AppLink is a great feature of ThinApp. The possibility to merge two or many packages together allows for a much more modular deployment model. But how do your deploy your AppLinks?
I think we (read VMware) did ourselves a big disservice when we decided to add ;OptionalAppLinks=plugins\*.exe as a default setting in the package.ini file. Many out there now think it is required to use a folder called plugins relative to the parent package in order to use AppLink. This is far from true.
Do the Application Linking feature (AppLink) affect performance? Unfortunately the answer is, it depends.. Using AppLink will merge two or more Data Containers together. During this merge of the virtual environments, AppLink does its conflict resolution (learn more about conflict handling in AppLink here: http://blogs.vmware.com/thinapp/2011/03/the-power-of-applink.html) so yes, this will take some time to complete. Often this is not noticeable to the end-user though. One or two AppLinks are typically okay. Having 20 AppLink packages might be a little bit of a stretch. Then your end-users will start to notice a delay in start time. But..
One great benefit of ThinApp’s bubble-to-bubble communication feature, called AppLink, is that you can have application dependencies assigned either static or dynamic. This will allow you some great flexibility but can just as easily make your design quite complex. As always, just because we support a feature or a usage of a feature doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it. In this blog post will I tell you about some of the functionalities of AppLink and then leave it up to you to decide how you’ll implement it…