Microsoft SoftGrid 4.2 release notes and updates

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SUMMARY

This article includes general guidelines and release notes for Microsoft SoftGrid version 4.2. The release notes for SoftGrid 4.2 include information about new capabilities, requirements, known issues, and best practices. This article also provides the download location information for the SoftGrid 4.2 components.

INTRODUCTION

This article contains the latest detailed information about SoftGrid 4.2. You should check this article regularly for updates.

The information that is included in this article can help you find an appropriate resolution for the SoftGrid issues that you may experience. If you cannot find a resolution for an issue, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/search/default.aspx?spid=12357

MORE INFORMATION

SoftGrid 4.2 Hotfix Rollup Package 2

This cumulative update for SoftGrid v4.2 provides the latest updates to SoftGrid v4.2. In addition to stability improvements, this update contains the following changes:
  • The log level of the "Error reading from socket" message is now Debug. Therefore, the message does not appear in the Sft-server.log and the Windows event log at the default log level when you use SoftGrid Virtual Application Servers together with a hardware load balancer.
  • SoftGrid Sequencer now preserves OSD GUIDs when it opens SoftGrid v3.2 sequencings for a package upgrade.
  • Intermittent "0xBE" Stop errors that occur at system start on multiprocessor computers have been addressed.

New capabilities

This update provides the following new capabilities:
  • SoftGrid now supports Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).
  • SoftGrid now supports deployment of Virtual Application .msi files that are generated by the MSI Utility for Microsoft Application Virtualization to SoftGrid clients that are running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows 2000 Server/Advanced Server and that have Terminal Services enabled.

Download information

The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

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Download
Download the SoftGrid for Windows Desktops (4.2.2.15) package now.

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Download
Download the SoftGrid Sequencer (4.2.2.15) package now.

Previous releases

SoftGrid 4.2 Hotfix Rollup Package 1

This cumulative update for SoftGrid v4.2 provides the latest updates to SoftGrid 4.2. In addition to stability improvements, this update contains the following changes:
  • Improvements to the package upgrade when you import upgraded sequencings into the SoftGrid Server Management Console snap-in.
  • Improvements to the package downgrade operation.
  • Improvements to nonpaged pool usage when you sequence large applications.
  • Improvements when you sequence applications that use both the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 and the .NET Framework 2.0.
  • Improvements to command-line parameter handling of virtualized child processes.

New capabilities

This update also provides the following new capabilities:
  • Support for the MSI Utility for Microsoft Application Virtualization.
  • Support for SoftGrid Server components that run under WOW64 in 64-bit versions of Windows.

Download information

The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

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Download
Download the SoftGrid for Windows Desktops (4.2.1.21) package now.

Collapse this imageExpand this image
Download
Download the SoftGrid Sequencer (4.2.1.20) package now.

For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.

SoftGrid 4.2

New capabilities
SoftGrid 4.2 has the following new capabilities:
  • It supports Windows Vista.
  • It improves support for side-by-side (SxS) applications, such as 2007 Microsoft Office, that have public assemblies.
Download information
The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

Collapse this imageExpand this image
Download
Download the SoftGrid for Windows Desktops (4.2.0.310) package now.

For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.

General release information

How to upgrade, uninstall, and reinstall SoftGrid

You can upgrade a client to SoftGrid 4.2 from the following versions of SoftGrid:
  • 3.2
  • 4.0
  • 4.1
The upgrade process preserves all system configuration settings and user-profile settings.

Note When you upgrade from SoftGrid 3.2 to SoftGrid 4.2, the client software-application cache is flushed. After the upgrade, you must reload applications.

We recommend that you upgrade clients to the latest version. However, you can also uninstall earlier versions before you install client version 4.x. To uninstall earlier versions, use Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel. When you uninstall SoftGrid, the local SoftGrid settings are removed for the user who performs the operation, and the cache is flushed.

If you upgrade to Windows Vista from an earlier version of Windows, you must uninstall the SoftGrid client before you upgrade the operating system. After you upgrade the operating system, you can reinstall the SoftGrid client. If you do not follow this procedure, the SoftGrid client will not start correctly after the operating system upgrade.

If you are using an earlier version of the SoftGrid Sequencer, you cannot upgrade directly to SoftGrid 4.2. You must restore the appropriate backup image base operating system on the computer that is running SoftGrid Sequencer before you install version 4.2. The backup image must contain end-user software that will be on every client computer.

You can upgrade all SoftGrid Server components from the following versions:
  • 3.1
  • 3.2
  • 4.0
  • 4.1
Upgrades from earlier releases of the Microsoft SoftGrid components are not supported. If you have older Microsoft SoftGrid components, uninstall them by using Add or Remove Programs before you install version 4.2 components.

The server upgrade automatically validates existing applications. The upgrade also identifies application configuration problems.

Note Applications that you sequence by using SoftGrid Sequencer version 4.x may not stream correctly to SoftGrid clients that are running version 3.x. You can upgrade target clients to version 4.x or continue to stream version 3.x-sequenced applications to the older clients. We recommend that you test SoftGrid Client 4.x together with SoftGrid Sequencer 4.x.
Manuals
The following documents support this release:
  • SoftGrid Quick Start Guide
  • Installing the SoftGrid Sequencer
  • Installing the SoftGrid Components
  • Installing the SoftGrid Client
  • SoftGrid Platform Administrator’s Guide
  • SoftGrid Sequencer User’s Guide
Operating system requirements
SoftGrid 4.2 server components must run on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or a later version. Windows Server 2003 is required to run the SoftGrid Server Management Console Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. You can install SoftGrid Virtual Application Server on a computer that is running an earlier version than Windows Server 2003 SP1. In this case, you can manage SoftGrid Virtual Application Server from a console that is running on a different computer.

Important The SoftGrid Server Management Console no longer works on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows 2000 Server.

Known issues

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Description More information
An active upggrade to SoftGrid 4.2 fails for an environment that mixes SoftGrid Client 3.x andSoftGrid Server 4.x components.
Even after you restart the domain controller, an active upgrade may fail for SoftGrid 3.x clients and for SoftGrid 4.x servers.
An active upgrade works for an environment that is running SoftGrid Sequencer 4.x, SoftGrid 4.x servers, and SoftGrid 4.x clients. An active upgrade may work in various mixed environments.
A Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine upgrade on a SoftGrid version 3.2 server prompts for a restart.
If the database is on the same computer as the server, it may prompt you to restart the computer during the upgrade. If you restart the computer, you must restart the whole upgrade.
Do not restart the computer. When you are prompted, click Cancel, and then continue to run the upgrade.
The application fails when it starts after you cancel an application import operation.
You receive an unexpected error code (00000125) when you try to start an application after you cancel an application import operation by using the SoftGrid Client Management Console.
Unload the application in the console before you try to restart the application.
An application server uninstall operation fails because it cannot find the files to uninstall. These files should be located in the %ProgramFiles%\Softricity\SoftGrid Server\Content directory.
If the installation points to a shared network location that is not available, the uninstall operation fails with an "1606" error message.
If the Content directory is a local directory, re-create the directory by using the same name before you uninstall files. If content is in a shared location, make sure that this location is available On the computer on which you have installed the SoftGrid server components.
Applications that have background processes running may prevent you from uninstalling the SoftGrid Client correctly.
A dialog box appears that prompts you to close all the virtual applications before you continue. This behavior occurs even though all virtual applications appear to be closed.
Manually exit from the SoftGrid Client notification area before you uninstall the SoftGrid Client.
The SoftGrid Client installer program does not appear to save a new global data folder.
During client installation, the display is not updated when you browse for a folder, and then you select it.
This is a display issue. You can see the change by clicking Back or Next.
Client user principal name (UPN) logon requires a full domain name.
For remote connections, the client logon needs the full UPN name. This name includes the suffix. For example, you must type domainuser@company2.int.
When you log on by using a UPN domain user name, use the full credentials.
You receive error messages when you import applications that are used by multiple packages.
In rare cases, you may receive error messages and reports that the package GUID is already being used when you import an application that is used by more than one package. The SoftGrid Server Management Console may freeze.
These error messages are a known limitation of this release. However, when you restart the console, the package is successfully imported.
Virtual File System (VFS) files are corrupted on a FAT32 drive.
On a computer that is running SoftGrid Sequencer on a FAT32 drive, the VFS files may become corrupted.
Use only NTFS file system drives for sequencing. Do not sequence to a FAT32 drive.
A default application does not appear in a split-server SoftGrid installation.
In a SoftGrid installation that uses the Web service and the database on one computer and Virtual Application Server on another, the default application may not appear in the database or at the published shortcut locations.
This behavior is a known limitation.
You cannot change the default port during client installation.
The default port (554) does not change after you enter a different port during installation.
After installation, use the SoftGrid Client Management Console to select the SoftGrid server, and then enter the desired port in the server properties.
You experience a multi-stage upgrade failure.
The second update in a multi-stage upgrade to Microsoft Office XP can fail on the second consecutive update.
Install the application to a folder at least two levels under the SoftGrid Sequencer drive root directory. For example, install the application to the Q:\MyApp\New directory instead of to the Q:\MyApp directory.
You receive a "SystemGuard" failure message during command-line sequencing.
During command line sequencing, you may receive an error message that reports a SystemGuard download failure. The error reports that the installation path parameter is not valid.
Verify that file names that are provided as parameters are less than 255 characters and that they do not include special characters. For example, the file names must not include a slash mark (/), a backslash (\), a colon (:), a vertical bar (|), a question mark (?), an asterisk (*), or angle brackets (< >).
The SoftGrid Sequencer produces extra .osd files.
SoftGrid Sequencer version 4.x can generate more .osd files than are required for an application.
Before you copy sequenced files to the Virtual Application Server, verify that the .osd files are related to the application. For example, assume that the SoftGrid Sequencer has created .osd files for Notepad and for Windows Explorer. If you know that these .osd files are not part of the application, delete them before you copy the output.
The SoftGrid Sequencer .msi file does not automatically start the Sequencer installation in Windows Vista.
In Windows Vista, if you run the SoftGrid Sequencer .msi file interactively, it does not start automatically.
To work around this issue, you have to disable and then re-enable the auto-launch option.
SoftGrid Server does not start after a SoftGrid 3.1 to 4.x server upgrade.
If a port number value is in the SQL Server DATA_SOURCES table, SoftGrid Server may not start.
Edit the DATA_SOURCES table in SQL Server to remove the port number.
The SoftGrid Virtual Application Server service fails when you change the server name.
The SoftGrid Virtual Application Server service does not start when the server name is changed to use a Domain Name System (DNS) format.
Do not change the server name format after installation.
You receive server upgrade error messages.
If you modified the SoftGrid server content path during the original installation, you may receive two error messages when the upgrade program tries to replace the DefaultApp.osd file. The upgrade program cannot find that file if it is not in the Drive_Letter:\Program Files\Softricity\SoftGrid Server\Content directory.
Click OK at each error message. These errors do not affect the upgrade. You can still locate that file in its previous location.
A silent upgrade of the server may fail in certain scenarios.
A silent upgrade of the server may fail when the REINSTALL=ALL and REINSTALLMODE=vomus properties are specified together with the misexec command. This behavior occurs when you are doing a major upgrade. A major upgrade occurs when you upgrade SoftGrid to a new version. For example, you upgrade from SoftGrid 3.x to SoftGrid 4.x. A minor upgrade occurs when you upgrade from from SoftGrid 4.1 to SoftGrid 4.2.
To avoid this problem, specify the REINSTALL=ALL and REINSTALLMODE=vomus properties only if you are performing a minor upgrade.
The SoftGrid Client installer does not prevent installation on 64-bit editions of Windows
The SoftGrid Client installer does not detect that it is being run on a 64-bit system and does not inform you that the platform is not supported.
SoftGrid currently does not support 64-bit editions of Windows.
The SoftGrid Server Management Console reports an earlier version after you upgrade the snap-in.
After you upgrade the SoftGrid Server Management Console, the earlier version of the snap-in is displayed in the About SoftGrid Console window.
The SoftGrid Server Management Console is upgraded correctly but the version number is incorrectly cached by MMC 3.0.
The stand-alone management Web service upgrade fails
A SoftGrid management Web service cannot upgrade from version 3.2 to version 4.x. The SoftGrid management Web service cannot locate application packages.
Upgrade the SoftGrid Virtual Application Server before you try to upgrade a stand-alone Management Web service. Then, the Management Web service can find the correct content path for the application migration.
A stopped listener may not recover.
If you use a command to stop the listener when a virtualized application is running, the listener may freeze.
Restart the client computer if this behavior occurs.
Two reports are missing in SoftGrid version 4.2
. The "License Compliance" report and the "Use/Group Application Configuration" report do not appear in SoftGrid 4.2.
This is a known limitation.
You cannot import upgraded sequences as new applications in the SoftGrid Server Management Console.
If you try to import a sequence that has been upgraded by using a package upgrade that did not previously exist in the SoftGrid Server Management Console, you may receive a "0000C81E" error message.
To work around this issue, remove the trailing version number in the .sft file name. For example, rename MyApp_3.sft to MyApp.sft.
When you try to upgrade SoftGrid server from version 3.2.2.8 to version 4.x, the SoftGrid Server Management Console cannot be created.
This issue is resolved if you perform a repair.
When you upgrade SoftGrid server to MMC 3.0, you receive an error in the SoftGrid Client Management Console.
Assume that you have the SoftGrid Client Management Console installed on a computer that is also running the SoftGrid Server Management Console and that you upgrade to MMC 3.0. When you click any of the nodes under SoftGrid in the SoftGrid Client Management Console, you receive an error message.
If you ignore this error message, the SoftGrid Client Management Console works correctly.
When you upgrade the SoftGrid server from version 4.x, the server log location resets to the default location.
If you previously deleted the default log directory and if you specified a custom log directory, SoftGrid Server does not start. Instead, it returns error code 41539.
To resolve this issue, reset the log location manually.
Usage data is lost when the client reconnects to server.
Application usage information may be lost when the SoftGrid Client reconnects after it loses its connection to the SoftGrid Virtual Application Server.
This remains a limitation of the client.
You cannot delete file type associations when you import an .osd file.
On the Import Wizard’s File Associations tab, existing file type associations appear to be deleted correctly. The file type associations may remain in the file type association node of the SoftGrid Server Management Console.
After you import the file, remove the file type associations by using the SoftGrid Server Management Console File Associations node.

The SoftGrid Virtual Application Server, SoftGrid Management Server, and Web Service components

General guidelines

  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 is not supported for SoftGrid components. However, the components continue to function in Windows NT 4.0 domains. See the SoftGrid documentation for more information.
  • SQL Server 2005 Express is not supported.
  • Installation of SoftGrid components requires local administrative credentials on the target server.
  • SoftGrid Management Web Service installation requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.
  • Do not use the number sign (#) in fields of the Microsoft SoftGrid Installation Wizard. That may cause SoftGrid Virtual Application Server installation to fail.
  • Before you install the SoftGrid Virtual Application Server for use with SQL Server 2005, make sure that the SQL Server configuration has TCP/IP enabled. In SQL Server Configuration Manager, expand SQL Server 2005 Configuration , and then click Protocols for MSSQLSERVER. Right-click TCP/IP, and then click Enable. Finally, restart the SQL Server. To do this, click SQL Server 2005 Services, right-click SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER), and then click Restart.
  • Do not use hyphens (-) in an existing SQL Server database name. SoftGrid uses SQL Server functions that do not support database names that contain hyphens. If hyphens are used, the server installation fails. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    165432 PRB: DBGrid does not insert record if field name contains dash
  • By default, a Virtual Application Server’s log level is set to Warnings/Errors. This setting includes warnings, errors, fatal errors and transactions. You may have to raise the log level to diagnose problems. Raising the log level causes faster log file growth. It also takes more disk space. After you raise the log level, and then you diagnose the problem, return the log level to a reduced setting so that the Sft-server.log file does not grow unnecessarily. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    930843 Log options for SoftGrid Management Console 3.x
  • On a Windows Server 2003-based computer, in a Windows Load Balancing environment, do not set the affinity to None. This behavior can cause a failure of clients that request streamed applications. Instead, set the affinity to Single. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    932018 How SoftGrid Networking works together with Windows Server 2003 Network Load Balancing
  • Each SoftGrid Virtual Application Server installation in a server group must have the same packages of the same versions. If not, problems may occur on the following SoftGrid clients:
    • Clients that are configured to obtain the same application from different servers
    • Clients that fail over from one server
  • Automated usage cleanup of the SoftGrid data store requires that SQLSERVERAGENT is running on the SoftGrid data store computer.
  • You may be unable to log on to the SoftGrid Server Management Console through a firewall by using a proxy unless one of the following conditions is true:
    • You authenticate over a Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) connection.
    • You configure authentication for the default Web site to include basic authentication.
  • The default request time-out for SoftGrid Management Web Service requests is set to 15 minutes (900 seconds). The large default value is required because reports can take a very long time to run. To modify the time-out value, follow these steps:
    1. Open the Web.config file.
    2. Change the executionTimeout attribute of the configuration/system.web/httpRuntime element.
    <configuration>
    <system.web>
    <!-- Time out (in seconds) when servicing request -->
    <httpRuntime executionTimeout="900" />
    </system.web>
    </configuration> 

The SoftGrid Server Management Console

General guidelines

  • To install the SoftGrid Server Management Console, log on to the computer as an administrator.
  • Only users in the Softricity Administrators node can log on to the SoftGrid Server Management Console. You can specify these users during installation, or you can add them by using the SoftGrid Server Management Console.
  • You cannot change the maximum time for licenses.
  • The versions of the SoftGrid Server Management Console and the SoftGrid Management Web Service must match.
  • Use the SoftGrid Sequencer OSD Editor to edit an .osd file and to avoid introducing unauthorized XML code.
  • Avoid making duplicate file type associations that can cause conflicts on the client computers.

SoftGrid Sequencer

Best Practices

  • For information about best practices, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
    932137 Best practices to use for sequencing in Microsoft SoftGrid
  • If you are using Windows Vista, make sure that Microsoft Search and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) are turned off before you start monitoring on the sequencing station.
  • Before you sequence an application, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for guidelines on how to avoid sequencing problems for specific applications, such as Microsoft Office.

General guidelines

  • The Sequencing computer and the SoftGrid clients to which the sequenced application will be streamed must have the same version of the Microsoft Installer. If the version is not the same, you may see an installer dialog box, or you may have trouble running the application.
  • If the base operating system on which you are sequencing includes Terminal Services, you must put the operating system into Install mode during the installation phase of sequencing. You can do this by using commands. However, to do this by using Control Panel, click Add or Remove Programs, click Add New Programs, and then start your installation phase.
  • When you click File , and then click New Package, we recommend that you sequence a new application, and then use Help options. When you have experience sequencing, you can use the individual wizards in the Tools menu.
  • If the application crashes during sequencing, re-sequence the application even if it appears to function correctly after the crash.
  • By default, all .osd files use the same Virtual Application Server location information and suite name. To modify the location of a single .osd file, use the Sequencer OSD Editor. To change the location or the suite name for all .osd files in the package, use the Package Configuration Wizard.
  • Use the Sequencer OSD Editor to edit an .osd file. Do not introduce unauthorized XML code.
  • Keep the .sprj (Project) file together with its other package files. This file contains information that is required for a package upgrade.
  • Before you install the SoftGrid Sequencer, verify that the Launch folder windows in a separate process check box is not selected. To do this in Windows Explorer, click Tools, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab. If the Launch folder windows in a separate process check box is selected, click to clear the check box. If you change the value, restart.
  • Installation of the SoftGrid Sequencer requires local administrative credentials on the sequencing station.

The SoftGrid Client

General guidelines

  • Do not install the SoftGrid Client on a computer that is running the SoftGrid Sequencer.
  • The Softricity drive stores application-specific data. Do not store user data on this drive.
  • Make sure that users who use roaming profiles log on to only one computer at a time. Otherwise, you may experience intermittent problems.
  • We recommend that you remove locally installed applications that you plan to stream. Otherwise, you may see a message from the streamed application that says the feature is not available.
  • For optimal performance, the client cache must be larger than the size of all streamed applications.
  • Load applications in the cache that are required for all clients. Make sure that the Disconnected Operation option is enabled. This option lets you start applications when there is a network outage or a SoftGrid Virtual Application Server outage.
  • Install SoftGrid clients and streamed applications by using paths that use 255 characters or less.
  • Use a host name instead of an IP address to locate a Desktop Configuration Server if you have not enabled reverse lookup for this address or if this address is dynamic and is no longer synchronized to its DNS entry.
  • Do not use the Detect and Repair option in a Microsoft Office application’s Help menu. This command can cause an Office error message.
  • Assume that a client computer that is not part of a domain has used a set of credentials to obtain files from a domain’s network share. This computer may use these same credentials when it requests SoftGrid-enabled applications. If these credentials are not valid, clear them so that you can enter valid ones when you are prompted.
  • You must be a SoftGrid administrator to stop the Softricity SoftGrid Client service. When you stop this service, you end all client sessions. In this case, users may lose data. We recommend that you tell users to exit applications and to log off their sessions before you stop this service.

Properties

Article ID: 941408 - Last Review: February 18, 2008 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft SoftGrid Application Virtualization for Windows Desktops
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