Why you shouldn't let your Appsense SMEs dictate APP-V deployment/Management

I have recently been asked to do some consultancy work with a client running app-v 5.0 SP3 with SCCM 2012 R2 that are encountering several issues

  • App-v client will error when applications are attempted to be upgraded.
  • applications are deployed to machines but duplicate shortcuts are present after a reboot.
  • SCCM will uninstall the app-v package however users can still run it.
  • applications will randomly disappear from the users desktop/start menu

after a little investigation and chat with the project it was discovered that applications are deployed to the machine via sccm, however after a reboot an appsense EM config would run that would check the logged in user and their group membership, then would clean out their start menu (not unpublish applications) and then re-publish the application to the specific user.

my first reply to finding this out was why? why would such an overly complex and convoluted approach be used to simply limit app-v applications to the specific user.
The reply i got was way below acceptable. "that is what our appsense SME told us to do and was the recommended approach by Microsoft and appsense" and that deploying app-v applications to a user collection was unsupported by Microsoft.

regarding both statements i knew these were untrue however to get and official line i spoke to a Microsoft representative that specializes in app-v just to get an official stance and they have also confirmed both statements are untrue, as Microsoft only support 3 real methods deployments and that management of depoyments should be handled by SCCM or APP-V infrastructure.

  • Manual
  • SCCM 
  • APP-V Infrastructure

at this time alarm bells start to ring that app sense was being used because it was payed for and cost money. and im sorry but using appsense for the sake of using it is where issues like this occur, but i digress

when the appsense EM was being run it was re-publishing to the user, however when the sccm client was performing a remove it was unpublishing to the machine, and not the user, however as EM created the shortcuts for the user and did not have a uninstall process the shortcuts were left and as they were using app-v in basically a stand alone mode (with sccm) no check on the client was done and the application would launch.

after further investigation this process being used caused numerous issues with the app-v client such as applications would fail to be replaced as the machine application was removed however as it was still user published the application would get stuck in pending upgrade as the VE was in use by the user but sccm would report the past application as removed.

the rebuild script of the start menu on login would sometimes be slow and would not kick off even after 2-5 minutes after being logged in.

this is something i felt must be shared, and that is never trust the app sense SME's to dictate application deployment as in my experience with multiple projects they have less experience than you the packager, and they have an idea in their head how appsense can manage things, but the question should be asked should it be used?


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