VMware ThinApp Product FAQs
What is VMware ThinApp 4.7?
A. VMware ThinApp is an enterprise application virtualization solution designed to eliminate conflict and streamline management of applications on physical or virtual desktops. ThinApp’s unique agentless architecture allows for seamless fit into any existing environment to speed application deployment, updates & upgrades without imposing additional cost and complexity to the server or client.Applications once packaged with ThinApp are fully isolated and can be deployed to many Windows platforms, for example, older applications on Windows XP can be packaged and deployed on Windows 7 to ease application migration.
What’s included in VMware ThinApp 4.7 for purchase?
A. VMware ThinApp is available for purchase in 3 ways:
- ThinApp Suite: includes VMware ThinApp Packager; VMware Workstation 7 for Windows; 50 VMware ThinApp Client licenses
- VMware ThinApp Client: individual VMware Client licenses are available for purchase
- VMware ThinApp Suite bundled in Horizon View Premier
What’s new in VMware ThinApp 4.7?
A. VMware ThinApp delivers the following new capabilities:
- Integration with VMware Horizon Application Manager – Applications packaged using ThinApp can now be easily deployed and managed through Horizon Application Manager. Using Horizon, IT administrators have the control to set policies and entitled these applications to users. Uses access their applications from a simple web-based catalogue.
- Application compatibility – ThinApp 4.7 extends the application compatibility list
How can I get an evaluation of VMware ThinApp?
A. A free 60 day evaluation of ThinApp is available for download.
Where can I get more documentation on ThinApp?
A. ThinApp documentation and additional resources are available.
How is VMware ThinApp used in organizations?
A. VMware ThinApp can be used the following ways:
OS Migration - Windows 7 Migration
Migrating to a new operating system is a disruptive and costly event. For the desktop environment, this process is even more challenging as many organizations have thousands of desktops in operation. Existing business applications need to be recoded, tested and recertified for the new OS. Using ThinApp, you can virtualize legacy applications to quickly deliver application compatibility, minimize huge costs associated with recoding and regression testing to ease your desktop migration journey.
Reduce application conflict
Using ThinApp, an entire application and its settings can be packaged into a single executable that can be deployed to many Windows operating environments. The applications are isolated from each other and the Operating System. The packaged applications have awareness of each other but execute independently and make no changes to the underlying operating system to ensure there are no application-to-application conflict and no application-to-operating system conflict.
Reduce Citrix ‘silo’
Many enterprises are using XenApp and leveraging ThinApp on their existing Citrix Presentation Server or XenDesktop for greater performance and flexibility.ThinApp packages do not need to be physically installed on a Citrix Server, whereas traditional applications deployed using a Citrix Server normally do.The need to install traditional applications on the Citrix Server is the heart of silo effect and potential application conflict issue.With ThinApp, Citrix administrators can publish whatever applications they need without worrying about how well the applications will interact with each other. For example, IE7, IE8, Office 2003, 2007 or 2010 can all be running on the same server without any conflicts.
ThinApp packages run in user-mode only and do not require administrator privilege. Administrators can deploy ThinApp packages on “locked-down” PCs and allow end users to run their favorite apps without compromising on security.
Simplify application management
Application management is greatly simplified because applications can be upgraded without upgrading the whole desktop and administrators don’t need to maintain a large set of desktop images for each variation in applications required.
Whether in the office or offsite, Thinapp packages can run directly from USB smart drives without installation, host OS modifications, or the need for administrator rights.
Does VMware ThinApp provide support for Windows 7?
A. Yes. ThinApp is designed to support packaging applications on older Windows operating systems to run on Windows 7.
Is there any advantage to deploying
Horizon View and ThinApp together?
A. In addition to the cost savings of $104 USD per client on application management using Horizon View and ThinApp in the View TCO, there are other additional benefits:
- Optimizes desktop storage even more by separating the applications from the desktop images (providing further modularization within the virtual desktop environment).
- Provides more flexibility for end users and administrators to pick and choose the applications they want to deploy to each end user. There’s no need to force fit a single desktop image for every end user.
- Simplifies application management because applications can be upgraded without upgrading the whole desktop and administrators don’t need to maintain a large set of desktop images for each variation in applications required.
- Broadens the applications that can be run in a virtual desktop environment using Horizon View Composer because applications can run on the same desktop environment and the user settings and preferences are preserved outside of the Linked Clone image.
What types of customers are currently using ThinApp?
A. ThinApp virtualized applications are in use by many enterprise customers in many industries in Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000, including healthcare (rigorously regulated FDA environments), education, financial services, government, insurance, manufacturing, and more.
Can ThinApp integrate with a Citrix Infrastructure?
A. Yes. ThinApp packaged applications will help reduce Citrix server footprint by solving application incompatibilities within the Citrix XenApp (a.k.a. MetaFrame, Presentation Server, WinFrame) server - thus eliminating the need for the server silos.
Why is there no management console with ThinApp?
A.ThinApp architecture is designed for interoperability. The single file format generated .MSI or .EXE can easily be managed by any existing management framework. The product is designed to not introduce yet another management console but to easily fit into your existing management environment without changing current processes or impose additional costs in acquiring new server hardware or software. However, you can use VMware Horizon Application Manager to manage, deploy and entitle your ThinApp applications.
How does ThinApp compare to other products in the same category?
A. Similar application virtualization products are designed with an inherent architecture that impose significant demand on implementation and design before deployment of virtualized applications.
- Agentless architecture – ThinApp is designed with a modular and agentless architecture. There is no need to deploy and maintain agents on end point devices to accelerate application deployment & simplify management.
- No expensive infrastructure required –ThinApp does not require back end database server, web server or installation of any additional software or hardware servers. Packaged applications can be quickly deployed to thousands of end point devices without the infrastructure overhead.
- Seamless fits into any environment – Standard .MSI and .EXE file formats can easily be managed by existing Enterprise Delivery Systems.
- Conflict free execution in one solution – ThinApp has the ability to take a Windows 2000-based legacy application, capture it, and create a package that can be run in a later Windows environment such as XP, Vista or Windows 7.Thinapp application packages are fully isolated from each other as application writes are contained in their respective sandboxes. Packages are not installed, so no changes are made to the underlying operating system. This ensures complete isolation and conflict-free execution on both application-to-application level and application-to-operating system level.
How do I monitor the usage of ThinApp packaged apps?
A. Monitoring and metering of ThinApp packaged apps can be accomplished identically to natively installed applications. Most organizations have Active Directory in deployment. ThinApp packages access control can be orchestrated through Active Directory seamlessly. While ThinApp is solely an application virtualization solution, it should be noted ThinApp can plug in to any existing Metering/Monitoring solution in existence. ThinApp is also integrated with Concept Software's SoftwareKey Metering Solution to provide fine-grained license control, metering and usage analysis. In addition with Horizon Application Manager you get a holistic view of activity and can easily monitor and report on ThinApp application usage for better license utilization tracking.
What applications can be packaged using ThinApp?
A. ThinApp has an industry leading 90-95% packaging success rate, and the ThinApp Community Portal is a community repository containing member-contributed “recipes” of many applications that have been packaged with ThinApp. The recipes include instructions, comments, and even issues seen when packaging a specific app.
What is the recommended deployment method for ThinApp packages?
A.ThinApp packages can be deployed in the following ways:
- Central server – one common deployment option for ThinApp packages is via a network accessible ThinApp package repository. Shortcuts to ThinApp EXEs are presented to end users via logon scripts which utilizes the ThinReg utility. ThinReg registers applications (including their file type associations, protocols, and COM objects defined) as well as create shortcuts in the user’s start menu, desktop or wherever they’ve been defined to be created. ThinReg will honor any Active Directory Security Groups (including nested) defined within the ThinApp packaged app.
- Portable Application device – Virtualized application packages may be deployed using portable devices as small as a USB flash drive, manually copied or executed from a network server, or automated using an enterprise electronic software deployment (ESD) platform of your choice.
- Enterprise Software Delivery (ESD) console – ThinApp .MSI can be incorporated into any third-party ESD console like any other MSI images and can be orchestrated and delivered per the ESD specified policies.
- VMware Horizon Application Manager –integrates into your existing Microsoft Active Directory user credentials to securely extend access to applications.
Can ThinApp packages run on Linux or Mac Platforms?
A. Not directly, however, one can login to a Horizon View Desktop or other type of system remotely and execute a ThinApp packaged application just like any other application.
Are there any size limitations to a ThinApp package?
No. There are no size limitations of the ThinApp packaged app. Any limitations are going to be a restriction determined by the Windows OS the ThinApp packaged application is being executed upon.
Do I need to repackage existing ThinApp applications to be able to manage them with Horizon?
A. All existing projects/packages need to be repackaged with the ThinApp 4.7 runtime to have the capability to be managed by Horizon Application Manager.
What’s the difference between managing my applications in
Horizon View Manager vs Horizon Application Manager?
A. Horizon View Manager today only offers the ability to associate ThinApp's applications to pools and machines. Horizon Application Manager provides the ability to target users and groups, bringing a deeper level of granularity. In addition, Horizon can monitor usage of ThinApp applications.