Microsoft App-V Review

Stable, scalable, easy to install, great support, and it upgrades and deploys apps easily

What is our primary use case?

We are integrators. We integrate this product.

We use this solution to deploy applications to end-users in a very fast, secure manner, and in an isolated container.

What is most valuable?

The most interesting and powerful feature for us is the fact that we can upgrade any kind of app instantly.

We like that we can deploy apps, both globally or per-user.

Also, that the applications follow the user. For example, if the end-user connects to a different station and the application is published for him, the application will follow him no matter where he is.

We can run scripts on different triggers for when an application is published, unpublished, or when a package is added or removed.

It's very flexible.

What needs improvement?

The downside is that Microsoft bought this product and they are going to discontinue it in 2026. This is worrisome for us.

I would like to see them continue to maintain the product. From my point of view, it reached a maturity where we can consider it to be perfect.

If we wanted to be picky, Microsoft could improve the synchronization of the client. We were forced to put our own PowerShell script, which mimics the built-in functionality of the syncing. It would avoid errors.

Another feature that has not been implemented, but would be nice to have is the possibility to publish different shortcuts within the same package, to different groups. 

There is a solution in place, but it's not really working. If you have two different groups on two different shortcuts, everything works fine, as long as you don't have a common set of users in those groups. As soon as you have one user in both groups, then the client won't know which one to publish, and it is not able to do a merge between those two settings.

I would like the synchronization improved and to have the possibility to publish different shortcuts to different groups within the same package.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for a very long time. Since the time that it was still SoftGrid.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. We have approximately 4,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

From my point of view, the interaction with Microsoft support was great. 

Actually, at one point in the past, they were delivering patches just for us. So I think they're great.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before Microsoft App-V, we had MSA, which is still a great product. 

The disadvantage of MSA is that it is difficult to deploy compared to App-V.

You need to perform an installation on the user's computer in a timeframe where the user is not there. 

Everything runs in the system account. You have conflicts with other apps because everything is locally installed, with MSA being the main installation engine, in MSA through SSCM. 

I believe that they are trying to put MSA X in place, which is not very good, but MSA would remain the main way to install applications.

How was the initial setup?

If the installation is on the client it is a part of the Windows 10 Operating System.

If it is on the server-side, or publication, it is straightforward. Depending on the complexity of your infrastructure, there may be some configurations to do.

In theory, for a small company, it is straightforward. You deploy the setup and that is it. For a normal infrastructure, with a publication server, management server, and reporting server, this can be done in five to six hours.

A more complex infrastructure, where you need to load balancers and multiple servers, with test and production infrastructure, it can take up to one month. This is not the installation itself, it's the normal workflow so that you make sure you don't impact end-users.

We have a team of five that includes one manager, three packagers, and one admin to deploy and maintain this solution.

What other advice do I have?

I have a lot of experience with Microsoft App-V and VMware as a normal user. I'm not managing the infrastructure, and we do a lot of publications through Citrix.

We use it on-premises and I am not aware if there is a cloud version for App-V.

This solution would be suited for big companies with many users. A normal user at home would never use this product. 

In the current context, since the end of life has already been reached and we are at the extended end of life, I wouldn't recommend adopting this solution.

With this critical exception, Microsoft App-V is a great product.

I would rate Microsoft App-V a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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