By Aaron Black, ThinApp Product Manager, End-User Computing, VMware
On behalf of VMware, I’d like to introduce the product of a substantial engineering effort to optimize the architecture and capabilities of our market-leading application virtualization offering–ThinApp 5.0. We took the opportunity earlier this month to make some announcements during the VMworld event in Europe. In this blog, I’m just going to offer a quick review of the offering and invite you to download and see for yourself the new capabilities in this release.
Horizon Agent for Windows 1.5.1 was released this week. This is a complete rewrite of the agent and from a ThinApp point of view a big release.
Horizon Workspace allows for central management of ThinApp packages. Horizon Workspace allows you to manage ThinApp packages entitlements, deploy ThinApp packages using both local and streaming deployment method and deploy updated packages. All from an easy to use central web console.
The new Horizon Agent have a couple new features which is greatly enhancing the ThinApp support in Horizon Workspace.
It’s with great pleasure I can announce the VMworld 2013 Lab on ThinApp is publicly available. The Lab is composed of many modules including a ThinApp Overview, ThinApp integration with Horizon View, Mirage and Workspace. Simply jump to the module you are interested in.
This is a ThinApp 101 Lab designed for those who are new to ThinApp. It provides a quick hands-on for those getting started with ThinApp and application virtualization as well as how to integrate ThinApp packages with the Horizon Suite of products.
The ThinApp Lab is called: HOL-MBL-1311 – Applied ThinApp with the Horizon Suite
Additional information for German Windows XP:
If you follow the procedures described in above posts your package should work very well on an English OS. Jonathan Wilk (@DooDleWilk), Escalation Engineer at VMware Global Support Services, just sent me his notes working on a case. The package worked just fine on English Operating Systems and German Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit) but failed on a German Windows XP.
After some troubleshooting he realized that on an English Windows XP the OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform folder is located in the “Documents and Settings” folder. On a German Windows XP the folder is called “Dokumente und Einstellungen”. So the workaround was simply to create the “Dokumente und Einstellungen” folder underneath the %Drive_C% folder macro and copy the content from your “Documents and Settings” folder. Rebuild and it works.
I wouldn’t be surprised if other applications will have the same issue and therefore would need the same fix in order to be portable.
I have come across a scenario where the customer has lost the ThinApp project folders and left with ThinApp EXE. As the project folders are required to generate MSI, the package could not be deployed with VMware View due to missing MSI. Instead of recapturing the application to generate MSI, the solution proposed below shall allow tweaking another ThinApp MSI (where MSIStreaming=1 is set) by editing the respective MSI tables and contents. Continue reading →
Last week, VMware made some major announcements with regard to the arrival of the Horizon Suite and the new pricing and packaging framework to simplify and unite the VMware EUC technologies for our customers. This is a milestone for EUC because it marks a concerted effort by VMware to streamline the adoption and implementation of products into a solution stack that customers can easily procure and implement.
One of the changes that was announced is that at the end of the year ThinApp will no longer be sold as a standalone product as in the past. Unfortunately, the product support life cycle has limited terms of description so the ‘End of Availability’ announcement has caused some some concern as some interpreted this as EOA of the technology. I apologize for the confusion and want to clarify that the EOA term ONLY applies to the standalone SKU as ThinApp will actually be included in ALL of the Horizon bundles - VMware Horizon View™, VMware Horizon Mirage™, VMware Horizon Workspace™ and VMware Horizon Suite™. A good place to get a feel for the bundles can be found here - Horizon Suite. Being included across the Horizon suite means that more customers than ever will be able to use the features and capabilities of ThinApp. The Horizon licensing model still allows flexibility for ThinApp to be used on the desktop without any other products if that is the use case needed by the customer.
I highly encourage you to consider the affinity between Horizon Mirage and ThinApp as we now have the capability to address every application on the Windows desktop; if you need apps with drivers and remote DCOM then use Mirage application layers, if you need cross platform support or isolation then ThinApp containers are ideal. Not only do these technologies cover 100% of the application list but Mirage is an ideal deployment mechanism for ThinApp containers as it can deliver ThinApps to the farthest endpoints without any dependence on branch infrastructure, Active Directory, or costly backend architecture. Customers can deploy layers and containers and then inventory those endpoints for centralized management of both native and virtualized applications.
To be clear to our customers (and competitors), our commitment to ThinApp technology hasn’t changed as we are actively working on our next release for mid-year which will include some very tangible architectural and compatibility improvements. Here is an FAQ that has been created which should help address any particular details.
I’m often asked about best practices when it comes to cleaning up the project folder. This is not a simple subject because it varies greatly depending on the application you captured. I’ve been discussing with myself how to best attack this task. I ended up deciding for a blog post but this one will have the comments functionality turned on. This way I hope you, the readers, will help me make this post better by adding your own experience. I will now and then merge comments into the original post for ease of consumption. Continue reading →