Sequencing Reflection Desktop 16 as a Virtual Application with Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.x

  • 7022812
  • 04-Apr-2018
  • 09-May-2019

Environment

Reflection Desktop (including Pro, for X, for IBM, or for UNIX and OpenVMS) 16.0 and later
Microsoft Windows 7
Microsoft Windows 10
Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.1
Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.2

The sequencing steps described in this document were performed on:
    Windows 7 SP1 (64-bit) with .NET Framework 4.7.1 for App-V 5.1
    Windows 10 Enterprise Build 1709 with App-V 5.2

The sequencing steps described in this document were also performed on:
    Windows 7 SP1 (64-bit) with .NET Framework 4.7.2 for App-V 5.1
    Windows 10 Enterprise Build 1809 with App-V 5.2

Situation

This article includes a recipe to sequence Reflection Desktop 16 so that it can run as a virtual application streamed from a Virtual Application Server or deployed with Windows installer technology using Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) version 5.0 and later.

Resolution

Before using the Microsoft Sequencer Package Configuration Wizard to sequence Reflection Desktop 16, document the sequencing requirements and steps by determining which Reflection Desktop 16 components and features are to be installed, the location of installation files, and the location of any configured user data, such as session documents.  Some Reflection application components may not be needed and it is recommended to install Reflection on a stand-alone PC to help identify and document the installation steps in advance.

If Reflection has any service packs or updates, ensure that the service pack installer file, *.MSP, is available for installation during the sequencing process.  Reflection Desktop Productivity Microsoft Office Tools have not been tested to work with Microsoft Office streamed as a virtual application.

Use the Reflection Installation Customization Tool (ICT) to create Companion install packages and to define permissions files; the basic steps which are listed below.  Refer to the Installation and Deployment Guide for Reflection Desktop 16 as a resource, which is available from https://www.attachmate.com/documentation/reflection-desktop-v16-1-sp1/deployment-guide/data/bookinfo.htm

The following steps for using the Installation Customization Tool assume that a Reflection Administrative Installation has been performed per the Installation and Deployment Guide.

If desired, use the Installation Customization Tool to create a Companion.MSI file:

1. Navigate to the Reflection Administrative Installation and run Setup.exe /Admin to launch the Installation Customization Tool.

2. Select "Create a new Companion installer."

3. Click OK.

4. In the left pane, click "Specify install locations."
   Note: It is important to perform steps a. and b. in order.
        a. Under Installation type, select the "Installs to all users of a machine" option.
        b. In the Default installation folder drop-down list, type in [CommonDocumentsFolder]\Micro Focus\Reflection.

5. In the left pane, click "Add files to"

6. Select the value of [CommonDocumentsFolder]\Micro Focus\Reflection.

7. Click the "Add button" to add files that need to be included.
   These files include pre-configured Reflection session documents (.rd3x, .rd5x, .rdox, .rfw, or .rwsp settings files).

8. Click File / Save As.
    Save the Companion.MSI file in the same location as Setup.exe.


If desired, use the Installation Customization Tool to define permissions files:

1. If the Companion file created in the previous section is no longer open, open the Companion.MSI file.
    Navigate to the Reflection Administrative Installation and run Setup.exe /Admin.

2. In the left pane, click "Specify install locations".
    Verify that "Installs only for the user who installs it" is selected.
    (This option may be dimmed; as long as it is selected, there is no cause for concern)

3. In the left pane, click "Modify user settings" to define *.access permission files.
   For example to define an .rd3x.access file to restrict TN3270Basic or TN3270Advanced settings.
        a. Select the Application – Settings to modify and click the Define button.
        b. Select the Group from the Groups drop-down list.
            This allows or restricts accessibility for each item listed.
       c. Repeat steps a. and b. until the permissions have been configured appropriately.
       d. Click Next.
       e. Optional: Select Additional security options for Session file encryption.
       f. Click Finish.

4. Click File / Save
   Save the Companion.MSI in the same location as Setup.exe.


Use the Application Virtualization Sequencer Wizard to start the sequencing process with Reflection Desktop 16:

1. Launch the Microsoft Application Virtualization Sequencer

2. Select “Create a New Virtual Application Package”

3. For the Packaging Method select “Create Package (default)”

4. Press Next

5. Resolve any issues shown on the Prepare Computer list

6. Press Next

7. For the Type of Application choose “Standard Application (default)”

8. Press Next

9. On the Select Installer dialog choose “Select the installer for the application”
    Use the Browse button to find the Reflection Desktop SETUP.EXE program in the Reflection Administrative Installation location

10. Press Next

11. On the Package Name screen enter the Virtual Application Package Name of your choice, like "Reflection Desktop 16"
      Enter the Primary Virtual Application Directory (required) name:
            For example:  C:\Program Files (x86)\Micro Focus\Reflection

12. Press Next

13. Wait for the Virtual Environment to load.

14. On the Install Micro Focus Reflection Desktop 16 screen, click Continue.

15. Read and accept the License Agreement; then click Continue.

16. Personalize the installation by completing the Full name, Organization, and VPA number fields on the User Information tab.

17. On the File Location tab, verify the File Location by clicking the Browse button.
      Following the example in this article:
            File Location is specified as C:\Program Files (x86)\Micro Focus\Reflection
            Default user data directory should be set to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Micro Focus\Reflection

18. On the Feature Selection tab, de-select any features not needed so that they will not install.
      For example, de-select the following:
            Utilities\Kerberos Manager
            Utilities\Key Agent
            Compatibility\IBM Personal Communications
            Compatibility\NetManage\RUMBA
            Application Programmer Interface

19. On the Advanced tab verify that "Install to this PC" is enabled.

20. Click the "Install Now" button.

21. When the Installation has completed successfully, click the Close button.

22. If service packs or updates are to be installed to Reflection Desktop:
          a. On the Installation dialog of the App-V sequencer, press the “Run” button
          b. Select the appropriate *.MSP file(s) to install a service pack, update or patch.

23. When the update or patch is installed or if there is no further .MSP updates to install continue on

24. If a Companion install file is to be installed to Reflection Desktop:
         a. On the Installation dialog of the App-V sequencer, press the “Run” button
         b. Select the appropriate *.MSI file to install the Companion install file.

25. When the install is complete, check the box that says “I am finished installing”

26. Press Next

27. Wait while App-V collects the system changes and the Configure Software screen displays.

28. From the Configure Software screen, highlight the Reflection Workspace choice and click on “Run Selected” to launch the application.
      (Do NOT click Run All.)

29. Verify that the Reflection session documents added by the Companion.MSI file created earlier are available.
      To create any additional session documents, use the Create New Document wizard.
      Save the session file in the C:\Users\Public\Documents\Micro Focus\Reflection folder to be available for all end-users.

30. Launch and then close each session document to create the App-V files that will be used for streaming.
      If you launch the Reflection Workspace, Reflection FTP client, or any session document, and a Sequencer error displays:
     “The Sequencer could not stop the MSIServer service,” click OK and try again.

31. After all the applications and Reflection Workspace have been run and closed, press Next.

32. Verify the data on the Installation Report screen and resolve any issues

33. Press Next.

34. On the Customize screen decide if further customization is needed.
      For example: if restrictions are required concerning different operating systems this is the time to do it.

35. If no further customization is needed select “Stop now.  Create a basic virtualization package (default).”

36. Press Next.

37. Select “Save the package now” and enter the Save Location for the package contents

38. Press Create.
      By default the App-V package will be located on the desktop of App-V Sequencing PC.

39. After the package is created press Close to finish and exit the Application Virtualization Sequencer program.

40. Copy the completed sequenced App-V package files to the Distribution Point or Virtual Application Server.

Additional Information

Follow these best practices for Sequencing with Microsoft App-V:
        1. Always use a clean sequencing PC that has not yet been used for sequencing an application.
        2. Install as a User account with local administrator rights on the PC used for sequencing.
        3. Turn off Windows Defender, Anti-virus software, Automatic Windows Update, and Windows Security Alerts.
        4. If User Account Control (UAC) is used on the client PC, then it should be turned on during the sequencing process.
        5. Sequence on the same operating system type, version, and patch level as the App-V Desktop Client systems.

For Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 10, the .NET interface comes already installed with the Windows Operating System and will be present on both the Client and Sequencer PC. See TID article titled "Installation of the Microsoft .NET Framework in Virtual Application Environments for Reflection Desktop" KB 7022807 for details on recommendations for the Microsoft .NET installations and updates for virtual environment.

The Microsoft App-V 5 Client and Sequencer machines under Windows 7 require a number of prerequisite software packages on the system to run properly and these will be installed as you run the Microsoft App-V 5.0 or 5.1 setup.  These are also documented at:  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-desktop-optimization-pack/appv-v5/app-v-50-prerequisites

If using Windows 10 it is recommended that Windows 10 Enterprise version is used which contains the Microsoft App-V client version 5.2 already installed.  To enable the App-V client under Widows 10, use the "Enable-Appv" PowerShell command (Run as Administrator) or see Microsoft documentation for other methods on how to enable the App-V client.
      
Instead of using a Microsoft Virtual Application Server to deploy the sequenced application, the .MSI package created when you save Reflection Desktop sequenced as a virtual application can be used to run in a standalone environment.  Instead of streaming the virtualized application, this method uses .MSI installer technology to load and configure virtual applications onto PCs running the App-V Desktop Client.

Once Reflection has been sequenced and configured for streaming, copy the sequenced package files to the Virtual Application Server content folder, and then prepare Reflection for publishing along with assigning the virtual application package to users.  See Microsoft documentation for details about this process.

Reflection Desktop 16 is a 32-bit Windows application and thus if you are sequencing or running App-V on a 64-bit copy of the Microsoft Windows operating system you may also need to manually install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 x86 Redistributable version that is an App-V prerequisite.

No special configuration of App-V 5 is required to use the Microsoft Office Tools Integration with Reflection Desktop 16 if Microsoft Office 20xx is installed locally on the App-V Client PC.

If the Reflection emulator is running in a virtual environment, APIs (like COM and HLLAPI) cannot be accessed by client applications that are running on the desktop outside of the virtual environment. Client applications like these that depend on components found in the directory where the emulator is installed will not work unless they are also installed on the server where the emulator software is located.

See the following two TIDs for additional information about sequencing Reflection Desktop 16, and errors, related to Fonts and Windows 10, which can appear when running the App-V packages:
        https://support.microfocus.com/kb/doc.php?id=7022796