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.






Hotfix package 6 for Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 SP2 is now available

App-V 5.0 Service Pack 2 is still supported despite of the release of Service Pack 3.

Therefore Microsoft has released a new hotfix package which addresses the following issues:

Office Click-to-Run applications do not start when you try to open Office documents from Microsoft SharePoint.

The App-V 5.0 SP2 client tries to virtualize Office Click-to-Run applications. This breaks integration with SharePoint and prevents Office Click-to-Run applications from starting when the user tries to edit Office documents that are hosted on SharePoint sites.

The hotfix package is available as download here:



What’s new in InstallShield 2015?

Flexera has released its newest version of their Setup Authoring Software called “InstallShield” during my holidays last week. As a matter of fact this will be included in the next major release of  the AdminStudio Suite.

  • Windows 10 Ready Confidently build applications that support Windows 10 Insider Preview.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Integration Integrate InstallShield 2015 with Visual Studio 2015 Preview to add project output groups to your installation and integrate your InstallShield project into your Visual Studio source control and solution build processes.
  • Enhanced Support for SHA-256 Digital Signatures Be prepared for Microsoft’s new signature requirements with support for SHA-256 certificates and digests.
  • Automation Interface for Advanced UI and Suite/Advanced UI Projects Support continuous integration practices and reduce manual editing by leveraging automation scripts to add files and features, change installation properties, and initiate builds for InstallShield MSI, InstallScript, Advanced UI and Suite/Advanced UI projects.

The full release log is actually a bit hidden from the public but can be obtained here:

For me the more interesting changes are:

Ability to Access the Installer Session from PowerShell Scripts in Basic MSI and InstallScript MSI Installations

The PowerShell custom action support has been enhanced. It now includes support for several cmdlets that let you interact with the running Basic MSI or InstallScript MSI installation at run time. The cmdlets enable you to get and set Windows Installer properties, expand the value of formatted expressions, and write information to the log file.

With this revised implementation, you can use the Windows Installer property IS_CLR_VERSION to identify a semicolon-delimited list of .NET Framework versions that the custom action should attempt to load to run your PowerShell script.

This enhancement resolves issue IOA-000078121.

Seems like we are finally able to interact with the current windows installer session using PowerShell.

New Machine-Wide Setting for Removing Unused Components Automatically

The Files View tab on the Options dialog box in InstallShield has a new Clean up unused components check box. This check box lets you specify whether you want InstallShield to remove unused components from your project automatically.

When this check box is selected, you delete all of the files in a component, and that component is not required elsewhere, that component is deleted automatically.

This new check box is a machine-wide setting. This check box is cleared by default; therefore, unused components are not removed automatically by default.

This enhancement resolves issue IOA-000081240.

Also nice to have, however i do not like the automatic approach of it.

What are your thoughts about the new version? Are you satisfied? Let me know in the comments section!