Automatically sequence multiple apps at the same time using Microsoft Application Virtualization Sequencer (App-V Sequencer)

Applies to

  • Windows 10, version 1703

Sequencing multiple apps at the same time requires you to install and start Microsoft Application Virtualization Sequencer (App-V Sequencer), and to install the necessary apps to collect any changes made to the operating system during the installation and building of the App-V package.

In Windows 10, version 1703, running the App-V Sequencer automatically captures and stores your customizations as an App-V project template (.appvt) file. If you want to make changes to this package later, your customizations will be automatically loaded from this template file. This is applicable to all of the sequencing scenarios:

  • Using the New-BatchAppVSequencerPackages cmdlet

  • Using the App-V Sequencer interface

  • Using the new-AppVSequencerPackage cmdlet

Sequence multiple apps by using a PowerShell cmdlet

Sequencing multiple apps at the same time requires that you create a ConfigFile with info related to each round of sequencing. This file is then used by the cmdlet to start the VM at a "clean" checkpoint, to copy the installer from the Host device to the VM, and then to start the App-V Sequencer to monitor your specified app installations.

To create your ConfigFile for use by the PowerShell cmdlet

  1. Determine the apps that need to be included in your App-V sequencing package, and then open a text editor, such as Notepad.

  2. Add the following required XML info for each app:

    • <AppName>. The name of the app you're adding to the package.

    • <InstallerFolder>. The file path to the folder with the app installer.

    • <Installer>. The file name for the app executable. This will typically be an .exe or .msi file.

    • <InstallerOptions>. The command-line options required for the app installation.

    • <TimeoutInMinutes>. The maximum amount of time, in minutes, that the cmdlet should wait for sequencing to complete. You can enter a different value for each app, based on the size and complexity of the app itself.

    • <Cmdlet>. Determines whether the sequencer uses the cmdlet or the App-V Sequencer interface. True tells the sequencer to use cmdlet-based sequencing, while False tells the sequencer to use the App-V Sequencer interface. You can use both the cmdlet and the interface together in the same ConfigFile, for different apps.

    • <Enabled>. Indicates whether the app should be sequenced. True includes the app, while False ignores it. You can include as many apps as you want in the batch file, but optionally enable only a few of them.

      Example:

      <?xml version="1.0"?>
          <Applications>
              <Application>
                  <AppName>Skype for Windows</AppName>
                  <InstallerFolder>D:\Install\New\SkypeforWindows</InstallerFolder>
                  <Installer>SkypeSetup.exe</Installer>
                  <InstallerOptions>/S</InstallerOptions>
                  <TimeoutInMinutes>20</TimeoutInMinutes>
                  <Cmdlet>True</Cmdlet>
                  <Enabled>True</Enabled>
              </Application>
              <Application>
                  <AppName>Power BI</AppName>
                  <InstallerFolder>D:\Install\New\MicrosoftPowerBI</InstallerFolder>
                  <Installer>PBIDesktop.msi</Installer>
                  <InstallerOptions>/S</InstallerOptions>
                  <TimeoutInMinutes>20</TimeoutInMinutes>
                  <Cmdlet>True</Cmdlet>
                  <Enabled>True</Enabled>
              </Application>
          </Applications>
      </xml>
      
  3. Save your completed file, using the name ConfigFile.

To start the App-V Sequencer interface and app installation process

  • Open PowerShell as an admin on the Host computer and run the following commands to start the batch sequencing:

    New-BatchAppVSequencerPackages –ConfigFile <path_to_configfile> –VMName <name_of_vm> -OutputPath <path_to_your_output> 
    

    Where VMName is the name of the virtual machine (VM) with the App-V Sequencer installed, where you'll run the batch sequencing, and OutputPath is the full path to where the sequenced packages should be copied.

    The cmdlet creates a "clean" checkpoint on the VM. Next, the cmdlet copies the first app installer listed in the ConfigFile from the Host computer to the VM, and finally a new session of the VM opens (through VMConnect) and sequencing of the app begins from the command-line. After completing sequencing and package creation for the first app on the VM, the package is copied from the VM to the Host computer, specified in the OutputPath parameter. The cmdlet then goes to the second app on your list, reverting the VM back to a "clean" checkpoint and running through all of the steps again, until the second app package is copied to your output folder. This process continues until all apps included in your list are done. After the last app, the VM is reverted back to a "clean" checkpoint and turned off.

Sequence multiple apps by using the App-V Sequencer interface

Sequencing multipe apps at the same time requires that you create a ConfigFIle to collect all of the info related to each round of sequencing. This file is then used by the App-V Sequencer interface after creating a "clean" checkpoint on your VM.

To create your ConfigFile for use by the App-V Sequencer interface

  1. Determine the apps that need to be included in your App-V sequencing package, and then open a text editor, such as Notepad.

  2. Add the following required XML info for each app:

    • <AppName>. The name of the app you're adding to the package.

    • <InstallerFolder>. The file path to the folder with the app installer.

    • <Installer>. The file name for the app executable. This will typically be an .exe or .msi file.

    • <TimeoutInMinutes>. The maximum amount of time, in minutes, that the cmdlet should wait for sequencing to complete. You can enter a different value for each app, based on the size and complexity of the app itself.

    • <Cmdlet>. Determines whether the sequencer uses the cmdlet or the App-V Sequencer interface. True tells the sequencer to usea cmdlet-based sequencing, while False tells the sequencer to use the App-V Sequencer interface. You can use both the cmdlet and the interface together in the same ConfigFile, for different apps.

    • <Enabled>. Indicates whether the app should be sequenced. True includes the app, while False ignores it. You can include as many apps as you want in the batch file, but optionally enable only a few of them.

      Example:

      <?xml version="1.0"?>
          <Applications>
              <Application>
                  <AppName>Skype for Windows</AppName>
                  <InstallerFolder>D:\Install\New\SkypeforWindows</InstallerFolder>
                  <Installer>SkypeSetup.exe</Installer>
                  <TimeoutInMinutes>20</TimeoutInMinutes>
                  <Cmdlet>False</Cmdlet>
                  <Enabled>True</Enabled>
              </Application>
              <Application>
                  <AppName>Power BI</AppName>
                  <InstallerFolder>D:\Install\New\MicrosoftPowerBI</InstallerFolder>
                  <Installer>PBIDesktop.msi</Installer>
                  <TimeoutInMinutes>20</TimeoutInMinutes>
                  <Cmdlet>False</Cmdlet>
                  <Enabled>True</Enabled>
              </Application>
          </Applications>
      </xml>
      

To start the App-V Sequencer interface and app installation process

  • Open PowerShell as an admin on the Host computer and run the following commands to start the batch sequencing:

    New-BatchAppVSequencerPackages –ConfigFile <path_to_configfile> –VMName <name_of_vm> -OutputPath <path_to_your_output> 
    

    Where VMName is the name of the virtual machine (VM) with the App-V Sequencer installed, where you'll run the batch sequencing, and OutputPath is the full path to where the sequenced packages should be copied.

    The cmdlet creates a "clean" checkpoint on the VM. Next, the cmdlet copies the first app installer listed in the ConfigFile from the Host computer to the VM, and finally a new session of the VM opens (through VMConnect) and sequencing of the app begins from the command-line. After completing sequencing and package creation for the first app on the VM, the package is copied from the VM to the Host computer, specified in the OutputPath parameter. The cmdlet then goes to the second app on your list, reverting the VM back to a "clean" checkpoint and running through all of the steps again, until the second app package is copied to your output folder. This process continues until all apps included in your list are done. After the last app, the VM is reverted back to a "clean" checkpoint and turned off.

Review the log files

There are 3 types of log files that occur when you sequence multiple apps at the same time:

  • New-BatchAppVSequencerPackages-<time_stamp>.txt. Located in the %temp%\AutoSequencer\Logs directory. This log contains info about the sequencing activities, such as "Copying installer to VM", "Scheduling sequencing task", and so on for each app. Additionally, if an app times out, this log contains the failure along with the checkpoint for troubleshooting the problem.

  • New-BatchAppVSequencerPackages-report-<time_stamp>.txt. Located in the OutputPath folder you specified earlier. This log contains info about the connections made to the VM, showing if there were any failures. Additionally, it briefly includes success or failure info for all of the apps.

  • Log.txt file. Located in the Output Package folder. This file contains all code included in the NewAppVSequencerPackage cmdlet, including the allowed parameters.

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