequence will be a nightmare.
  5. Windows Context menu: Presently App-V does not have mechanism to handle Windows Context Menu, thus these types of applications are not good candidate for Sequencing.
  6. Custom Application Protocol: Some applications have custom launch protocols, such as “abcd://testing” etc. These types of applications cannot be sequenced without installing a prerequisite. See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa767914%28VS.85%29.aspx and http://www.codeplex.com/customurl for more details how to archive it.
  7. Shortcuts: Application should have minimum of 1 Shortcut. If no shortcuts are present then the application should be sequenced in a Suite along with the application which needs it.
    If Macromedia Flash is the application in question to be sequenced then the shortcut should be pointing to the locally installed IE.
  8. Middleware: Middleware applications are not a good candidate for sequencing as they can be used as prerequisites by various many applications in the build and thus should be installed locally. but if multiple version of it are needed then it should be sequenced along with the application which needs them.
  9. Path hard coding: The application should not have folder/file path hard coded in the application itself. Some application hard code the path of files in registry or ini file or executables.
  10. In these cases it has been found that the application can be sequenced most of the time, but extreme care should be taken while sequencing & testing. Configuration files such as ini, conf, txt etc are good places to look for the hardcoding.

  11. Base Build Applications: Applications which are already part of base build should not be sequenced. One can sequence them but they are of no real value.
  12. Auto Update: Application with automatic updates should not be sequenced. Sequenced application most of the time fails to properly update itself. Also allowing auto update leads to non compliance of application version.
  13. Application should be sequenced only if the auto update feature can be disabled during sequencing procedure.

  14. Services: For services -item, you should note that services that can be started when application starts and shut down when application main executable shuts down can be included in sequence. Only services that run as their own are (like boot-time services do but there are others) not suitable for sequencing since under SoftGrid all application starting happens under user’s session context. Special thanks to ksaunam.
  15. COM+: Some application which uses COM+ might not work properly in virtual environment, thus this type of applications needs be tested properly.
  16. COM DLL: Few application which uses COM DLL surrogate virtualization, i.e. DLL’s that run in Dllhost.exe, does not work properly in Softgrid Environment. Thus this type of applications needs be tested properly.
  17. Licensing Policies: Applications with licensing enforcement tied to machine, e.g. the license is tied to the system’s MAC address. This type of application should not be sequenced if the activation can not be done by the user at the first launch of sequenced application.
  18. Internet Explorer & Service Packs: Internet Explorer, Services Patch and Service pack can not be sequenced.
  19. Hosts file can not be sequenced

Softgrid Helper Ver: 0.02 Released.


Hello All,

Today I am releasing a newer & better version of the Softgrid Helper.

New Features:
1. New Installer: The msi package has been created using War Setup which internally uses Microsoft WIX.
2. Logging Enabled: Now most of the task has been logged so that any issue can be debugged.
3. New Name & Icons: New icons make this application look better.

Bug Fix(es) :
1. Refresh All and clean up issues have been resolved.

The installer can be downloaded from Here

Thanks and Regards,
Mayank Johri

Note:
1. This software is should not be used in production and has not been tested at all.
2. This software has been released under GNU 3.0 License.


This is my second tool which i use to clean up the OSD files, and prepare them to promote them to production server by updating the server name in the OSD files by right clicking them and selecting “update to Prod Server” in Windows Explorer.

The tool can be downloaded from OSD Helper
The source code of the package is also available with the package and is released under GNU 3 License.

NOTE: This program has not been tested fully and will contain many bugs, kindly report them and this program has not been intended to be used in production. Use it at your own risk.

Also comments and suggestions are always welcome.