What’s up, everyone!
Usually when I write on my blog I stick to the technology and try to keep my own opinion out of the article, but I think I’ll break my own rule for once. I have to say I’m absolutely impressed with Rimo3 and the way they package and test applications. Migrating to Cloud PC’s or Azure Virtual Desktop just became a lot easier!
- How awesome would it be if you can be sure that your apps will work on a Cloud PC or Azure Virtual Desktop, even before you start to migrate?
- Their integrations are spot on; Intune, Nerdio Manager and Config mgr and VMware.
- The logging Rimo3 provides is great. You get console (text) output, screenshots, a video of the process and performance metrics. What could you want more?
- There’s still a lot of value after migrating to your favorite virtual desktop. Think about new Windows builds or migration from Windows 10 to 11 (or newer in the future).
- The more apps you have, the more time you can save.
In this post we’ll have a look at all the magic that Rimo3 can do for us. Let’s take a look at the different scenarios and how you can use them to your advantage. How can you onboard an application and how can you finetune the Intelligent Smoke Test?
You’ll need a Microsoft tenant with a valid subscription and Rimo3 setup if you want to follow along. Also make sure that the apps can be installed unattended.
You will be prompted by a questionnaire once you login to Rimo3 for the first time. This will help you setup the environment to suit your business needs. But what are the scenarios and can you change it?
Let’s take a look at the different scenarios:
1 – Check suitability for AVD / Windows 11
Select this option if you would like to move your current environment to Azure Virtual Desktop. Rimo3 will test your applications on Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session and check how they behave.
2 – Modernize my applications
Here’s a scenario that will help you to modernize your applications. It focusses on MSIX, which is the preferred application format to run on a virtualized desktop like AVD or Windows 365. Here’s the cool thing, Rimo3 does the hard part! It doesn’t only package the app in MSIX format but it also checks if it works like it is supposed to. Talk about saving time! How cool is that!
3 – Manage my existing environment
Are you looking to upgrade your image to a new build of Windows? Or maybe looking to upgrade from Windows 10 to 11 but you are not sure that your apps will still work? This scenario is meant for precisely that. Rimo3 will check your apps against your new environment and give you detailed information. This means you can focus on the apps that went wrong and find a solution before you actually migrate.
4 – Manage suitability (any OS to any OS)
This scenario will help you to migrate from any other VDI or SBC environments to Azure Virtual Desktop.
Can you run the questionnaire again?
Yes, you can simply kickoff the questionnaire again by clicking on the circular arrows icon in the top left. Rimo3 will remind you that changing the operating system will automatically trigger the testing process for every app.
The Rimo3 Dashboard - Your Guide To App Greatness
Here’s a screenshot how the Rimo3 dashboard looks like:
The dashboard gives us an overview of the current onboarding status of our apps. You can quickly onboard new apps by clicking on the onboard button or see (all) sequences by clicking on the sequence button.
You can also filter your app list using the filters below the onboard and sequence buttons.
There’s a menu on the left side of the screen with the following options;
- Add packages: this option will help you to upload existing packages, manually create a new package or import applications from Config Manager.
- Onboarding: this dashboard contains all the info for onboarding your apps to Azure Virtual Desktop.
- Migration suitability: shows a dashboard of your apps and shows if they are suitable for your new operating system.
- AVD suitability: shows if your applications are suitable for multi-session operating systems.
- Modernize: shows if your apps can be modernized to MSIX packages and MSIX App Attach.
- Manage: This dashboard shows the information if your apps from any other VDI or SBC solution are ready to be used on AVD.
- Advanced: Clicking on the advanced menu option will show another menu with options about Activity, Test environments, Settings and admin and support information.
- Notifications: This will show all notifications. You can also clear them one at a time or all at once.
How To Onboard A New Package
On the Onboarding dashboard, hit the big plus on the top of the screen or click the Add Packages option in the menu on the left. Fill in the parameters and drop the ZIP file on the right side of the screen:
Let’s start with something simple, 7zip for instance. Make sure that every app can be installed silently. 7zip can be installed via .msi or using the /S command for the .exe file.
Make sure to fill in the required fields and click the save button. Next, you can upload your .zip file.
If you look at the text, it says uploaded file is clean. Rimo3 will scan your uploads for virusses. Cool right!
I thought it was a good idea to feed some wrong information to Rimo3 so we can troubleshoot a bit. Then I corrected the problem and tried again. Let’s see what happened.
The process of packaging and testing the app starts immediately after the onboarding process completes. Remember to check the sequences if you want to see what’s happening.
In a failed situation
From the onboarding dashboard, click on the status. We can see that the discover phase failed because install.cmd was not found in the .zip file I uploaded. So logically Rimo3 can’t install the application. It’s pretty easy to correct this problem, add an install.cmd and uninstall.cmd to your .zip file. For some reason I still like to work with those files when installing apps. Anyway, just delete the app and recreate it with the updated .zip file.
All good now
Here’s the output when everything checks out.
There are even options to check out a video of the entire process as well as screenshots when the app was started.
Options For An Existing Package
Let’s take a look at the options we have when we onboarded a package succesfully. Just click on the name of the package in the onboarding dashboard. I made two screenshots for readibility.
In the first part we can see the different options for the package. We can export the package to Intune. If this hasn’t been setup before, you can do so from this button.
You can edit the information for this package. Remember that I entered the wrong install command before? Well, you don’t actually need to delete the app. You can also edit the app right here and fill in the correct details. Just hit the edit button and change the things that you want to.
There’s a section called package discovery. This might come in handy when Rimo3 fails to start an application. Rimo3 discovered four executables for 7zip and it chose the correct one to start the app. But what if Rimo3 tries the wrong executable? Then the Intelligent Smoke Test would surely fail. Just hit the edit button on the top of the screen and select of deselect the executables. This way you can make sure Rimo3 will start the correct one. You can also add arguments if you would like to.
Export to: Microsoft Intune
Great! We have a package and we are certain that it will work on our operating system. Let’s put it to good use!
First up: Microsoft Intune
I already mentioned you can edit a package and hit the export button. If Intune hasn’t been configured before, you can do so now:
The more obvious way would be to go to the Advanced menu option, Settings, Integrations. This will show all available integrations:
And there’s some pretty powerful stuff going on here! You can connect to:
- Config Mgr: just imagine to re-use all the information that you already have and bulk import apps! Pretty sweet!
- Microsoft Intune: Export to your Microsoft Intune instance.
- Nerdio Manager for Enterprise: Export to NME and use MSIX App Attach.
- Your local computer to upload an existing package or create a new one.
Just hit the configure button, any of them will do as they will bring you to the same page. Expand Intune and enter the following information:
- Azure Tenant ID (can be copied from the Azure Portal, just open Azure AD.)
- Client ID: can be copied from your app registration.
- Client secret: can be copied from your app registration.
You can find the client ID en client secret in Azure AD, app registration. This is something that you’ll have to create yourself. Luckily these steps are pretty easy to do yourself and Microsoft has written a good document on it.
Just hit the save button once you’re done. You’re now able to bulk export packages to Microsoft Intune as well as exporting single packages. Remember that your can see the progress from the sequences page.
Our shiny new app will pop-up in Endpoint Manager under Apps, Windows. The type will be Windows Universal line-of-business app and it still needs to be assigned. So let’s assign it to our Cloud PC’s and see if it works!
Just edit the app and assign it to all devices and put a filter on it for Cloud PC’s.
Let’s see if we can find the app and start it on our Cloud PC.
It took a bit of time for it to popup but there it is! I included the a list of the installed apps, just to show that MSIX apps do not appear in your Programs & Features list.
Now I’ve packaged MSIX apps before and written a blogpost about it. The first question that popped into my mind was, why does this even work? MSIX packages need to be signed in order for them to work so that means you have to find a way to trust those certificates. The way Rimo3 solved this issue is by using a trusted global root certificate during the conversion process. That means the package should work on about every workplace.
Export to: Nerdio Manager for Enterprise
Another great integration is Nerdio Manager for Enterprise. Remember, NME uses MSIX App Attach. Therefore you’ll need to configure a Azure File Share location for your packages. If you haven’t configured it before, you can do so via Settings, Integrations, MSIX App Attach Storage Locations. If you haven’t configured your file share yet, just follow this Nerdio step-by-step guide.
Back to Rimo3! Just click on Advanced, Integrations and hit the Configure button in the Nerdio box. Click the Add instance button.
You can find most of the values in NME, just go to Settings, Integrations. The REST API can have a disabled or enabled status.
Just click on disabled to start the process to enable the API. The legends at Nerdio made this process very easy by giving us a wizard to follow.
The REST API will be enabled after following these simple steps. Just click on show next to credentials. This will show a popup with most of the required information.
- Friendly name: Provide a name for the NME instance.
- Tenant ID: Shown in the previous step.
- Client ID: Shown in the previous step.
- Client secret: Shown in the previous step.
- Access Token URL: Shown in the previous step (OAuth 2.0 token)
- Nerdio Manager URL: The URL for the NME instance.
- Scope: Shown in the previous step.
After you hit the save button, the configuration will be validated and saved. You’re now able to export packages to NME. So let’s give that a go.
Just open one of your apps, click Export and To Nerdio Manager.