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Workspace 365 App Launcher

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  1. Introduction
  2. Requirements
  3. Instruction file
    1. id
    2. target
    3. args
  4. Workspace 365 App Launcher
  5. Additional info

 

Note: The Workspace 365 App Launcher is available to our Partners. Are you a Workspace 365 Partner and interested? Please contact support

Introduction

We proudly present the Workspace 365 App Launcher for local applications. This makes it easier to integrate local applications within your adaptive workspace and makes it easier for users to start any application from one workspace. The App Launcher enables more convenient configuration and management of local applications for admins. This also simplifies the deployment by the created MSI and allows you to set parameters on these applications.  Consequently, users can easily start local apps from their workspace.

In "Launching Local applications" we've described how you can launch local applications with some Windows Registry edits. We make use of the URI handlers within the OS. For the Workspace 365 App Launcher, we make use of the same protocol. But as admin it's much easier to create and deploy these instructions to launch local applications including parameters. 

Requirements

The Workspace 365 App Launcher consists of two files;

  • "Workspace 365 App Launcher.msi"
  • "Intructions.xml"

The "Workspace 365 App Launcher.msi" including the "Instructions.xml" must be deployed on the target client(s). For the Windows App Launcher you need an Windows OS. You can configure the instructions file for the desired applications.

To download the files go to this article: https://support.workspace365.net/hc/en-us/sections/360003286180-Workspace-365-Local-App-Launcher

Instruction file

The instruction file is the file where you configure the local application and optional parameters. Please make sure that you have deployed the Instrcution file in the Workspace 365 App Launcher folder.

The instruction file is written in xml. Each instruction has an "id" and a "target", "args" are optional.
The instruction file should be deployed in the "Workspace 365 App Launcher" folder.

Field Type Required
id guid Yes
target string Yes
args string Optional
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<Instructions>
<Instruction id="b9faf4fa-c260-423c-8713-1ceff5870c1f" target="%windir%\system32\calc.exe" />
<Instruction id="6060d3d9-e01f-4caa-b2ac-891c3efd3f14" target="%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office11\Excel.exe" />
<Instruction id="2e1f829a-fa00-4456-909e-4f7759c718c2" target="%windir%\Explorer.exe" args="/root,&quot;%UserProfile%&quot;" />
</Instructions>

 

id

The "Instruction id" is the link to the workspace. In the workspace you can add a new app type: "Local app (beta)"

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When adding the new app type, you can fill in the "Instruction id"

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This instruction id is the guid configured in the instruction file. This can be a custom guid. You can create one yourself from e.g. https://www.guidgenerator.com/online-guid-generator.aspx

 

target

The target field is the field where you determine which target you want to start. We can run everything that you can run from the known "Windows Run" as well e.g. https://www.maketecheasier.com/20-run-commands-windows/. This can be as well custom targets to own Line of Business(LOB) applications.

NOTE: Keep in mind that this is a relative path and needs to be located on the exact same location on each client where you are deploying the Workspace 365 App Launcher and Instruction file.

You can configure Excel the following way:

<Instruction id="6060d3d9-e01f-4caa-b2ac-891c3efd3f14" target="%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office11\Excel.exe" />

This way you will start the local Excel from the Program files path. If this file is not present, nothing will happen.

 

args

We can even add arguments/parameters to the targets we're configuring. For example, if you would like to start Windows Explorer with a certain folder/mapping we can do the following:

<Instruction id="2e1f829a-fa00-4456-909e-4f7759c718c2" target="%windir%\Explorer.exe" args="/root,&quot;C:\Workspace 365 Support&quot;" />

This will start Windows Explorer with the C:\Workspace 365 Support folder.

Please note that you need to precisely configure the arguments. As you see in the example above, we need to place quotes because the path contains spaces. But we only support xml encoded args.

"C:\Workspace 365 Support" 

will become;

&quot;C:\Workspace 365 Support&quot;

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Workspace 365 App Launcher

The Workspace 365 App Launcher is an msi file which comes together with the instruction file. The .msi is handling the commands given from the Workspace. Make sure that this file and the instruction file is running and available on all clients.

The .msi can be installed silently. You can deploy this via e.g. Intune or any other app deployment application which you are using. 

The install path of the client is:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Workspace 365 App Launcher"

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Additional info

The process we run is x86. When using a system variable like "%ProgramFiles%", for x86 processes it will point to the "Program Files (x86)" path while if you open it in windows explorer on an x64 OS it will open the "Program Files" folder. I.e. it might work if you copy the filepath in windows explorer, but not if you launch it through the launcher. In this scenario "%ProgramW6432%" should be used.

If you need to do any troubleshooting because you will receive an error:

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You can click  "open logs folder" or navigate to

"AppData\Roaming\Workspace 365 App Launcher\logs"

 

06-01-2020 12:00 CET - Since version of Google Chrome (77.0.3865.90), you will get a pop-up notification every time you want to launch a local app. This is due to changes made in Google Chrome.  We can prevent this by adding the w365-launcher url to the URLWhitelist of Chrome by adding this reg file on the local client;

Google Chrome

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome\URLWhitelist]
"1"="w365-launch:*"

Microsoft Edge

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge\URLAllowlist]
"1"="w365-launch:*"

We're looking into ways to add it by default in the installer.

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