Top tips for application packaging/deployment

Recently I have been dealing with creating appstacks within VMware app volumes but these tips should hold as general pointers for application capture using other products such as thinapp, APPV, appdisk etc.

  1. Capture Machines – Always use a clean capture VM, using the same OS and service pack level (no additional hotfixes) as the eventual target.  Create a snapshot to ensure you can revert back to the initial clean configuration.  Install any prerequisites as part of the install.
  2. Application Familiarity – Make sure you are familiar with the application install process.  Run through it a few times and get comfortable with it, establish any prereqs and find out how the app interacts with the user profile.
  3. Gather Information – All information is useful here, find out as much as you can about the application, the install process and its usage.  Often there is a well-trodden path that has been documented.  Handy things to check/people to speak to would be:
    1. Online Community
    2. Software Vendor(s)
    3. Local Knowledge (users, IT admins)
  4. Use 3rd Party Tools – If you come across a troublesome application that is not behaving how you want it to it might be necessary to dive a little deeper into its workings.  I regularly use the following tools to assist:
    1. Procmon the ever popular IT admin tool
    2. Spy Studio useful for comparing 2 sets of process monitor results
    3. Regshot to track registry changes
  5. Document/Recipe – When you have finished make sure that the application settings/packaging process is documented.  If others have helped you to get over the finish line, then make sure you share your new recipe as appropriate.  There are various repositories and recipes available online.

Office365 on vmware app volumes

Thinapp Recipies

Stealth Puppy APPV recipes