ThinApp 5.1: Introducing Package-Management Functions and Greater Efficiency

Sep 10, 2014
Aaron Black

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Aaron Black is a VMware EUC senior product manager. Over 10 years with EUC, he has worked across a range of VMware Horizon technology. He shamelessly loves software and strives to be in the field with customers. Previously, he was a Citrix systems engineer, lead a Sprint technical corporate IT team and designed solutions for VMware and Citrix partners.

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I am happy to announce that we are releasing ThinApp 5.1 today, which provides new package management functions and greater efficiency for IT. As always, we have included a number of fixes to address particular applications and functions, which can be reviewed in the ThinApp 5.1 Release Notes. We introduce a number of new features in the following paragraphs, and we will be doing some focused blog updates in the coming weeks to get into the technical details and provide specific guidance. In the meantime, you are welcome to review the What’s New section in the ThinApp 5.1 Release Notes or the ThinApp 5.1 User’s Guide. We are excited to provide this release to our customers and partners—please enjoy!

Let us start with a brief description of a completely new function—utilizing group policy for dynamic management of application linking and updating—for packages that have already been deployed.

AppLink is one of our core capabilities for managing the relationships between packages, and applications and their dependencies. Creating a dynamic mechanism that does not require rebuild and redeploy is a significant progression in efficiency for admins of ThinApp implementations. We have had this same group-policy mechanism in place for a while—to allow management of redirected URLs for ThinDirect—and we have now taken the use of group policies several steps further to allow for dynamic management of AppLink, AppSync, and entry-point shortcuts for previously deployed packages.

Customers have consistently voiced the importance of using ThinApp for managing legacy browser applications, so we have invested in our ThinDirect technology to broaden the functionality and to streamline management. ThinDirect is used to redirect users out of a native Internet Explorer browser into some other virtualized browsers. With ThinApp 5.1, we have introduced the capability to redirect out of a native Firefox browser as well. And with the continued diversity of browsers and browser versions, we now support redirection between virtual browsers. In addition, we provide management improvements that address GPO override and updating of ThinDirect settings at specified time intervals. We also have improved our support of Internet Explorer 10 and have introduced support for Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 for x86 and x64 platforms.

We interact with many of you who package applications on a daily basis, and we always try to include in a release a couple of new functions to make packaging easier and more efficient. In this release we are introducing a function that we think will be valuable for troubleshooting—I call it P2P (Project to Physical). Of course, physical machines are not really used for packaging, but I am referring to the CNB (Capture and Build) machine. This function allows a packager to take an existing ThinApp project and extract it into the CNB machine as a native application. This allows you to avoid the scenario of having to rebuild the base package or save snapshots of OSes from multi-stage packaging for complex applications. For reproducing a problem for our support staff or within your own internal application teams, P2P will certainly streamline the process and help avoid some of the small mistakes that can really cost you time and effort.

There is more to come in terms of screenshots and technical details of how to use these new ThinApp 5.1 capabilities, so we are keeping this blog entry brief. We look forward to your feedback and continued support of this critical VMware End-User Computing technology—application virtualization with ThinApp.

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