Understanding ConfigMgr 2012 APP-V Virtual Environments
ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 introduced APP-V Virtual Environments (VE). APP-V VE’s work differently to APP-V 5.0 Connection Groups in a “Full Infrastructure Model” (ie Publishing Server) so we need to do some application mapping before implementing APP-V Virtual Environments. You can think of ConfigMgr VE’s as a “Rule Set” that the ConfigMgr client evaluates when doing an application evaluation cycle. Once a client evaluates true to a VE “Policy”, the connection group is then created, The deviate in ConfigMgr is that an APP-V application can only be a member of one VE at anyone time. This blog aims to explain the reasons why this is the case and why application mapping is vital if your virtual application catalogue has a large number of applications that are highly dependant on other applications.
Let’s say I have a three Applications I need to configure in a Connection Groups, in Full Infra I could easily create three separate connection groups and use the Priority to determine which VFS wins in a conflict.
Full Infra Example (Firefox , Flash & Reader)
Connection Group 1 = Firefox and Flash, priority = 1
Connection Group 2 = Firefox and Reader, priority = 2
Connection Group 3 = Firefox and Flash and Reader, priority = 3
If I do not set my priorities correctly than as you know we get the following error
However in ConfigMgr we need to use a single Virtual Environment Rule Set per application that we need to manage a Connection group for, and set Logical operators to determine the priorities. By Default the Connection Group priority in a ConfigMgr integrated environment is always set to “4294967294” (ie, the priority in traditional terms is not used in ConfigMgr). This is the underlining reason why a ConfigMgr virtual application can only ever be a member of one VE at any one time. ConfigMgr manages the creation of the Connection Group XML that gets created and processed by the client when the Client meets the rules set defined in the Virtual Environment.
If I tried to setup the ConfigMgr Virtual Environment in the same way as I do in Full Infra, illustration below, This WILL NOT WORK! And we will end up with the same error as above
Misconfigured Example below
As I evaluate to True for both Virtual Environment Rule Set I configure both connection Groups but of course get the same ERROR
To configure this in ConfigMgr I need to use my Logical operators inside the VE to achieve the same result I would get if doing it in a Full Infrastructure environment
Client 1: Has Firefox and Reader installed, ie No Flash. This meets the Virtual Environment rule configured so the “Firefox connection Group is created for Firefox and Reader.
Client 2: Has Firefox, Flash and Reader installed. This also meets the Virtual Environment however as I have all three applications, the Flash VFS will take precedence over the Reader VFS as we have set Flash with a high ‘Order” in the Virtual Environment’.
Hope this helps clear up some miss understandings on how APP-V VE’s work in ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 +..