App packaging in VDI is the most crucial step of the eight core activities of app lifecycle management. If app packaging is not done correctly it can lead to more unwanted iterations for IT, resource wastage, or a subpar user experience. It can also be the most expensive and time-consuming process if you do not have the right tools. Wouldn’t it be great if you could package and deliver apps in just a few clicks? Guess what? With VMware App Volumes, you can! Let’s show you how.
What is app packaging, and why is it so difficult?
App packaging helps IT admins provide end users with the latest and greatest version of an application. These app versions help deliver a simplified user experience, security updates, or new features that the users need.
Before we jump into how app packaging with App Volumes works, let’s review what packaging an app actually is. App packaging is the process of scripting, sequencing, installing, and configuring an application as a package for users. There are various types of packages such as MSI, MSIX app attach, SCCM packages, ThinApp packages, and, of course, App Volumes.
App packaging can be difficult because of the need to manage several types of packages for multiple applications. There are a variety of tools that are available, but IT admins still need to do everything manually. Starting from capturing an app, to adding the right app version, and then to publishing, it can be an error-prone, time-consuming process that could require more IT or end user effort.
How does App Volumes solve packaging challenges?
App Volumes has simplified the app packaging process with its unique app capture technology. App capture allows the admin to capture application bits to a virtual disk (VMDK or VHD files) for distribution to users and machines. It does this using a command-line program by working with packages outside of the App Volumes Manager console, which admins would alternatively do on a machine and finish with a captured version of the end state. For app capturing, a packaging VM is used to capture one or more installations, which can be distributed to Active Directory objects such as users, groups, and organization units.
In the video below you can see how a user installs the packaged Firefox app for their desktop. The video then shows how easy it is for an IT admin to package the Firefox app by capturing the application bits and pushing it to the user to consume.
In conclusion, there is no need to do scripting or run a silent installer in the background, as there would be with other app packaging tools. App packaging is done with a few clicks without any additional overhead required from the end user, and the app is ready to be used in minutes. In the example above, the user only had to click on “Next” a few times and then restart their desktop to get the app working.