Microsoft App-V 4.6 is end of mainstream support. Now what?

Microsoft App-V 4.6 is end of mainstream support. Now what?

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During my years at Softricity and Microsoft, the thought of App-V 4.6 going end of life seemed light years away.  However, mainstream support ended on the 14th July 2015, plus the only version of App-V which is supported for Windows 10 is App-V 5.1. With Windows 10 Enterprise about to include App-V in box, the strategic move is clearly to upgrade to App-V 5.1.

So, what next? Well that depends on your plans for App-V – do nothing, move away from App-V or migrate from App-V 4.6 to App-V 5.1? If you’re licensed for App-V 4.6, you’re already licensed for v5.1 and if you are sticking with App-V, you need to get moving. So, what’s the fastest, most accurate and cost-efficient way to get to App-V 5.1? Here’s my take on the options open to you:

  1. Do nothing and continue to run App-V 4.6 out of mainstream support. Always an option, but it is a risky strategy. Check out Microsoft MVP for App-V Tim Mangan’s excellent article at brianmadden.com.
  2. Continue with App-V 4.6 with Extended Support. Extended Support (see table) is available until 14th July 2020 and includes security updates. However, without Mainstream Support there are no non-security updates or phone/online support UNLESS it’s paid for, i.e. via Premier Support, within the Extended Support timeframe. Premier Support is of course available to be purchased, although Microsoft never makes this an inexpensive option. Additionally, Support Incidents covered by Software Assurance (SA is required by default for MDOP purchases) cannot be used if Mainstream Support is not covered.
  3. Rip out App-V altogether and go back to installed apps. This would a) be a big step backwards (wasn’t this how it used to be managed in the bad old days??), and b) it would take FOREVER!
  4. Rip out App-V and choose a competing solution from another vendor. Always a possibility, but you already know that App-V is by far the market leader and has the best solution available. Besides, you already know & understand App-V and it would be quite a process to learn a new solution and go through the whole cost of change – especially for a potentially inferior solution.Progress to App-V 5.1
  5. Upgrade from App-V 4.6 to App-V 5.1 using PowerShell commands. Now we’re beginning to get somewhere. Microsoft has made the transition easier by providing PowerShell capabilities to speed the process for customers that have no access to their source files. There are also some vendors adding a semi-automated PowerShell front end. Not bad for very small app estates. However, it’s certainly no nirvana and many customers who have tried this approach and have access to the source files tend to go for option 6 or 7.
  6. Manually convert the application source files to App-V 5.1. For customers that have access to the source files, starting the sequencing process from scratch from App-V 4.6 to App-V 5.1 has been seen as a preferred alternative to the PowerShell upgrade. Although converting source files to App-V 5.1 is less laborious than 4.6, it is still a time-consuming and therefore costly process.
  7. Automate the conversion of installer files to App-V 5.1. Now, don’t tell me, you’ve heard it all before, right? App-V ‘automation’ solutions with over-promised under-delivered ‘smoke & mirrors’ automation”.

Well, here’s the good news – the world of App-V automation has changed! If you can get access to the installer files (MSI’s, .exe’s and/or scripts) and are interested in ensuring that the migration of your apps to App-V 5.1 is TRULY automated (NOT just a front-end for PowerShell) then AutonoWare’s ConversionBox will help you get to where you need to be with the vast majority of your apps. ConversionBox is:

  • Incredibly simple – ConversionBox takes just 45 minutes to download, install and setup (see How to Install ConversionBox video), then just drag & drop your apps and spend 5-10 minutes inputting your global settings. Now go and put the kettle on and take a well-earned break while your apps are automatically batch-converted to App-V 5.1. See How to Automate App-V 5.1 Sequencing video to see all the steps required and just how simple and fast ConversionBox is to use.
  • Amazingly fast – automatically batch-convert applications to App-V at a rate of around 150 per day with up to 95% of time saved.
  • Extremely accurate – automated means NO input errors. It will convert (if possible) what you ask it to convert. An even higher conversion rate is possible if YOUR Windows 10, 8.x or 7 gold image ISO is used.
  • Inexpensive – after all, it’s just software! It’s a fraction of the cost of manual conversions using expensive technical resources. Check out our ConversionBox pricing to show that so long as you convert just 20 apps to App-V 5.1 with ConversionBox you can have a return on your investment!

As you know, not every application can be converted to App-V and guess what… not every application that can be converted to App-V can be automated. However:

  • Up to 90% of customer applications can be converted to App-V 5.1 using ConversionBox – this does depend upon your application estate, but it’s way higher than any other ‘automation’ solution.
  • There is a full pre-conversion report detailing ALL errors & issues for apps that cannot be converted using ConversionBox. This alone will save huge resource time & costs as each app can be quickly and easily determine whether it should or shouldn’t be attempted to be converted owing to the potential problems listed.
  • Applications that run natively on your Windows 10, 8.x or 7 OS without customization and converts to App-V 5.1 with ConversionBox will run as expected on your OS in an App-V 5.1 environment.

As part of the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance, AutonoWare is working in collaboration with Microsoft focusing on converting desktop applications to App-V 5.1 and are THE experts at delivering this process. BUT, don’t take our word for it. Even if you’ve previously dismissed App-V as a viable option owing to cost & timescales, join the masses (fully licensed customers that range from just 20 apps up to >8,000 apps), by downloading ConversionBox today for a no-obligation 10 conversion licenses trial and see for yourself. In les than 45 minutes you could be converting apps to App-V 5.1 at a rate of one every 10 minutes. It really couldn’t be simpler! In fact, we want you to be certain that this is the best method for you and your environment, so please be our guest and compare it to ANY other method of converting apps to App-V.

If you don’t have any technical resources at hand you can always use a fully managed service to sequence (wherever possible) or package to MSI (where virtualization for App-V is not possible) all of your applications. If you’ve already decided that you want to migrate to App-V 5.1, check out my take on all the methods open to you for getting your apps sequenced based on all my years working with customers with App-V. For further information about ConversionBox and a trial download to auto-convert 5 apps to App-V 5.1, visit www.autonoware.com.

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