For a couple of weeks I am working with the App Volumes 4.x. This version has another dynamic method of delivering applications than the previous 2.x versions I worked with.
One of the highlights for App Volumes 4 is the new Simplified Application Management capabilities. This includes improvements in the way application lifecycle is managed. Instead of capturing applications in objects called AppStacks, as you did in App Volumes 2.x, you now work with applications, packages, and programs. These additional components provide you with granular control over application lifecycle and improve administrative workflows.
App Volumes employs Simplified Application Management, which typically has the following workflow:
- Applications – You create the application first. An application in App Volumes 4 represents one or more packaged versions of software. Assignments are done at the application level to users, groups, computers or organizational units. Assignments can now be made directly to a specific package or to the package with the current marker.
- Packages – Next, you use a packaging VM to capture application bits to a virtual disk for distribution to users and computers. The process is similar to creating AppStacks. Packages are assigned a stage at creation, and the stage can be advanced as the package goes through its lifecycle.
- Programs – Finally, the program is auto-generated during package creation. The name of the program is automatic, and executables and actual bits are captured during the package creation. The program may contain one or more application installers.
It is possible to manage multiple applications in logical groups such as departments as shown in this diagram:
But in this blog I will create an application (Notepad ++) and create two packages as shown in this diagram. This is an example of managing the lifecycle of your applications.
The first step is connecting to App Volumes Manager.
As you can see the Applications, Packages and Programs are visible in the menu. The first step is create the Application Notepad ++.
Fill out the Name and Description. Select “Create a Package” and “Create”
The Create Package opens automatically. Give the Package the Name and select the following items and finally create the package.
Confirm the creation.
As you can see the Application is created.
The Package is also created but has the status “unpackaged”.
The next step is to package the application. Select Package.
Find your Packaging Virtual Machine. It has to be Powered On with App Volumes Agent running. Select the VM and the “package” button.
Confirm Start Packaging.
Log in to the Packaging VM. As you can see I can start installing the application.
Best practices for setting up a Packaging VM: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-App-Volumes/4/com.vmware.appvolumes.admin.doc/GUID-BCC67C19-AC5C-4D25-9F1B-9BE8536A2909.html
I will perform a next, next finish installation ;-)!
Select “I agree”
Now it is time to finish the packaging process! Select OK
After the reboot of the Provisioning VM …. log on to the Provisiong VM and select Finalize.
Select Ok and revert your Provisioning VM to state it was before you start packaging this Application.
Go back to App Volumes Manager page and as you can see there is NO package set as current.
Go to the Packages Tab and set the installed application (Notepad ++ 7.8.5) as current.
Select “Set Current”
All Assigned users or groups will now get the this version of Notepad.
To show the possility of managing the lifecycle of an Application I created another version of Notepad ++. (7.8.6)
I followed the same steps as I did for the previous version. As you can see there are now two Packages of Notepad++ availabe in the App Volumes Manager. But only one is set a Current.
Set the new Package (7.8.6) as current.
Now the new package is associated to the Application Notepad ++
As I described at the start there are multiple ways to deploy your applications to your users and computers using App Volumes 4.x. I hope that I gave you some insights in the possibilties.