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The Application packaging is a process where an installer for the application is created. Usually, these files are available in binary files which are provided by the developers, they are packaged from a package.
Application repackaging is a process where it captures all the changes that are done by the installation program in the first instance. On top of the installation program, customized changes are made to support the standard norms for the organizations.
The following are the steps that are involved in repackaging:
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The following are the main reasons why a repacking is required:
The following are the problems associated with legacy installation;
The following is the list of all MSI packaging tools:
The following is the list of MSI repackaging tools:
The deployment tool operated by Microsoft is :
Microsoft systems management server (SMS)
The list of windows installer benefits are as follows:
MSI stands for Microsoft Windows Installer.
Usually, the installation file is one single file that does the entire installation process.
It can be classified as a database that contains different tables. Each of these tables contains specific instructions and setup-related information.
The structure of MSI is classified into three subsections:
Products: It is nothing but a collection of features
Features: it is nothing but a collection of all components
Components: it is nothing but a collection of all different type of files and registries
A feature is nothing but a collection of all the components.
The process of Self-healing is also called Self-repair.
Once the MSI-based application is triggered ( either by clicking on the shortcut or the file itself), first of all, the windows installer will be triggered and checks whether the application is installed as a key path.
Based on the check, if there is a mismatch between the system state and the value configured in the MSI package then the process will automatically apply the change to the current installation.
With this process being said, the feature or the program is reinstalled without any extra help. This process is known as a self-repair or self-healing process.
The term Registry itself explains the functionality. It is the one and only place that is used to store information about the Windows OS ( hardware and software-related information). The structure is:
A service is nothing but a windows service that always runs in the background, it is loaded by the Service Control Manager of the operating system.
Typically they are two types of services that are available:
Win32 services: Win32 services are the services that operate based on the executable file once installed by the application.
Kernel services: Kernel services are also called windows services. Usually, these types of services are used by the operating system to communicate with the hardware systems.
The service information is generally stored within the windows registry hive.
“HLKM/System/CurrentControlSet/Name of the Service”.
Within MSI, the service-related information is available in
Service install will have all the service-related information and the service control will have all the information which is used to control the service during the installation and uninstallation process.
An environmental variable is a type of variable which is set by the operating system and the application. The following are the two different types of variables that are available.
1. System variable: This variable is available for all types of users
2. User Variable: This variable is available for only a particular type of users only
Within the Windows operating system, it is a routine that the file types are associated with the type of extensions they have. So the operating system identifies the file types and links them back to the programs based on the file extension they possess.
A file that doesn’t have any file extension nor they don't have any association with the files then they are classified as “orphans”.
Property is nothing but a global variable that is used by the Microsoft Windows installer during the installations.
There are three types of properties that are available:
Private: This type of property is used where the installation needs to be done internally. Within this property, values cannot be changed. For example Manufacture, product code, product name, product version. These are a few examples where the data cannot be changed during the installation process.
Public: This type of property is used where the installation needs to be done both internally and externally. For this type of property, the values can be changed during the run time as well. For example, Installlevel is one of the parameters where the values can be changed during the installation process.
Restricted Public: This type of property is used where the installation needs to be done both internally and externally. For this type of property, the values cannot be changed during the runtime. For example ALL USERS, REBOOT, etc.
A merge module is nothing but a process within the windows installer where it allows different companies to pre-package certain standard components and definitions into one single file. A merge module comes into existence where it needs to deliver a shared code or shared files or shared resources while setup process from a single compound file.
Within MSI, you can set permissions for files, folders, and registry keys by using the Lock permission table. To effectively use this, one has to use subinacl.exe as a custom action. This is one of the best ways to set permissions within MSI.
A transform is nothing but a different type of windows installer, with the file format (.MST).
This file should be used along with the MSI file while installation where the customization or change of the installation package can be done without actually modifying the MSI. This type of installer can only apply transforms during the installations.
The following are three types of transforms that are available within MSI:
Embedded transform: Within this type of transform, the files are stored within the .msi file
Secured Transform: As the name implies, the files are actually stored in a local machine or a computer in a specific location, all this happens on a secure file system. The user usually doesn't have write access to the folder.
Unsecured transform: As the name itself describes that this is a type of transformation where it is not secured. For an individual to apply an unsecured transform, they have to pass the transform file name within a transform property. Also, they can pass on the transform file name at the command line string at the time of the installation process
Within one vendor MSI, we can create n number of transforms. There is no restriction during the process
There is no restriction in terms of how many transforms can be supplied at the command line. It is purely based on the need.
A custom action is a process where the user has their own idea of installation. Within this process, the developers actually write some executables to execute in a certain manner so the installation process can be completed in a customized manner.
The following is a list of different type of sequences in custom actions:
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They are three types of conditions in custom actions, they are as follows:
Not installed- During the installation process only
Remove- This is used during the un-installation process
Not Remove- This is used during both installation and Uninstallation
A launch condition is a process where it checks the system requirements of the destination computer.
Ravindra Savaram is a Content Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.