A couple of weeks before VMworld (see virtualization.info live coverage), VMware released a new minor update for its application virtualization platform ThinApp.
Despite the version number, ThinApp 4.6 (build 287958) introduces major new components and capabilities:
- Converter (a P2V migration tool that automates creation of ThinApp packages)
- ThinReg (allows to execute virtualized services at operating system boot time and expose to non-virtualized applications)
- ThinDirect (allows to associate specific web pages to virtualized browsers)
- Support for virtualized Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows 7 operating systems (both 32 and 64bit)
- Management COM object (for package inspection and control of package inspection, registration, streaming, and updates)
- Integration with View 4.5
In many ways the most important new feature is the introduction of Converter.
The program accpets a .ini configuration file which specifies where a certain installation file is located in the corporate network. Once located, Converter interacts with Workstation 7.x or ESX 4.x to produce a ThinApp virtualized application in a fully automated fashion by executing the following tasks:
- Distributing packaging work-load across multiple virtual machines
- Connecting to a named VM Workstations, vSphere, or ESX
- Taking snapshot of VM initial clean state
- Logging into Guest VM
- Mounting package source UNC share inside of VM.
- Mounting library output UNC share inside VM
- Running ThinApp pre-install snapshot process
- Running application installer in guest
- Waiting for application installer to complete
- Running ThinApp post-install snapshot process
- Generating application project from two ThinApp snapshots
- Building generated project into a package
- Saving both project and package in output library
- Reverting Virtual Machine to initial state
More importantly, ThinApp 4.6 introduces the integration with the upcoming View 4.5.
ThinApp applications can now be packaged and stored on a network file share. This network repository can be imported into View Manager. Once there, applications can be assigned to selected individual desktops or designated pools of desktops.
Administrators can choose to have them streamed via a shortcut on the guest OS desktop or to directly deploy the virtualized package inside the virtual desktop.