Or maybe not , it could be they already planned to release a new beta version of ThinApp in november. VMware announced this news at VMworld 2009. The final release is planned for Q1 2010 a little late if you ask me.. since there are already some working versions out there: for instance check Rubens video.
Next to that i also found a nice howto that shows how to decompile Thinapp and Xenocode packages created by NickOn and a nice little script that executes Thinreg in a decent way with support for recursive folders (here).
As Mark pointed out in his earlier post: The VMware Thinapp team really needs to wake up… it’s not acceptable (from my point of view) to still not have Windows 7 support for you application virtualization product!!
Mark pointed me to an alternative called Xenocode: This is looks a LOT like Thinapp/Thinstall and works on Windows 7 as well
To get started, first go to www.xenocode.com and download the Virtual Application Studio.
When you fire up the VAS you get a wizard which provides you with 3 ways of virtualizing your application:
The first option allows users to easily virtualize an application using a template. This template contains all the settings for virtualizing an application. It’s as easy as next next finish . This is really awesome for organizations where you want your application support team to virtualize the application, as they don’t have to know in-depth how application virtualization works .
The second option allows users to virtualize an application the way we know it from VMware Thinapp. It first takes a snapshot of the computer, then prompts the user to install the application /set configuration options etc and then takes another snapshot and does a diff on the snapshots to determine what files and registry settings should be in the virtual application.
The third option allows users to manually specify the files/folders and registry settings that are required for this application to run (really useful when virtualizing your in-house developed applications, seeing as the developers know exactly what file should go where, and you don’t get any clutter from background processes etc.)
After you captured your application, you can easily include common runtimes from the runtimes tab (such as the .NET frameworks, java, flash etc)
The toolbar on the left side of the screen gives us access to the various parts of the virtual application, such as File system, Registry etc.
I’ts also possible to generate a MSI package for the virtual application for easier deployment using SCCM/MDT/GPO/Whatever you use to deploy your software to your users.
For troubleshooting your virtual application Xenocode provides a checkbox to Generate diagnostic-mode executable. Basically what this does is create an executable that will output logging in 3 log files next to the application, so if something is not working in your application, you can easily troubleshoot
If you enabled it in your application settings (on by default) it’s also possible to pass command line switches to your application at startup time.
- /XEnv=Variable Name=Value Specifies additional environment variables. Multiple /XEnv arguments can be used to add additional environment variables.
- /XLayerPath=Layer Path Adds the given xlayer file into the virtual environment. Multiple /XLayerPath arguments can be used to add additional virtual layers.
- /XSandboxPath=Sandbox Path Specifies the path to be used for the application sandbox.
- /XShellEx=Command Specifies a shell execute command to be launched from within the virtual application environment. This option overrides any startup files specified in the virtual application configuration. Only one /XShellEx argument can be specified.
- /XShellExVerb=Command Verb Specifies the verb to be used in conjunction with the XShellEx command. The default verb is OPEN.
When dealing with middleware, in Thnapp we could specify an applink and with App-V we can use dynamic suiting to allow for interbubble communications. In Xenocode you don’t make an application for your middleware, but make it a component, which you can import in your applications.
Deploying Virtual Applications
Deployment of the virtual applications is done through a tool called XReg. This allow the administrator to control how the application is published to the user.
This can be done from a startup/logon script. This area needs some more work in my perspective, there’s not a nice and nifty GUI management interface as with App-V.
Also the possibility to create MSI’s makes deployment a bit easier, just use your favorite deployment method for your virtual applications.
Not the most fun part for us techies, but important for the ones who have to make the decisions about investments, and what application virtualization technology will be used.
The Xenocode Virtual Application Studio ISV Edition costs $1599
End-User licenses: $40 per seat.
Well that’s about it . As a final conclusion i think Xenocode is a real nice application virtualization product, it works easily and out of the box, users don’t have to know a lot about Windows and application when you just give them the right application templates . As with VMware Thinapp, the problem is how to distribute the applications to your clients, and how do you make sure that all users have the latest version of the virtualized application… well that’s something the Xenocode team needs to think about I guess.