Hi all,

I am a system engineer ata company that has about 25,000 computers. We are just starting to step into the App-V world. One thing that is not clear to us is how we should be upgrading packages and how the uses will perceive this change. Lets take MS Visio for example. This is just an example. Typically we would elevate overnight, the new Visio package, say from 2003 to version 2007. The new version 2007 install would remove the old version and install the new. We use SCCM to manage App-V.

We use a unique naming convention for each package in SCCM, such as Visio_Microsoft_v2003_MNT.
Right now we have a version of visio advertised to the environment - About 3,000 machines have Visio. We want to upgrade to the next version. Should we create a new advertisement and schedule the old Ad to end right before the new is advertised? Should we just call the Visio package the same as the old and just update the current package? In this case would users only get the upgrade when they log in and go through the publishing refresh?
Maybe we should keep the name of the package consistent and do not include the version number? However, I recall we were told we should keep the name unique.
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Visio is an excellent example of when to use different methods. If you are patching Visio 2003 then you would keep the same name and upgrade the existing package. If you are upgrading to Visio 2007 then you would start a new sequence from scratch and use Visio_Microsoft_v2007_MNT. So you "upgrade" to patch levels but you "move to" new major releases.

Think of upgrades as having an original sequence, and sequence upgrades are change deltas. That is efficent when you're patching since they are very small in comparison to the original sequence. When you change major version levels nothing in the original sequence would remain (in this case Visio 2003) and your change deltas would be huge. That is no longer efficient, so you will want to start a new Visio 2007 sequence.

As for distribution, virtualization changes the thinking a bit as it becomes an On Demand model. When upgrades/patches are added they will be seamlessly streamed down as users use the apps. When moving to a new major release, using your Visio example, when the time comes I would simply pull the users out of the Visio 2003 group and add them to the Visio 2007 group. Their icons will change on the next publishing refresh. They will stream the app on first use, or pre-stream if you configured clients to do that.
Answered 09/22/2011 by: VikingLoki
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OK, thanks this is a big help! I am still a little confused on the second part.
We have through our security group....security ROL (eTrust) groups set up for thousands of users. The groupd for example might be called ROL_AppV_Visio. We can't be moving users between groups. I understand the upgrade patch as you described. I would have our Deployment team update the package in SCCM so the users will seamlessly get the update. But, for major upgrades I am still a little fuzzy. How do you avoid users seeing two icons, 2003 and 2007 at once?
I am guessing we would unadvertise 2003 and then immediately advertise 2007. Is there any period in there where they see two icons during the change over? I mean the client caches a portion on the desktop. How would that transition take place?

The other issue is involving laptops. Is there a way for us to set our laptops to cache more of the program to run off line. And if this is possible, does this become an issue when we remove someone from a colletion and they are no longer licensed to use an app. Will they still be able to use the application?

Thanks! I inherited this project from somone and have not had formal training!
Answered 09/22/2011 by: boardn10
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While all users are not upgraded at once, when a user is updated all their App-V icons are updated at once. If you take the user out of 2003 and into 2007, they will see 2003 before they refresh their publishing and they will only see 2007 afterwards. They will only see 2003 and 2007 at the same time if that's what you configured it to do. App-V is permissions based so the App-V local cache would still have both 2003 and 2007 sequences but the user would only see 2007. 2003 would remain in the local cache until it is cycled out by a sequence more frequently used, exactly when & how depends on the App-V Client's cache settings.

As for laptops, look at the congfiguration options of the App-V Client and configure as appropriate for your laptops (also can be set via GPO). You will need to configure laptop AppV clients to locally cache all available apps if you want them useable when the laptop is on the road. Updating laptops works like this; when the App-V client can't speak to the publishing server, it will assume that what was received on the last refresh is still valid and will allow the user to run any locally cached sequence they had access to on the last refresh. This will continue until a configurable timeout is reached (default 30 days, i think) at which time the user loses all access to virtual apps until they successfully contact the publishing server again and refresh their security configuration.
Answered 09/22/2011 by: VikingLoki
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