There are many different types of delivery methods available, each with their own special purpose. In this article, we'll take a look at the Locally Installed delivery method and some scenarios in which it could be used.

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Overview

There are many different ways in which an application can be delivered to an end user and which one you choose to use could depend on a number of factors such as the type of device they are using, who owns the device or where they are physically located, as a few examples.The Locally Installed delivery method solves a slightly different problem; what if your application is already installed on the target device, either by yourself through another means of delivery, or by the user themselves, outside of AppsAnywhere. 

AppsAnywhere allows our customers to bring together all of their application delivery methods into a single place for their users to get access to everything they need. The only problem with this is it assumes that everything is deployed through AppsAnywhere, but what if some applications are already installed on a users device. In this scenario, they might get confused as to why the application they need can't be found in AppsAnywhere. 

Luckily, this is where the Locally Installed delivery method comes in. This allows you to advertise applications that are installed by means un-related to AppsAnywhere from within the site, meaning your user really can find everything they need. 

Something to note

This delivery method uses the AppsAnywhere client to detect apps that are installed on the device and make them launchable from within AppsAnywhere but does not (at this stage at least) support all apps. If you wish for the user to launch an app that you have specifically deployed to your managed devices, it may be worth considering the Locally Deployed delivery method instead.

Before you start

Determine if the app is compatible

Not all apps can be detected by the AppsAnywhere Client in this version. There are two detection methods that are used on Windows devices which you will need to understand before you can create a delivery method of this type and support launching of the desired app from within AppsAnywhere. 

AppPaths

The first detection method is by far the easiest to set up and involves the App Paths registry keys found in the following locations:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths
CODE

Each executable installed by an app should (according to Microsoft recommendations) be registered in one of the App Paths registry hives. If it is then the AppsAnywhere client will be able to detect and launch the app, regardless of where it is installed, by knowing only the name of the executable. 

Start by looking for the name of the executable you wish to advertise under the App Paths registry hives and ensure it has the location defined in the registry keys contained within. 

More Information

For more information on App Registration in the App Paths hive, see this MSDN article.

Uninstall Keys

The second detection method is used as a fallback in order to increase coverage of supported apps. It involves the information stored in the following locations and is considered a fallback as it is slightly more cumbersome to use in the first instance.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
CODE

Each piece of software installed on a Windows device should register itself in one of these locations so that it can be removed from the "Add/Remove Programs" / "Programs and Features" / "Apps and Features" control panel item. Each registry key in this location should include a specific set of information about the related piece of software such as the name, version, publisher and most importantly for us, an install location. 

In addition to searching the App Paths locations, the AppsAnywhere client will detect any app registered in the Uninstall keys, as long as it has an InstallLocation value defined. Quite surprisingly, and somewhat unfortunately this is not a great deal of apps as you might expect however as this is a fallback method, we hope that sufficient coverage will be provided by the two methods, for now at least. 

This detection method works slightly differently as it does not reference specific executables. Where an app is defined with an InstallLocation against an Uninstall key, it is possible to launch any executable that can be found within the InstallLocation path.

If your app executable is not listed under the App Paths keys, then locate the reference to the installation in the Uninstall keys and if there is an InstallLocation defined, make a note of the Uninstall key and the path of the executable you wish to launch, relative to the defined InstallLocation.

More Information

For more information on uninstall information found in the registry, see this MSDN article.

Before you try and set up these delivery methods, be sure to determine whether not they can be detected and which detection method you will need to use.

To assist with this a tool has been created and is available on the Software2 Forum on the Tool to export registry keys for Locally Installed Apps article.

Common Delivery Method Settings

All delivery methods share some basic, common settings that you will need to understand before continuing. Make sure you have read the Common Delivery Method Settings article before continuing.

Once you understand the common settings and how they work, you can go to the application you want to manage:

  1. Log into AppsAnywhere as an admin user
  2. Click on Return to Admin to access the S2Hub admin portal
  3. On the navigation menu at the top of the page, go to Applications > Manage Applications
  4. Click Edit next to the application you wish to manage

Creating the delivery method

Adding a new delivery method:

  1. On the application management page, select the Delivery Methods tab
  2. Under the list of current delivery methods, you will see the Add New Delivery Method section
  3. Select Locally Installed from the Add Delivery Method screen
  4. Click Add or double click the delivery method
  5. The form for adding a new Locally Installed delivery method will then load up on the right-hand side
  6. Complete the required details (described below)
  7. Set the Operating System Compatibilities and the Restrictions for your delivery method
  8. Click Save 

If the save was successful, you will see the form replaced with the following message and your new delivery method will be added to the bottom of the list on the left-hand side

If there were any errors with the data you entered, you will be prompted to correct these before you can continue. 

Delivery Method Fields

The following table describes each field and setting available for this delivery method, it's intended value and an example for each.

Before you start, you must select whether you want to offer a locally installed option for Windows devices, macOS devices or both using the toggle buttons at the top of the form. 

Field NameDescriptionIntended ValueExample
Windows Launch ExeThe executable to launch on the target deviceIf the executable is registered under the App Paths keys then you need only enter the name of the executable. If you are using the Uninstall key method then enter the executable name and the path to it, relative to the InstallLocation value.

firefox.exe

or

bin/application.exe

Windows Launch ParametersThe parameters to send to that executable when launching itAny parameters you wish to pass to the executable, as you would enter them if you were launching the application from the command line/a
Windows Uninstaller KeyThe registry key name that identifies the software package that includes the target executableThe registry key name in which the information for the software can be found under either Uninstall key

{3B7E914A-93D5-4A29-92BB-AF8C3F66C431}

or

Audacity®_is1

macOS Launch ApplicationThe name of the application to launch on macOSThis will be the name of the app as seen by the AppsAnywhere Client.VLC.app

Useful Tip

You can see the names of all the application that the AppsAnywhere Client is detecting during validation by inspecting the client log files. If you are unsure of which values to enter in the delivery method settings, use the validation logs as a hint.

Prioritizing 

Now that your delivery method is in the list of those available, it is important that you prioritize it accordingly to determine exactly when it will be used. 

To understand this process completely, take a look at the Prioritizing delivery methods article. 

In the majority of cases, it is expected that the locally installed option would most likely be the highest priority delivery method, as a local launch would usually be preferable. This may not always be the case however as you may want to ensure a particular version of the software is delivered (using a method such as Cloudpaging) on managed devices, but allow it to be launched locally (whatever the version) if a user has it installed on their own device.

Common Uses

Most S2Hub customers choose to deploy Microsoft Office as part of their base image. This causes confusion for users who have been told that all of their applications are available through AppsAnywhere and they don't actually think to check the Start Menu for these more traditionally-deployed applications! This delivery method is used to remove that confusion and allow administrators to advertise locally deployed applications alongside all of the other applications available through AppsAnywhere




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