We’ve been working hard getting the App-V 5 Configuration Editor (ACE) ready for a BETA release; take a look at the ACE page for a bit more information about why it was developed.
With any new application it’s great to have some user guides, right (RTFM)?!? Rest assured that will come when it’s officially released, in the mean time we wanted to create this short blog to guide you through the ACE interface. There is also an assumption here you have an understanding of the App-V 5 Dynamic Configuration files and how they are used, if not you might want to take a look at this technet article.
You will notice there are three main buttons in the tool bar as shown below:
Opens an App-V XML file, i.e. a UserConfig.xml or DeploymentConfig.xml file. Once the file has been opened the contents will be parsed and displayed under the various tabs within the GUI.
Saves the current App-V XML file, including any changes that have been made. You can give it a new name and Save As a different file, keeping your original one as is if necessary.
Previews the changes that will be made to the App-V XML file before saving. This gives you the ability to check out the structure of the generated XML. It’s probably a good idea to point out here that you don’t need to preview the changes prior to performing a save.
This sections displays the Package Display Name, Package ID and Type of XML file opened, i.e. DeploymentConfig or UserConfig. Here is an example DeploymentConfig.xml opened below:
MAIN CONFIGURATION TABS
Once an App-V 5 configuration XML file has been opened you can then begin to make changes as required using the tabs set out below.
Under the User Configuration tab you can change and view various options and configurations:
Various global options change be changed here if you so desire, e.g. altering the COM integration mode.
This tab allows you to view all the defined Shortcuts within the package.
NOTE: at this time its Read Only but is great for getting an overview of all the Shortcuts available.
Scripts (User Context)
This is really where ACE starts to make life simple . You can easily define which scripts you’d like to add and to which actions, e.g. PublishPackage, UnpublishPackage, StartVirtualEnvironment, TerminateVirtualEnvironment, StartProcess and ExitProcess. There is no need to worry about getting the syntax in the XML file right. There are are some excellent blogs out there talking about using scripts in App-V 5.0, so I suggest you take a look here at one from Tim Murgent and Microsoft’s own Steve Thompson if you need some further background information.
NOTE: You might have noticed that not all the script actions are available under this tab, that’s simply because those excluded aren’t permitted to run under the User Configuration section of the XML file.
I think most of the options are self explanatory but, it’s good to point out that leaving the Timeout value at 0 means no timeout period will be set, i.e. it will wait indefinitely for it to finish so use with caution.
Under the Machine Configuration tab you can alter global options, configure scripts and control the termination of processes.
NOTE: this tab will only be available when you open a DeploymentConfig.xml file. This is because machine configuration items cannot be set in the UserConfig.xml file.
Here you’ll find any options that can be changed if you so desire.
Terminate Child Processes
You can define the path to an executable, that when closed, will terminate any child process running within the virtual environment.
Scripts (System Context)
Very much like the Scripts tab under User Configuration you can define which scripts you’d like to add to which actions, e.g. AddPackage, RemovePackage, PublishPackage and UnpublishPackage.
NOTE: You might have noticed that not all the script actions are available under this tab, that’s simply because those excluded aren’t permitted to run under the Machine Configuration section of the XML file.
You can view both the source (original) XML and/or preview the generated XML under this tab.
This is simply where you can view your source App-V XML file as it was when you opened it.
Once you click the Preview button this pane will display any changes that will be made to the App-V XML file, giving you the ability to check out the structure of the XML before saving if you wish.
NOTE: You don’t have to preview the changes prior to performing a save.
The example below (highlighted in yellow) shows the changes made by ACE in the generated XML format.
Hopefully this brief guide has given you a good overview of how to use ACE. Hopefully you’ll agree its pretty intuitive to use and should make editing the App-V 5 Dynamic Configuration files a lot, lot easier (well we think so anyway!) 🙂
DISCLAIMER: THE APP-V CONFIGURATION EDITOR IS FREE TO USE AT YOUR OWN RISK, WE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE IT MIGHT CAUSE.