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Locally installed applications and integration with virtualized Internet Explorer

Perhaps one of the hottest use cases for ThinApp currently is virtualizing Internet Explorer 6. I have found a somewhat generic fix to make integration between virtualized IE6 and locally installed applications. The fix is discussed in a previous blog post (/thinapp/2010/03/how-to-resolve-send-to-email-issues-from-applications-like-reflection.html) but might not be that obvious.


By default ThinApp will load child process within the virtual environment. This causes issues with some applications. As a workaround you can tell ThinApp runtime to not load specific processes virtually but load them external from the virtualized bubble. The way to do this is with the package.ini parameter called ChildProcessEnvironmentExceptions.

Example:
Problematic locally installed applications process is named Application1.exe. Your package.ini would look like this:
ChildProcessEnvironmentExceptions=Application1.exe

Since the default is to load new process virtual do you not have to specify ChildProcessEnvironmentDefault in package.ini but I always tend to do it to make the package.ini more logic.

Example (reusing above process name):
ChildProcessEnvironmentExceptions=Application1.exe
ChildProcessEnvironmentDefault=Virtual

A very common scenario is access to SharePoint and integration to MS Office locally installed.
Example of package.ini enable integration to Microsoft Office would look like this:
In package.ini:
VirtualizeExternalOutOfProcessCOM=0
ChildProcessEnvironmentExceptions=WINWORD.EXE;EXCEL.EXE;POWERPNT.EXE;OUTLOOK.EXE;MOC.EXE
ChildProcessEnvironmentDefault=Virtual