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Deploy ThinApp and AppLink packages together

Limitation:

There is no mechanism to deploy ThinApp packages together. When a ThinApp package is 
dependent on another ThinApp (Applink), they have to be deployed separately, followed by 
adding the Applink path in the ThinApp package.ini (OptionalApplinks or RequiredApplinks). 
Further, it requires rebuild of the ThinApp to pick up the Applink path.

This whole process of finding out the Applink path, updating package.ini, rebuilding the 
ThinApp are completely manual and cannot be automated.

Solution:

The steps below provides a way to deploy Applink package along with the ThinApp MSI.

1. On the capture and build machine, install any MSI editor tools, preferably Microsoft Orca (Download here)

2. Uncomment MSIFilename and MSIStreaming in the package.ini under Build Option and set MSIStreaming=1

3. Configure the OptionalAppLinks or RequiredAppLinks in the package.ini by adding ThinApp MSI target installation path along with the Applink (ThinApp) filename. Note that the ThinApp to be Applink’d will be deployed along with the ThinApp when installing the ThinApp MSI.

Eg: To deploy Java ThinApp as Applink with Firefox ThinApp on 32 bit OS, add this line in Firefox package.ini:

OptionalAppLinks=C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox (VMware ThinApp)\java.exe

Eg: To deploy Java ThinApp as Applink with Firefox ThinApp on 64 bit OS, add this line in Firefox package.ini:

OptionalAppLinks=C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox (VMware ThinApp)\java.exe

4. Rebuild the ThinApp by running build.bat file under the ThinApp project folder. On successful completion of the build, the ThinApp EXE and ThinApp MSI must present in the bin folder

5. Copy the AppLink (ThinApp) EXE to the bin folder (Eg: Java.exe). Note that the AppLink EXE filename should not be the same with the ThinApp EXE filename

6. Edit the ThinApp MSI under bin folder using Orca

7. Go to File table and add a new row as below:

Table1

FileTable

8. Modify the Media table to increase the LastSequence value as below:

Table2

MediaTable

The ThinApp MSI is now capable of installing ThinApp EXE and the Applink EXE together.
Conclusion:
  • Installing the MSI shall deploy ThinApp EXE and the Applink EXE together
  • Uninstalling the MSI shall remove ThinApp EXE along with the Applink EXE

PS: Thanks to Simon Giesemann (kwacky1) for his help on this.

2 thoughts on “Deploy ThinApp and AppLink packages together

  1. kwacky1

    Since the applinks are in the same directory as the Thinapp couldn’t you get away with just the name. eg java.exe or .\java.exe instead of the full path?

  2. Lakshman

    Yes, just the name (java.exe) is enough

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