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How to: Update Virtualized Application Part 2: Citrix Profiler

Logically after a while when an application is installed updates needs to be performed. When the application is virtualized these updates need to be added to the package. In this article I'm describing the steps for updated a Citrix virtualized application.

Determine the package upgrade methodology




The first step is to determine the way you would like to upgrade the application. There are two methodologies:

  • Upgrade the current package

This methodology is most used when the application needs to be updated with a hotfix or other small update.  Good example is an upgrade to Acrobat Reader 9.1 to 9.2 or specific fix for Microsoft Word.

  • Create a new package

When the update actually exist of introducing a complete new version (for example Office 2003 to 2007) most times a new package will be created. Although technically an upgrade is possible, it's logical not advisable. By create a new package you have some more flexibility to introduce (and roll-back if necessary) the new application. Also the package itself is much cleaner in comparison upgrading the current package.

In this article we will focus on the first methodology, because with the application virtualization mind this is actually the only upgrade option within virtualized applications.

Upgrading a Citrix Profiler Package

Upgrading a virtualized application based on Citrix Application Streaming will be upgraded on the Profiles machine. Just like creating a new package the package guidelines apply to upgrading an Citrix Profiler package. So take care the profile system is a clean state.  Copy the package from your Citrix streaming directory to the local disk of the profiler, so you don't directly edit the production version of your virtualized application.

The next step is to start the Citrix Streaming Profiler. In first Window you select the option Open Profile.

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When in an earlier stage already unchecked the option "Show this screen during startup" the profile will open normally and you have to pick out of the Open option from the File Menu. Both ways show the same open dialog box, where you can choose which profile you would like to open. In this article I will use Paint.Net.

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When the application is loaded you need to choose the so called target (selected operating systems), followed by selected Edit - Update/Install application in the menu.

After the profiled application is loaded the update wizard appears. The first dialog is just an information window, so you continue directly with the Next button.

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Actually the update of an application looks exactly the same as the default profile steps. So the second window gives you the option to do a quick install or the advanced install. If the update exists of a single installation file you can use the quick install. For this article I will use the advanced option.

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When choosing the advanced option you will have several options to perform an upgrade of the application. You still can use an installation mechanism, but also just copying some files and/or folders or makes changes to the registry. The options are logically and I like this way, because it gives you exact the possibilities you need.  You can also use several techniques together, because the profiler gives you the option to go back to this selection window and perform additional actions.

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I will use the "continue with none of the above" option to show you the update mechanism when the application has an internal update procedure included. When choosing this option the profiler will show the configured application directly (which will show up in all possibilities after you performed the actions corresponding to your selection).  Here I will run the application to start the update mechanism inside the application. In other cases you use this to configure specific settings within the application if needed.

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In this specific case I will go the update feature in the application and perform the update.

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After the update has finished you can continue with the next button of the Run Application dialog window.  Just like a new profile dialog boxes about shortcuts and signing the profile will be shown. I won't discuss those, because they are not specific for the update process. After these dialog the update wizard is completed and with using the Finish button the update profile will be created.

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After the profile is created you need to save the changes using File - Save.

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When saving is finished you will see in the profile directory that a new cab is created where the last number represents the version of the file, the .profile fill will point to this new cab file. That's the reason why I always create a copy of the profiled application, so you can easily go back to the previous version.

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The last step is to test the application and when it's working fine to copy it to your production infrastructure.

Conclusion

In this article I showed the necessary steps to update an application which is virtualized using Citrix Application Streaming. We also discussed the possibilities to update the package with this update.