Sometimes a user might infrequently use business-critical applications. Using App Volumes, you can now deliver such applications to the user only when necessary. This self-service like capability helps you set the delivery mode (classic and on-demand) for each application package while creating the package. When editing a package, the delivery mode can be changed.

In the default behavior, any assigned application is delivered to an end user either at computer startup or user login even when the application is not immediately required by the end user. This behavior is the classic delivery mode. To deliver an application only when the user has a need for the application, you can use the on-demand delivery mode.

When an administrator selects the delivery mode of a package as on-demand, only shortcuts of the application are displayed to the end user in the Start menu or on the desktop. When an end user opens the shortcut, the application volume is delivered to the end user, virtualized, and launched. During virtualization, the App Volumes on-demand shortcuts for the application are replaced with the shortcuts of the application. If an application takes a few seconds longer to launch, a message box is displayed to the end user indicating that the application delivery is in progress.

Note: If you configure the Do not deliver for these assignments at startup or login option on the Assign Application page, then the assignment option overrides the configured package delivery mode behavior.

For more information about the command-line delivery behavior, see Command-line Delivery of Applications in App Volumes.

Criteria for Delivering an On-demand Application Package

For an application package to be delivered as on-demand to the end user, there are a few eligibility criteria:

  • All App Volumes Manager servers and agent computers must be upgraded to App Volumes 4, version 2111 and later.

    If an end user logs into an agent computer which is installed with an earlier version of App Volumes agent, then App Volumes Manager delivers this package to the end user through the classic mode even though the package delivery is configured as on-demand.

  • A package must be created or updated by using App Volumes 4, version 2111 or later.

    If an earlier version of App Volumes Manager or App Volumes agent is used when creating or updating a package, then App Volumes Manager delivers this package to the end user through the classic mode.

    To enable the on-demand delivery mode for an existing package, complete the package update process. The newly created package displays the package delivery mode options: (classic and on-demand).

  • The application programs installed during the packaging process must have shortcuts.

    If the package has no shortcuts, the on-demand delivery option is deactivated in the App Volumes Manager.

Characteristics of an Application Package delivered as On-demand

Some of the characteristics of an application package delivered as on-demand are as follows:
  • Shortcut of the application assigned to a user is visible only to that user.
  • Shortcut of the application assigned to a computer is available to all users.
  • Package attachment for an application delivered as on-demand occurs only after the end user launches the simulated shortcut of the application.

    The attachment and attachment count displayed in certain areas of the App Volumes Manager admin UI such as on the Applications, Packages, and Attachments details page in the INVENTORY tab and the Manage Entity details page in the DIRECTORY tab change only after the end user launches the shortcut of the application.

  • File Type Association

    For existing packages, administrators must update the package to capture the file type association data within the package.

    • For a few of the applications which show context menu items, for example: 7-Zip, App Volumes agent shows only an entry point to deliver the application. The entry point displayed to the end user in the context menu is the name configured in the VMware App Volumes - Finalize Package window during packaging. After the application is delivered to the end user, the entry point is replaced with the application-specific menu items.
    • OLE and COM, Preview Handlers, TypeLibs that are dynamic in nature are not available prior to the user launching the application's on-demand shortcut.
    • End users can use App Paths to deliver the applications on demand.

      For example: An end user can use winword.exe to open the Microsoft Word application, where winword.exe is an App Path. For more information about App Paths, see the relevant Microsoft documentation.

    • If an administrator configures an application as on-demand which has cascaded sub-menus and other features such as shortcuts, file type associations, and App Paths then the end user can view the cascaded sub-menu only when the application package is delivered.
    • During packaging, App Volumes stores static text in the language of the operating system used in the packaging machine. If the package supports multi-language and the OS language used in the end user's agent computer is different from that used in the packaging machine, then the end user might see application names, tool tips, file descriptions, and other text elements in the OS language used in the packaging machine.

    To deactivate the capture of file type association metadata, the svservice parameter, CaptureFTA can be used. For more information about this parameter, see Configuration of svservice.

For information about how to create a package, see Create a Package for an Application. For information about how to update a package, see Update a Package.