Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Solve Application Compatibility Challenges in Windows 7 – Video from App-DNA

For most of the world’s large enterprises, the migration to Windows 7 is already underway. This is emphatically not the ‘wait and see’ attitude we experienced with Vista. And every expert agrees: the main step to getting your application estate over to Windows 7 is tackling application compatibility.

App-DNAWith that in mind, The App-DNA team has brought together three of the very best experts to discuss the migration and application compatibility issues you’re about to face as you move your organization to Windows 7 – along with App-V, 64-bit or server-based computing.

These are three heavy-hitters who have seen more migrations than most:

  • Chris Jackson, Microsoft’s famous ‘App-Compat Guy’
  • Andy Wray, head of the Microsoft Practice at HP
  • Paul Schnell, CTO of App-DNA, the app-compat pioneers

In this short, powerful video, moderated by leading tech journalist Cliff Saran, you’ll hear:

  1. Why enterprises are moving to Windows 7 so soon
  2. Why Service Pack 1 isn’t delaying the market
  3. Why this is the ideal opportunity to optimize your desktops
  4. The new record for number of apps in one enterprise (the old record was 91,000!)
  5. Why app compatibility is THE #1 challenge
  6. What the main stumbling blocks are for the apps that will struggle to migrate
  7. How you can emerge from this migration with much better app management processes
  8. Where virtualization, 64-bit and server-based computing fit in

You can watch this video here – The Journey to Windows 7

I would recommend you also read the Complete Application Compatibility Series

Events Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Webinar: Best Practices for Building Installation in Visual Studio 2010

Long-time Visual Studio developers understand that the Visual Studio Installer (VSI) tool is not ideal for most installation projects. It may look OK at first glance, but you soon realize VSI has many deficiencies, including:

  1. Visual Studio 2010 LogoCan’t manage components and features
  2. Can’t customize dialog boxes
  3. Can’t validate MSIs for Microsoft® Logo Guidelines
  4. Limited support for custom actions
  5. Can’t create updates and patches

Watch this Webinar from Flexera software to learn best practices for building reliable Windows Installer (MSI) installations inside the Visual Studio 2010 interface. Long-time Visual Studio developers understand that the Visual Studio Installer (VSI) tool is not ideal for most installation projects.

This Webinar explains how the world’s top software companies build reliable MSI installations inside Visual Studio 2010 using InstallShield. If you use Visual Studio 2010 to develop applications – and especially if you work in a large enterprise-level development environment – this Webinar is for you.

Learn best practices for building reliable Windows Installer (MSI) installations inside the Visual Studio® 2010 interface.

  • Webinar: Best Practices for Building Installations in Visual Studio 2010
  • Presenter: Robert Dickau, Flexera Software
  • Date: Available now for viewing

View this webinar now : Click here

PS: You will need to enter your contact information, looks more for product marketting purpose!

You would also be interested in reading –

Microsoft Tools Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Highlights, Features and Benefits of WinINSTALL Lifecycle Management Suite

Another major release of WinINSTALL from Scalable. In the two years since Scalable acquired WinINSTALL from Attachmate the company has delivered 3 major product releases while significantly improving stability.

WinINSTALL Lifecycle Management Suite, or LMS, replaces WinINSTALL’s Desktop Availability Suite (DAS) and is available free to all DAS customers current on maintenance. LMS contains all of the coolest features that the DAS suite offered, plus a few new enhancements sure to make any System Administrator drool.

First and foremost, Scalable Software has enhanced its Personality Transfer engine. WinINSTALL now leverages Microsoft’s USMT 4.0.

In its default state, USMT 4.0 or User State Migration Tool, is a scriptable command-line tool that provides a highly-customizable user-profile migration experience for IT professionals.  This utility is mainly designed to safely migrate User Accounts, Operating Systems and Application settings after a machine has been replaced or upgraded. Microsoft’s version of USMT is driven by 3 separate XML files that contain the instructions which tell the USMT Tool what data it needs to back up for migration. 

Instead of having the end user weed through XML files to determine what data needs to be backed up, WinINSTALL’s LMS product presents this to the user in template fashion via its UI.  Meaning, all of the supported applications are presented to the end user to either include or exclude as part of the migration.  Additionally, Administrators can select file formats they want to search for and migrate such as all .xlsx or all .pdf files.  You can backup a folder or folders from a target workstation, and even specify file size limits.  You also have the ability to exclude certain file types from being migrated. So if you have a user or users that store mp3 files locally, you can choose to exclude .mp3 files from being moved over to the new machine.

Now there are other products out there that allow you to backup User profiles in order to perform Machine to Machine migrations. However what WinINSTALL’s LMS product offers is an all in one process for backing up that user or user’s profiles, re-installing or upgrading the current Operating System, deploying all of your core applications back to the machine, and then restoring the User or Users profiles from one console as part of a single process.  There is no sys-prep required, no joining the domain after the process is complete.  No logging in, and installing application after application or setting screen resolutions or enabling Remote Desktop.  Additionally, since WinINSTALL has very robust support for the WinPE environment, LMS enables rapid in-place OS upgrades. By exploiting the new “hardlink” feature of USMT 4.0, LMS enables all user personality settings and attributes to be preserved in place while the OS is upgraded underneath. With these mechanisms, alongside the many existing OS migration facilities of WinINSTALL, you can do what many have said is practically impossible; an unattended, remote, in-place, enterprise-wide migration from Windows XP to Windows 7.

The LMS product will give you complete control over your Operating Systems Deployments. You won’t need external tools or scripts to perform this process.  Simply load your Windows 7 WIM into the WinINSTALL LMS console.  Select the Version of Windows 7 you wish install and select either 32 or 64 bit. Enter your OEM or Volume License Key. Add your hardware drivers for target workstations.  Select a Template and start your Migration.  LMS will perform a full Operating System Migration all through a PXE boot process, all unattended.

In some cases, customers have already created a new Corporate WIM image of Windows 7 that they want to deploy.  WinINSTALL’s LMS product allows you to push out your custom WIM image with a few configurations inside the product.  This way you can backup the User Profile and then install your corporate WIM image, finishing up with a Profile restoration.

Additionally, WinINSTALL’s LMS product includes PXE Operating System Installation support for Ubuntu.  So with more and more shops purchasing netbooks, LMS can be a center piece to your OS deployment procedure.

These are just a few of the core features centered around the WinINSTALL LMS product.  Check out the website for full feature descriptions of all of the WinINSTALL products.

WinINSTALL Lifecycle Management Suite, is available immediately. A free 45-day evaluation is available at

Also Read :

  1. Points to Consider While Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 Using Scalable Suite
  2. Scalable Software’s WinINSTALL Desktop Availability Suite
Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable – Plan, Test and Assess Windows 7 Deployment

On April 29th, join Microsoft Technical Fellow, Mark Russinovich, as he will be leading a discussion around the process of planning, testing, assessing and rolling out Windows 7 in an enterprise organization. Mark will be joined by a panel of IT professionals who are currently in the piloting and deployment process, along with Microsoft subject matter experts who can speak in depth about the technologies. The event will be broadcast live over the web at 9:00 am PDT, and will be available for on-demand viewing following the broadcast.

Windows 7 LogoThe discussion will be open and candid, with the panel sharing insights, dispelling myths and getting down to the real story around technical adoption of Windows technologies. Specific topics will include the role of the pilot and the critical information it provides, best practices and tips & tricks for ensuring a successful effort, tools and technologies that will help automate the pilot and deployment processes, and conducting a frank post-pilot assessment. During the event, Mark will field questions coming in via the web from viewers across the globe.

Access the VRT live at:

Missed a previous Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable?

  •  You can read the Questions and Answers of the Part 2 to get more information on how Virtualization can help Application Compatibility
  • Gain insight, tips, and tricks from Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich, industry experts, and IT professionals from around the world from the recordings

Looking at Windows 7 Deployment?

Complete Application Compatibility Series

Microsoft Tools Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Download SuperFlow for Configuring Software Updates and Deployment

The SuperFlow interactive content model provides a structured and interactive interface for viewing documentation. Each SuperFlow includes comprehensive information about a specific dataflow, workflow, or process. Depending on the focus of the SuperFlow, you will find overview information, steps that include detailed information, procedures, sample log entries, best practices, real-world scenarios, troubleshooting information, security information, animations, or other information. Each SuperFlow also includes links to relevant resources, such as Web sites or local files that are copied to your computer when you install the SuperFlow.

The SuperFlow for Configuring Software Updates provides detailed steps that help you to plan for and configure software updates at a site. This SuperFlow also includes troubleshooting information and additional resources that you can use to learn more about configuring software updates in Configuration Manager 2007.

This below software provides information that helps you to prepare for and deploy software updates after you configure the software updates infrastructure and synchronize software updates.

Download the Software Update Deployment SuperFlow here [.msi format]

This Software provides detailed steps that help you to plan for and configure software updates at a site.

Download SuperFlow for Configuring Software Updates here [.msi format]

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7; Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2008; Windows Vista

Also you will be interested in downloading these SuperFlows:

Microsoft Virtualization Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.6 – Video Demonstrations and Tutorials

Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5Learn how to create, configure, publish, and maintain virtual applications with Microsoft Application Virtualization with these eight new short videos from the Springboard Series.

Create a Virtual Application Using the App-V Sequencer

The Application Virtualization (App-V) Sequencer is a powerful, easy-to-use tool that enables IT professionals to create a new virtual application. This video will walk you through the different files that make up a virtual application package and teach you how to:

  • Run the App-V 4.6 Sequencer to sequence an application.
  • Create file type associations and shortcuts.
  • Configure a custom application package.

[View] [Download]

Launch a Virtual Application and Review Client Configuration

The Application Virtualization (App-V) Client provides the IT administrator with many flexible configuration options depending on their enterprise business requirements. This video will outline the user experience when launching an application and demonstrate:

  • How to apply configuration at package time, such as Send To and File Type Associations (FTAs).
  • How to remove the App-V notification when an application launches, and other client configurations.
  • How App-V provides a seamless user experience while leveraging the power of virtualization to avoid application conflicts and installation.

[View] [Download]

Publish a Virtual Application Using Full Infrastructure Mode

The Application Virtualization (App-V) Management Console enables you to publish virtual applications to your end users as well as create license metering rules and run reports about your applications. In this screencast, you’ll learn how to:

  • Import a virtual application for publishing.
  • Create File Type Associations (FTAs) if you chose not to do them at sequence time.
  • Assign applications to the appropriate users via Active Directory security distribution groups.

[View] [Download]

Update a Virtual Application Using App-V

All Application Virtualization (App-V) application updates occur when the user launches the application. Updating virtual applications using App-V is a simple process that does not impact user productivity because it does not require the user to install an application, or reboot. Familiarize yourself with the upgrade experience from a user perspective then learn how to update a virtual application using App-V.

[View] [Download]

Deprovision a Virtual Application

One of the great capabilities provided by Application Virtualization (App-V) is its ability to seamlessly deprovision the application without impacting user productivity, requiring user or application downtime, or requiring the need to uninstall or reboot. This screencast will show you how to quickly and easily deprovision a virtual application using App-V.

[View] [Download]

Run Microsoft Office in an App-V Virtualized Environment

 Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) provides the ability to deliver virtual applications to users on demand out of the box. With App-V, you can run multiple versions of applications on the same computers where small groups of users will not be adversely impacted by fast deployment and speedy migration, or incompatibilities in file formats between versions of the same applications. In this video, we’ll demonstrate how two different versions of Microsoft Office Word can run side-by-side, and how data can be shared between the different versions.

[View] [Download]

Use App-V Metering to Manage Application Licenses

Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) provides the ability to deliver, meter, and manage virtual applications on demand out of the box without requiring any additional software or tools. This screencast will demonstrate:

  • How to create, apply, and report on a metering rule.
  • The user experience when a rule is enforced.
  • The importance of metering in assisting IT to controlling access and in purchasing the appropriate number of application licenses.

[View] [Download]

Use Dynamic Suiting to Create a Plug-in Dependency for Virtual Applications

Dynamic Suite Composition (DSC) provides the ability to link applications together to create a small footprint for each application by sharing common, non-conflicting dependencies such as add-ins and middleware components. DSC also helps simplify permissions so that, once permissions are granted to the user, the user will automatically receive the plug-in the next time the application is launched without waiting for installation or having to perform an additional activity. This video will walk you through the simple process of using the DSC tool, and show you how to create a plug-in dependency in Microsoft Office Word using DSC.

[View] [Download]

Access additional resources including a Getting Started Guide, planning and design guidance, and security best practices on the MDOP page. Also read – 64-bit version of App-V 4.6 Download and MDOP 2010 Launches!

Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) to manage MAK

There’s a new Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) available from Microsoft to help administrators manage Multiple Activation Key (MAK) activation for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. The way MAK activation works is that the key must be installed on the end system (there are a number of ways to do this – see the latest TechNet Webcast for more details and demos) and then that system is activated with the Microsoft-hosted activation and validation services either online or over the phone. If you are activating one system with MAK, the effort required is minimal. However, if you want to MAK activate multiple systems or transition between activation methods (i.e. MAK to KMS, KMS to MAK, etc.) it gets a bit more complicated. VAMT can help with that.

VAMT uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) to communicate with end-systems and provides the following features to help manage activation:

  • Track and administer multiple MAK keys and remaining activations
  • Discover systems via IP address, computer name, Workgroup or Active Directory membership
  • View current activation status for Windows Vista (and later) and Windows Server 2008 (and later) operating systems – includes data such as license state, Windows edition, and the last 5 of the product key installed on the end system
  • Transition systems between MAK and KMS activation (and vice versa)
  • Perform activation/reactivation using cached data (i.e. local reactivation)

The current version of VAMT (1.2) is part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7. Unlike previous editions, VAMT 1.2 is only available in the Windows AIK and is not published as a standalone download.

The primary difference between VAMT 1.1 and 1.2 is the added support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. If you are using an earlier version of VAMT, you’ll need to install VAMT 1.2 to manage MAK keys and activations for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. You will first need to uninstall the older version of VAMT and then install VAMT 1.2 as part of the Windows AIK. Your current inventory/key data can be saved in a Computer Information List (CIL) file (XML) and opened in the new version. No need to re-enter any keys or rebuild your computer list.

An updated version of VAMT (VAMT 2.0) is currently in beta and expected to release in the first quarter of this year. VAMT 2.0 is a managed MMC plug-in and will offer a number of new features:

  • Support for the upcoming Office 2010 release
  • Support for additional product key types, such as KMS keys
  • Additional computer search capabilities (LDAP query)
  • Command Line Interface that can be scripted to run VAMT tasks without the interactive UI

Download the beta today and give it a try.

No matter the version you are using, VAMT can help with several management and tracking activities related to product activation in your environment.

Source: Windows Team Blog

Microsoft Virtualization Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

64-bit version of App-V 4.6 and MDOP 2010 Launches!

Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5Earlier today, the Microsoft Team announced important updates for IT pros considering Windows 7 deployment. Specifically, we released Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2010, which includes App-V 4.6, supporting Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 for RDS and Office 2010. The App-V support for Office 2010 means you can do a one-touch deployment and don’t have to wait for Office 2010 to deploy Windows 7.

Additionally the MED-V 1.0 SP1 Release Candidate was also released, which creates managed virtual machines running previous versions of Windows and Internet Explorer so users can upgrade to Windows 7. The RTM version of MED-V 1.0 service pack 1 will be available in April, but you can start today by downloading the release candidate.

Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.6 is now available!

App-V 4.6 with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Office 2010 delivers a seamless user experience, streamlined application deployment, and simplified application management.

  • App-V now supports 32-bit and 64-bit apps on 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.
  • Office 2010 virtualized with App-V 4.6 delivers key productivity enhancements, a seamless user experience with SharePoint, Outlook, and more.
  • Optimizes Server Disk Storage when using App-V in VDI with a shared cache reduces storage requirements on SANs.
  • App-V integrates seamlessly with AppLocker, BranchCache, AppLocker, and BitLockerToGo, Hence providing, increased IT control, user productivity, and security.

App-V 4.6 can be deployed immediately to production environments and is available as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services, and via MSDN.

You to check out the new App-V Videos and App-V Online Labs!

For more information about App-V and MED-V, check out the following Blogs,

Courtesy: From the Microsoft Virtualization Team Blog

Microsoft Virtualization Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Free Ebook – Understanding Microsoft Virtualization R2 Solutions from Microsoft Press

The book is intended to be read from cover to cover and will give you a good understanding of the capabilities, features, and operation of Microsoft virtualization technologies. You can also read individual chapters to gain an understanding of a particular product or technology.

Understanding Microsoft Virtualization R2 Solutions - Free Ebook from Microsoft PressChapter 1: Why Virtualization?

This chapter provides an overview of Microsoft’s integrated virtualization solution and how it plays a key role in Dynamic IT, Microsoft’s strategy for enabling agile business. The chapter also describes the benefits businesses can achieve through virtualization and how Microsoft’s virtualization platforms, products and technologies can help these businesses move their IT infrastructures toward the goal of Dynamic IT.

Chapter 2: Server Virtualization

This chapter covers the Hyper-V role of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and how these platforms can be used to manage virtualization server workloads in the datacenter. The chapter explores features of Hyper-V including the new Live Migration feature of Windows Server 2008 R2. It also describes the benefits of deploying Hyper-V, and various usage scenarios.

Chapter 3: Local Desktop Virtualization

This chapter describes various Microsoft virtualization technologies that enable client operating systems and applications to run within a virtualized environment hosted on the user’s computer. The platforms and products covered in this chapter include Windows Virtual PC and the Windows XP Mode environment, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), and Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V).

Chapter 4: Remote Desktop Virtualization

This chapter describes various Microsoft virtualization technologies that enable client operating systems and applications to run within a virtualized environment hosted on a server located in the datacenter. The platforms and products covered in this chapter include Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and App-V for Remote Desktop Services.

Chapter 5: Virtualization Management

This chapter describes how System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 can be used to centrally manage all aspects of a virtualized IT infrastructure. The chapter explains how VMM works and explores how to use the platform to manage virtual machines running on Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V servers. The chapter also describes the benefits of the other members of the System Center family of products.

Chapter 6: Cloud Computing

This chapter examines Microsoft’s emerging cloud computing platform, how it works, and what benefits businesses can obtain from it. The chapter examines both private and public cloud solutions including Windows Azure, and describes how Microsoft’s Dynamic Data Center Toolkit can be used to integrate cloud computing as a part of your virtualized IT infrastructure.

You can now download Understanding Microsoft Virtualization R2 Solutions in XPS format here and in PDF format here.

Courtesy: Microsoft Press Publications

Community Activities Events Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Deployment Image Servicing & Management (DISM) How-To Articles – Community TechDays, Bangalore

Most of you know that, we had the Community TechDays happening here in Bangalore last weekend.  I was one of speaker in the event. I had a session on managing the OS images effectively with DISM – Windows 7.

In this session, I discussed on what all the DISM tool can do, which were the tools that it replaced, its Commands, Architecture, providers and options. I am really glad that, this session was well accepted by the attendees. Most of them had asked for the slide deck to be shared.  I thought creating How-to articles would make more sense than sharing the slide deck!

DISM How do I articles

Deployment Image Servicing & Management (DISM) is a new command line tool which was introduced in Windows 7 for deployment.  DISM can be used to service a Window image or to prepare a Windows Pre-installation Environment (Windows PE) image. DISM also supports more features and functionality than the other tools (Package Manager) supported in Windows Vista, including logging, inventory commands with parse-able output, detailed help, offline INF driver package installation, direct application of MS update packages, and integration of international settings.

These how-to articles on DISM will help you understand what DISM tools can do, which were the tools it replaced, its Commands, Architecture and options.

Special Thanks to my fellow MVP, Rhonda Layfield who helped me while preparing for this session; and also for throwing in a lot of positive energy from across the world in hopes that my demos will run smoothly.!

As mentioned earlier, people who had attended my session(online and in-person) can complete this survey (  and be lucky to win a TechNet Subscription. (only 3 would be picked). This is from the Springboard Series Panel Expert Program!

Kindly let me know, if you have any questions or comments!