Customers often ask if there’s a difference between using the ThinApp SDK vs. using THINREG.EXE and if there’s a benefit for using one over the other.
So let’s take a moment to explore this!
What is the ThinApp SDK?
The ThinApp Software Developer Kit is essentially the necessary bits to allow VMware customers and partners to programmatically access and work with ThinApp packaged applications.
What are the benefits for a customer?
Among the many ways in which a ThinApp package can be interacted with via another program, customers can use the ThinApp SDK to register and update ThinApp packages via simple tools such as scripts or other Object/API interfaces. This means, the ThinApp SDK can be used to assign or deploy ThinApp packaged applications to user, groups, desktop, and any other objects via a controlling program or script much in the same way the View Management Console can assign applications, but in a much more flexible manner.
Is there a benefit for using the ThinApp SDK over ThinReg?
Absolutely! The ThinApp SDK contains a wide variety of COM objects which can be utilized to do many things, and among those are the commands to register a ThinApp package. In fact, these same commands for ThinApp Packaged application registration are also in THINREG.EXE. The difference between using the two is, with THINREG.EXE, one must call the EXE each and every time. This means the following:
- Windows must shell out to the command line to call THINREG.EXE
- THINREG.EXE must load into memory.
- THINREG.EXE must then access the ThinApp package in question.
- THINREG.EXE must then act upon the ThinApp package in question.
- Once complete, Windows must unload THINREG.EXE from memory.
While the above are simplified steps for how THINREG.EXE is used and works, the ThinApp SDK works in a slightly different way in regards to a Windows desktop (native, virtual, or remote).
To use the ThinApp SDK….
- The administrator first extracts the ThinAppSDK.DLL file and copies it to the Windows desktop in question (i.e. the virtual desktop Gold Image).
- Then the administrator registers the ThinAppSDK.DLL file using REGSVR32.EXE. A typical command would be as follows:
- Once the ThinApp SDK has been registered into Windows the administrator simply access the ThinApp SDK objects loaded in memory whenever needed, referencing the ThinApp package desired to be acted upon.
Step 3 above can be accomplished via a login script assigned to users or group policies.
VB Script for Multiple ThinApp package Registration from ThinApp repository or file share:
VB Script for ThinApp Single Package Registration/Unregistration:
VB Script for getting the ThinApp file type (Determine if EXE or MSI file is a ThinApp package):
VB Script for Package-File Checking (Determine if a specific file resides within a ThinApp package and what the version of the file within the ThinApp package is):
As one can see, this means the use of the ThinApp SDK can result in a much quicker registration process (or unregistration process) of ThinApp packages – especially during the user login. In turn, this allows for a much more fluid environment where dynamically assigned applications can be utilized to a greater extent, thereby allowing I.T. to provide a much more flexible and user friendly environment.
For more information see the following links: