Once you have bought your shiny new high end Packaging Machine (see Packaging Environment Recommendations) you must set up your Packaging environment.
It is recommends that you package inside a Virtual Machine - this is because it can easily be returned to a clean state and snapshots can be taken at specific packaging progress points to help you achieve a final appset.
To this end, you must decide upon your VM environment - options include VMWare Workstation, Oracle VirtualBox and Microsoft Hyper-V (amongst others).
Note on VMWare Workstation
VMWare Workstation is a great VM product, however the VMWare Tools package that enables extra functionality (including the ability to copy and paste between VM's and the host machine, automatic screen scaling, Shared Folders etc.) installs 2 Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables - this means that these C++ redists WILL NOT be captured when capturing software that requires them.
To overcome this issue, you must ensure that your target environment already has those 2 C++ redists already physically installed - this includes BYOD devices such as Student personal laptops. This can be achieved on your managed estate by pushing out the C++ using SCCM/Group Policy or including those C++ on your base image and on BYOD/personal devices by offering a "Requirement/Prerequisite" app in the AppsAnywhere store that physically install those C++.
How to set up a Packaging Environment
As already stated, you have your new PC and you have decided on your VM Environment, what do I do now?
- Start your VM Manager
- Create a VM/VDI - I would recommend a disk size of around 200GB and I would dedicate a decent amount of resources to it e.g. at least 2 Core's, 4GB RAM, enable shared folders e.t.c.
- Install Windows and make sure it is up to date and set to the correct region/language
- Ensure you know the Administrator account/password
- Install the latest Cloudpaging Studio
- Turn off all unnecessary features and functions (to reduce "background noise" when capturing- easily achieved with the AppsAnywhere Packaging Tool)
- Take a VM Snapshot with the machine powered off
- You will also need to repeat the above steps to create a Cloudpaging Player Test VM
If you want a preconfigured VM - Microsoft has some development VMs available for various VM Platforms to download - these are available here
These are set to expire after 90 days, however they can be licensed permanently if you have a license key
For more information, more detail and an example using Oracle VirtualBox and a preconfigured Microsoft development VM take a look at the attached PDF.