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How does a Microsoft App-V client-based application work?

The app virtualization world is confusing. Get some clarity on how client-based app deployment works by taking a closer look at Microsoft App-V.

Microsoft Application Virtualization uses the client-based app deployment method in which the virtual apps run on the endpoint rather than on a remote server.

With a client-based application product like App-V, the app is isolated from the underlying operating system and other applications. IT installs software on the client computer to provide the virtual deployment and manage the applications.

Find out more about how the client-based application method and Microsoft App-V work.

Get to know Microsoft App-V and client-based virtualization

A client-based application approach helps prevent application and OS conflicts and simplifies the processes of installing, uninstalling and managing applications. In addition, the client-based approach makes it possible to package an application in the data center and deliver it to computers across the organization without having to run an installation program on each one.

App-V is included in the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, a portfolio of tools available to Software Assurance customers to manage Windows computers.

To prepare a virtual application in App-V, IT pros must first sequence the application, a process in which they package the application for delivery to the endpoints.

To do so, an IT pro must start with a Windows computer running the App-V Sequencer software. In addition, the application he is virtualizing must be installed and running on that computer. The Sequencer monitors the application, captures its installation and creates a package that contains the application and configuration files necessary to run the application on Windows devices.

With App-V, the endpoint must run Windows.

IT pros cannot sequence all the applications, including some that are part of Windows, such as Internet Explorer. In addition, IT cannot sequence device drivers or applications that start services when the user boots the system.

Administrators can use an electronic software distribution (ESD) system to deliver client-based application packages to endpoints or use one or more instances of the App-V management server. If IT pros use an ESD, they have several delivery options. For example, they can distribute the Windows Installer version of the packages directly to each client computer or they can put the package on a software distribution point or an App-V Streaming Server instance.

IT must install the App-V Desktop Client on users' computers where the App-V programs will run. The client manages the virtual deployment that receives and hosts the virtualized applications. The client controls package streaming into the local cache and handles all the interactions with the App-V servers, among other operations. From the user's perspective, the virtual applications run like locally installed applications.

App-V can make it easier for organizations to deploy and manage applications across the enterprise. App-V also provides a mechanism to deploy legacy applications that might conflict with new ones or for running multiple versions of an application on the same machine. With App-V, the endpoint must run Windows. Users can access their apps when they are offline, however, once the apps stream to their cache.

When deciding whether or not to use App-V's client-based application delivery model, IT pros should consider where users work, how they work and what devices they work on. There's a good chance they will need to use more than just App-V in their app virtualization deployment.

This was last published in August 2018

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