Tag Archives: workspace management

Using RES Workspace and Automation Manager with App-V 5.0

At the time of writing this RES Workspace Manager and Automation Manager do not currently support App-V 5.0 and PowerShell 3.

This article is the work around… We are using RES WM and AM to publish and manager App-V 5 packages. I’m guessing there are other/better ways of doing this 😉

First of all using Automation Manager I created a new module called “App-V 5 Publisher”.  Within this a “Command” task (note, PowerShell 3.0 is not supported at this time).The script field has the following,

“”c:\windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe” “add-appvclientpackage -Path ‘$[AppPath]‘| Publish-AppvClientPackage -global | Mount-AppvClientPackage””

The ‘file extension of Script’ is the default ‘cmd’.

Note: I use a parameter called AppPath to which we pass a variable from Workspace Manager.

Under the Settings tab, I execute the command using the windows command interpreter and I specify a domain based service account with local admin access.

Note:  You need to ‘Load user profile’.

That’s all that’s required in Automation Manager.

Before the Workspace manager configuration I recommend you publish the app to your “test” machine which also has the WM management console… Un publish/remove when after the following steps.

In Workspace Manager, under Composition and Applications, create a new package (using the wizard if you prefer) and for the application path, browse/type the location of the published application (%programdata%\appv\etc\etc…

Configure the application as you would any other managed app. Note you can still use Process Interception, Zero Profiles, etc…

Under the Configuration options add a new Automation Task.

Now select the module you created in Automation Manager (above). You will be prompted to enter a parameter value for the module. Enter the path to your app-v package (Package.appv) on your content/network share.

Select ‘Skip if application executable was found’, ‘wait for task to finish before continuing’ and ‘Run before other actions’.

Click OK and ta-da, test away…

This is far from perfect but it works (for me anyway). My only recommendation at the moment would be not to publish packages with start menu/desktop shortcuts and use Workspace Manager for this. As the package is being published globally, other users of that workstation will be able to access the package (unless you implement other lockdown, etc).

It’s a start anyway!

The Power of a Service Store

At work we have traditionally opted for a push “everything” to everyone and everywhere model with the desktop. This in my view is a legacy concept and can pigeonhole users in to a single “class” of user type.

For us (IT) it’s becoming increasingly challenging to manage the diverse range of users we have. From the task worker to mobile power user we can no longer “dictate” what people use to work/study.

One of the most exciting projects I think I’ve led in my time here is the introduction of the KUSS (Kingston University Service Store). With the KUSS we will (have already started to) change users into service consumers and empower our staff and students to control their workspace. This is achieved by providing a personal service catalogue, where services can be subscribed to and where the service will follow the user.

To give an example of how a small and simple service can dramatically improve the user experience, as well as save time and not have IT involved with the process…

One of our service store workflows has reduced one support task from an average 1 to 3 days response time down to 30 seconds!

Our academics often require the ability to have local administrator access on their managed workstations. The traditional process for this has been to,

  • Log a call with the service desk
  • Wait for the call to be escalated to the local support team
  • Wait for local support team to either remotely add the user to the local administrators group or visit the machine in person.

Now with the KUSS we are providing users with a self-service facility to grant local administration access on their local workstation without the service desk or IT being involved. In addition to this a job is automatically opened and resolved for the user on our helpdesk system (for audit purposes).

This is one of many “small” services that can have a big impact.

Of course a service store is much more than simple administration tasks… Application access, app delivery, drive mappings, printer access, storage and VM provisioning – Anything that can be automated/scripted can be turned into a service for users to “consume” and make life easier for IT – or at least allow us to focus on innovation rather than spending our time being reactive.

For those that are interested… We’re using RES Service Orchestration for the KUSS. I can’t think of a better product that brings self-service delivery and workspace management together.

The best way to empower a user is to give them nothing…

Dan.