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portable/virtualized/published apps

Posted on 2010-08-29
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I have read quite a bit about publishing and virtualizing apps and portable apps and it's not clear which one is the best for what I want to do. Basically I want to take an application like Office 2007  do some magic on it which creates a file which I can then put on peoples' desktops without installing or put into  specific users  Terminal Server sessions.  I understand I would need a license for wherever I put it.  From my reading it seems that the process of doing this generally involves capturing an install e.g. installing Office 2007 on XP and somehow consolidating all the files necessary for it to run into one 'package' but that once I do that this package will run even if I don't 'install' it on XP - and I do want that portability but only within the Windows family. Back to my example - once I have the Office 2007 packaged up even if the packaging took place on XP I would like to have the ability to  run it on Windows 7, Server 2008, Server 2003, etc.

If anybody has had experience with the various alternative ways of doing this I would appreciate hearing from them.
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Question by:lineonecorp
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vaska94 earned 60 total points
ID: 33556217
http://www.vmware.com/products/thinapp/ this might come in handy...
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by:frogmanalien
ID: 33557178
I guess there's two approaches mentioned here (three if you really boil it down, but it sounds like you've cut one out):
- Terminal Services/Citrix
- Portable Applications
- Application virtualisation

Portable apps, like the thin app stuff mentioned by vaska94, are probably the easiest to implement- you just need to bundle up the application and distribute - but not all apps play well with this- trial and error may be needed.
Terminal Services/Citrix will give you the ability to host your apps, and let clients access them- but it's quite infrastructure intensive
App virtualisation is the most modern technique (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Application_Virtualization) and offers a lot of potential, but I haven't had a lot of experience with it outside of massive corporates.

Hope that helps.
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by:firozmusthafa
firozmusthafa earned 180 total points
ID: 33558096
1)
   You can use VMWare thinapp
    https://www.vmware.com/tryvmware/?p=vmware-thinapp&lp=1

    How to use?
    Well, first download Thinapp and install it in you machine, then run thinapp,follow the simple wizard and  create a high performance application on the fly, only problem is that if you create office portable in XP,you cannot run it in Windows 7 and vice versa(guess why?)

Note:- The application that you wish to portablize(Virtualize) should only be installed ONLY AFTER INSTALLING THINAPP (You will understand it if you create a portable version of something simpler than office )
2)
 You can use Xenocode Virtualization (now known as "Spoon Studio")
download:
http://www.spoon.net/Developers/Studio-Download
 How to use?
    Well, first download Spoon Studio and install it in you machine, then run Spoon studio,follow the simple wizard and  create a high performance application on the fly, only problem is that if you create office portable in XP,you cannot run it in Windows 7 and vice versa(guess why?)
Note:- The application that you wish to portablize(Virtualize) should only be installed ONLY AFTER INSTALLING "Spoon studio" (You will understand it if you create a portable version of something simpler than office )

   Remember:
If you have found solution for your problem,please dont forget to push the accept button
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 33563675
Thanks all for the info.  

Has anybody had any experience with AppV from Microsoft?

As far as portability is there any product that will deal with the problem pointed to by firozmusthafa -
"only problem is that if you create office portable in XP,you cannot run it in Windows 7 and vice versa." That's a big roadblock to portability.  




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by:firozmusthafa
firozmusthafa earned 180 total points
ID: 33566093
not all application have that problem, only office has that problem, light weight applications such as photoshop, browsers etc..have no problem with cross version compatibility...

Thinapp is your best bet,I deliberately avoided App-V, its performance sucks...
No application, not even xenocode(spoon) is better than Thinapp, there is no argument in it!

The best solution or workaround is to create two versions, one within xp and one within windows 7

Hope that helps!
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 33570423
As far as thinapp goes, do I need VMWare in some way once I've 'thinapped' an application to use it?
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by:firozmusthafa
firozmusthafa earned 180 total points
ID: 33574927
never!
not a chance
You could build it as a standalone executable!
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 33582006
Let me do a quick test of this and get back to you. Thanks for the tip.
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 33643650
I just checked the pricing.  Way up there - I consider $6k way up there.  What's second best?
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 33669564
Any further thoughts on this?  Price is too high for Thinapp. What's next best? I tried to get pricing on SpoonApp but it wants me to create an account before it will give me pricing. I don't deal with vendors who do that - what's with not letting you know how much something costs easily? It's like a restaurant not having a menu in the window - what are they afraid of?  

 As far as speed I don't really care that AppV might take longer to create an app if that's what you're getting at with your comment "its performance sucks" -  it's not 6K and it's not as if I have hundreds of apps to sequence.
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by:frogmanalien
frogmanalien earned 60 total points
ID: 33670299
Interestingly, I just read of Cameyo which apps to make regular applications portable and it's free - might be worth a look if thinapp is out of your price bracket (at 6k, that's not unusual!): http://www.cameyo.com/ 
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Author Comment

by:lineonecorp
ID: 33676316
Thanks for the link. I will take a look and get back. I take it you haven't use it yet.
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