Hotfix Package 1 for Microsoft Application Virtualization / App-V 5.1

… is now available.

It fixes the following issues:

Issue 1
Adobe Acrobat Reader crashes after Shared Content Store (SCS) mode is enabled.

Issue 2
The Add-AppvClientPackage cmdlet fails if the URL for the package contains a space character.

Issue 3
Internet Explorer crashes when you open multiple tabs.

Issue 4
Custom configurations are lost after you delete an Active Directory group from the APP-V server.

Issue 5
After you upgrade the Windows operating system, the APP-V WMI provider stops working.


Issue 3 was a very widespread issue and even affected some of my customers.

Get it here:

How to extract a Burn (WiX) based installer / installation / setup file

Ever wondered how to easily extract a Burn (WiX) based installer?

Of course you can track down all the setup resources with Procmon or Process Explorer and then copy everything in place.

However there is a much more elegant way using the WiX Toolset.

  1. Install the most recent WiX Toolset
  2. Add the “bin” folder of the WiX Toolset to the PATH Environment Variable (you do not have to but it makes life easier)
  3. Run the following command to extract your burn based installer:
    dark [burnbasedinstaller].exe -x [OutPutFolder]

As an example this can be used to extract the App-V Client Setup and get all MSI’s and bundled pre-requisites out of it:

2015-07-14 11_19_10-System

Et voila:

2015-07-14 11_20_14-AttachedContainer

AdminStudio 2015 Release Date

According to this presentation the release of AdminStudio 2015 should be right around the corner.

AdminStudio 2015 to be Released in July with Application Compatibility Testing for Windows 10

Ive already played around with the new powershell functionality in InstallShield 2015 which gives access to the current Windows Installer Session and so far it seems pretty cool.

A description of the “cmdlets” to interact with the current windows installer session can be found here.


SWDD Transaction crashes in SAP GUI 7.4 (App-V 5.0)

2015-06-24 10_53_42-SAP Easy Access


SAP officially supports (thanks to Microsoft)  SAP GUI (7.3 and 7.4) running as an App-V 5.0 package.

However after following the official recipe from Microsoft, which is available here, a certain transaction always crashed in SAP GUI 7.4.

After digging around a bit with my 2nd favourite swiss army knife tool “procmon.exe” (1st place goes to “APIMonitor”) I spotted a buffer overflow while reading out the InProcServer32 of the “sapnetz.ocx” COM DLL. Im actually not yet sure if this was the root cause of the crash, however this led me to the decision to shorten the path to this DLL.

How? The recipe guides us to use “C:\Program Files (x86)\SAP” as “PVAD / Primary Installation directory”.  This PVAD or “Root” folder has physically the shortest path length of basically everything inside the App-V Package (Everything else is mapped using the VFS Structure).

My decision was to use a deeper definition of the PVAD Folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\SAP\FrontEnd.

This made the real physical path to “sapnetz.ocx” a bit shorter (less characters)  which may not explode the buffer which is reserved for that string.

And Yes… it seemed to work. “swdd” transaction does not crash any more.

So what else should you consider for “your” SAP GUI Package?

  • COM and Named Objects interaction must be enabled, otherwise some IE related stuff will fail
  • Follow the instructions regarding the “common” folder, however create this one in “C:\Program Files (x86)\SAP\FrontEnd\” and adjust the PATH variable accordingly.
  • Regarding BEX:
    • BEX must be in a separate package, as COM and Named Objects interaction may not be enabled. You also can’t join them together using “connection groups” as they require similar Interaction settings.
    • The main SAP components must also be a part of this package. Remove the shortcuts and file extensions of SAPGUI to have separate packages.






App-V 5.0 Technology Comparison Against App-V 4.6

Had to create an overview for a customer, so here it is:


  • Complete new technology. From scratch! (However approach is still the very same).
  • AssetDrive is gone (no Q:\ Drive Anymore). Was replaced by “Primary Installation Folder” which is now also deprecated (at least “visible”)
  • New File Format: APPV instead of SFT+OSD. Based on AppX Format (Windows 8.x Apps) and will probably also match or be very similar to “Universal Apps” / “Project Centennial” Packages
  • No sfttray.exe launcher anymore: Applications are launched directly by calling the native executable inside the “App-V Package Store”.
  • Advanced OS integration possibilities handled by the App-V Client. Those registration are physically and can be seen by other applications, e.g.:
    • Shell Extensions (since SP2)
    • FTAs
    • COM Objects
    • Software Clients (Registry)
    • Application Capabilities (Registry)
    • URL Protocol Handler
    • App Path (Registry)
    • Browser Helper Objects (IE) (Since SP2)
    • ActiveX Controls (IE) (Since SP2)
  • Per Machine Scripts which are run by the System Account. This allows you to bundle Shims or Drivers together with the App-V Package.
  • Powered by PowerShell: All aspects of App-V can/are handled with PowerShell
  • No more 4 GB Package limit
  • Plain File system instead of proprietary files (Package Store & Delta Cache)
  • No “hardcoded” Streaming Server URL inside the AppX Package
  • Mainstream support is not ceased by 14th July 2015.
  • Mainstream support till 9th January 2018
  • Bundling of App-V Applications into the same Virtual Environment is much easier and hassle free (Connection Groups).
  • SAP Gui (certain versions) is officially supported as an App-V 5.0 Package (However, BEX Analyzer not!)
  • Office 2013 is officially supported as an App-V 5.0 Package


  • Implemented Copy-On-Write prevents any write access to certain file types inside an App-V Bubble (e.g Self Updating packages are not possible anymore!)
  • Due to new App-V design certain applications break due to long (real) path as everything resides under C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\AppV\ … {PGuid} .. {VGuid}..
  • App-V 5.0 does no longer contain Security Descriptors.
  • Applications which trigger an UAC prompt do not work “__COMPAT_LAYER=RunAsInvoker” trick does not work anymore. Workaround: Shim file must be created which is installed as MachineScript.


More stuff on the web: ( Video)

SAP Gui Support:

Office 2013 Support:


Windows 10 GA date announced

… And it is the 29th July.

But there is still no news whether App-V 4.6  will be officially supported on Windows 10 as mainstream support will end on 14th july (which probably means no further service packs for App-V 4.6 ).

At least it seems to work from technical viewpoint according to Tim Mangan from .