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What’s New in the Updated Reviewer’s Guide for VMware ThinApp?

The Reviewer’s Guide for VMware ThinApp has been updated for ThinApp 5.2.

This guide is for anyone who installs and deploys VMware ThinApp packaged applications, and contains almost everything you need to know about ThinApp. It covers fundamental information about architecture, components, and terminology, and includes practical exercises that guide you through packaging, updating, and deploying applications.

What makes ThinApp a market leader in application virtualization? A major benefit of ThinApp is its ability to isolate applications. ThinApp applications are self-contained EXE files that do not touch the underlying OS. You can eliminate conflicts and run two versions of the same application, in parallel. For example, if you require a legacy browser for a business application, you can run virtual Internet Explorer 6 with native Internet Explorer 11 on the same desktop.

The following diagram shows the ThinApp package, with a virtual registry and virtual file system, alongside a small ThinApp runtime. This package is isolated from other applications on the desktop, and application changes are stored in a ThinApp sandbox.


ThinApp is a component of all Horizon 7 editions, adding application virtualization to the virtual desktop and reducing the management burden of provisioning, patching, and updating applications and images. ThinApp complements each product in the End-User-Computing portfolio to suit your specific requirements. The Reviewer’s Guide contains a dedicated section that discusses the benefits and drawbacks of each combination so that you can decide when to deploy ThinApp packages.

This updated guide provides the following information:

  • New features since ThinApp 4.x
  • Instructions for integrating ThinApp with VMware Identity Manager, VMware App Volumes, VMware Mirage, and, of course, View in VMware Horizon 7
  • Descriptions of how ThinApp works and ThinApp architecture
  • Security and file share considerations
  • Packaging, and deploying an application remotely or locally
  • Updating an application with various methods, including AppLink, sandbox merge, and the new “project to physical” (P2P) feature
  • Exercises for deploying updates, including side-by-side updates, AppSync, and the new package-management feature
  • New exercises on Set Isolation Modes and Configure AppLink Using Group Policy Objects

Following are two new features from ThinApp 5.1 that you might find useful.

Package management – To change project settings in previous ThinApp versions, you edited Package.ini parameters, saved the file, and rebuilt the project. The new package management feature simplifies the update process by enabling administrators to dynamically apply project changes using Active Directory group policies.

You can reconfigure the attributes of the following aspects of a deployed package:

  • AppSync
  • AppLink
  • Entry-point shortcuts
  • ThinDirect

The new exercise Configure AppLink Using Group Policy Objects (GPOs) demonstrates the dynamic management of AppLink using GPOs.

Project to physical (P2P) – P2P “converts” ThinApp project files into a physical environment. You use command-line options to extract existing project files into a capture-and-build environment. Instead of installing a native application after taking a prescan, you can use P2P to “install” the application from its existing project and make further modifications to it before taking a postscan and creating a new project based on those modifications. This saves time and effort in replicating a previously captured application that you need to modify.

For these details and more, look at the comprehensive Reviewer’s Guide for VMware ThinApp.