Monday, 10 November 2014

VMWare ThinApp - Back to the future with Project to Physical feature

VMWare ThinApp is application isolation or application virtualisation  technology that allows for the installation of application on a desktop or server platform with directly making changes to the host system. Packaged in a single EXE, all file, registry and environmental changes are included in a single file for easy distribution.

There are benefits to each of the current variants of application installations methodologies (App-V, SWV, and native MSI Installer). Where VMWare ThinApp shines is its simple agent-less, self-contained single EXE.
Typically, system administrators will take a native application and create an isolated or virtual application package. With the release of ThinApp 5.1, there is a new feature: Project to Physical. This feature allows for the conversion from an isolated package back to a native application.

There are quite a few use cases for the new Project to Physical feature including:
  • Troubleshooting – If your virtual application package does not run, you can verify your capture by running Project to Physical to a test machine. If the application now successfully executes natively, there is most likely something wrong with your project settings. If it does not run natively, something went wrong during the capture of the application. You should try to recapture the application and make sure you capture all of its components.
  • Updating an existing project or package – If you run Setup Capture and perform a prescan before running Physical to Project, you will have a capture environment identical to your existing project folder. Apply application updates (including running MSI updaters), and include add-ons, plug-ins, or anything else. When you have applied your changes, run the postscan. The benefit of running Project to Physical rather than running a complete new capture is that you preserve all modifications you made to your project folder.
You can watch the following Vimeo video on how this reverse application capture process works.

ThinApp 5.1 - Project to Physical demo from Peter Bjork on Vimeo.

You can find more about this new feature here.

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