Author Archives: Fabio.dilorenzo

Ontrex takes up the challenge and launches Software Packaging Challenge

Ontrex has more than 14 years of experience in software packaging and thousands and thousands of delivered software packages from its own software packaging atelier. Now the Swiss IT and service provider is proving itself to national and international companies and is launching the Software Packaging Challenge. The challenge is to find the application that cannot be packaged or is the most difficult to package that the Ontrex software packagers can tackle and successfully solve.

If you are not confronted with software packaging, you don’t have to worry about how complex this task is. IT departments see it differently. For them, fully automated software distribution is a central task, which they have to perform with the highest possible success rate and minimal intervention in user workflows. But not every application can be packaged so easily. The consequences are headaches and time-consuming, manual interventions with a potentially high probability of errors and poor quality. The software packaging experts at Ontrex can change this and launch the Packaging Challenge software.

Looking for unpackable software

All companies that have software products that in their eyes cannot be packaged or cannot be implemented in all requirements are given the chance to solve this problem. You can submit your software product to Ontrex and participate in the Software Packaging Challenge. The Ontrex software packaging team selects the software that poses the greatest challenge to them from the submissions and packages it free of charge. The Packaging Challenge runs from 1 July to 31 October 2019.

Well-known companies

The Ontrex software packaging experts love tricky tasks and work with high quality, which is reflected in the extremely low rework rate of less than 1 percent. Large national and international companies in publishing, healthcare, industry, retail, finance and insurance rely on Ontrex software packaging services. There is an increasing tendency to use the services as managed services.



Hotfix Package 1 for Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 Service Pack 3 is now available

As announced by Microsoft on the 18th March the hotfix Package 1 for App-V 5.0 Sp3 is now available

The following issues were addressed:

Issue 1: Virtualized Adobe Acrobat running through an App-V Client on Windows 7 crashes or stops responding because of DLL issues

Virtualized Adobe Acrobat running on Windows 7 may crash or stop responding because of an interoperability issue between App-V and Adobe. This issue causes App-V to sometimes load multiple copies of the same DLL from different locations. This, in turn, causes the virtual Adobe Acrobat application to crash or stop responding when certain operations are performed. This issue is fixed in this hotfix package.

Issue 2: Stop error is triggered by DLL issues when an App-V Client tries to load Adobe Acrobat packages

Some products, such as Adobe Acrobat, use DLLs that have file name extensions other than .dll. When an App-V Client loads virtualized packages of these applications, it does not recognize these files as DLLs and does not exclude them from the copy-on-write subsystem. A Stop error may occur when a package is run that uses these DLLs.

The hotfix package is available as download here:

Source: The Official Microsoft App-V Team Blog

InstallShield 2014 SP1 for AdminStudio

2015-02-03 16_11_06-About InstallShield

As some customers already have noted Flexera has released Service Pack 1 for InstallShield 2014 back in December 2014.

In contrast to previous updates Flexera did not release a separate update for the AdminStudio 2014 Suite.

Therefore you need to run the InstallShield 2014 Sp1 setup to update your current AdminStudio Installation.

The software (update) can be obtained at the “Flexera Product and License Center”.

The release notes are available here.



SPA Team




IMPORTANT NOTICE: Microsoft’s Security Update – Impact on InstallShield and InstallShield for AdminStudio (KB2962872)

2014-07-14 09_37_06-Software Licensing, Installation and Application Packaging _ Flexera Software

Flexera has released an advisory which informs that InstallShield 2011-2014 may crash after the installation of KB2962872 (MS14-037) which was released last tuesday.

Currently the only way to restore functionality is to uninstall the microsoft patch or implementing the workaround in the following article:

Flexera is working with Microsoft to resolve the issue.

Feel free to contact Ontrex SPA if you need any further assistance in this matter.

Adobe Reader X and Adobe Reader XI can be virtualized and deployed by using App-V 5.0


Microsoft has just published a new knowledge basic article regarding virtualization of Adobe Reader X/XI with App-V 5.0.

More Information:


SPA Team

Do’s & Don’ts regarding Client Design


Customized Shortcut Locations

Why? People are getting used to certain pattern/schematics. Starting office right from Office Folder is the way they are also used at home. Going through some special fancy menu design (e.g Standard Applications/Office Application/Office 2010/) just wastes time and is sometimes very difficult to implement for some software installers (e.g Adobe CS5)

Quicklaunch Icons

Why? Because they are anyway obsolet for Windows 7. And they are stored Per-User, so youll have to implement CU Duplication Mechanism (ActiveSetup, Advertised Shortcut) just to deploy them.

(All Users) Desktop Icons

Why? 1. They cant be deleted by non administrativ users which leads to 2. May result in helpdesk calls for deleting a full blown desktop.

Change every application setting

Why? Keep it simple! Every configuration change leads to greater complexity which in turn increases the complexity for packaging the software. There are of course Exceptions: Server configurations & settings regarding the corporate identity (e.g default fonts, font size etc.)

Folder Redirection

Why? Redirecting folders may sound like a good idea. But why? There are many programs which have a problem with UNC Path. There are many older Java Application which simply wont work if you redirect the APPDATA Folder onto an UNC Path


Lockdown the user rights!

Why? Nowadays there is nearly no application which cannot be run without administrator rights. and even if they claim/need it there are several workarounds available: Shims, Selective permission changes (INSTALLDIR e.g), Manifest Tricks (AsInvoker)

BGInfo Background

Why? The first action of any helpdesk technician is to connect remotely to the users computer. A nice bginfo background instantly informs the user about any relevant fact, even last boot time or free hard disc space is immediately available.

Create an additional Data Partiton [Power Users, Notebook Users]

Why? Somestimes a local data directory comes in very handy. Many Power Users like to have some files temporary on his/her local computer before moving them to the network drive.

E.g extracting ZIp Files, local cache directories for power user applications. However instruct the users about the non-existing backup of this drive 🙂

General advise

Keep everything as default as possible: As you possibly can imagine a vendor can not test his application for all varieties of application configuration. The more you are staying at the base the more the program will react as the vendor has intended.




AdminStudio 2013 R2 SP1

Flexera has released the first service pack for AdminStudio 2013 R2.

The updated SP1 installer (full version) can now be downloaded from the “Product and License Center”.



This is a bugfix release only. the full list of changes/fixes is available in the release notes.





Gridmetric’s Application Virtualization Explorer 3.0 is out now! (with App-V 5.0 support)

We are very pleasured to notice the announcement of Gridmetric’s Application Virtualization Explorer 3.0 with App-V 5.0 Support.

As one of our favourite tool of choice for app-v editing and customization we were really looking forward to this release.

We will include this tool into our existing App-V 5.0 Workshop documents and hope to rocket speed also your App-v 5.0 package production!


You can find more information about the new release on gridmetrics blog!


SPA Team


Applications that are sequenced through the App-V 5.0 SP1 sequencer may not be installed correctly


Microsoft has published a new Knowledge Database regarding an issue with the MSI generation of the APP-V 5.0 SP1 X64 Sequencer. However only the 64-bit sequencer is affected by this issue.

Symptoms are described as following:

Applications that are sequenced through the Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 Service Pack 1 (App-V 5.0 SP1) sequencer may not be installed correctly when you try to add the package by using the generated MSI. The MSI setup starts, continues, and then exits without generating an error message. Additionally, a generic event that resembles the following will be logged in the Application log:

Log Name: Application
Source: MsiInstaller
Event ID: 1033
Task Category: None
Level: Information
Keywords: Classic
Windows Installer installed the product. Product Name: MyApp 1.0 Product Version: 1.0. Product Language: 1033. Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation. Installation success or error status: 1603.

Note MsiInstaller 1033 events that have a status code of 1603 are generic and only indicate an installation failure. You must collect MSI logs to definitively identify this scenario. For information about how to do this, see the “More Information” section.


Visit the KB Article @ for workarounds and more information about this issue.


SPA Team



Citrix Application Streaming / Profiler – End of Life


Citrix has announced that their Application Streaming technology wont be supported on Windows 2012 Server.

According to “Calvin Hsu” from Citrix Inc.  development has actually stopped and Citrix is now recommending to switch over to Microsofts Application Virtualization Technology App-V.

Citrix wont provide any migration tool, therefore recreation of all packages will be required if you are planning to switch over to Windows 2012 Server for your Citrix environment.

Ontrex SPA has great experience in such migration projects and is one of the leading technical App-V consulting teams in Switzerland. If you need any assistance, we are the right choice for your project!