ThinApp is VMware's powerful software that simplifies the virtualization of application programs, as well as their deployment through accelerated application migration, including their streamlined management. By isolating the applications covered by ThinApp from their underlying operating systems, various application conflicts can be avoided.
As a result, ThinApp also helps simplify the complexity of IT administration in terms of application deployment, patching, and updating, as well as image management, thereby reducing enterprise IT costs.
The key benefits of ThinApp at a glance
- Optimization of application management
- Reduce IT support and help desk costs
- Simplified migration to Windows 7, 8 and 10
- Prevent application version conflicts
- Support for browser and plug-in virtualization
- Improved endpoint security
- Increased employee mobility
How does ThinApp work?
VMware ThinApp is an agentless solution designed to virtualize a variety of applications running on different versions of operating systems and deliver them to users in a unified environment. To do this, ThinApp uses a variety of strategies that can be used to easily migrate legacy applications, for example.
Simple application virtualization
VMware ThinApp initially virtualizes an application by encapsulating application files and registry entries in a single ThinApp package. This can then be deployed, managed and updated independently of the underlying operating system. Applications virtualized in this way cannot cause any changes to the underlying operating system, and they can also be run in different configurations. The benefits include improved compatibility with other applications and easier management, as well as a consistent user experience that helps improve workflow efficiency.
Simplified migration of operating systems
VMware ThinApp enables rapid migration of legacy applications to Windows 7 or Windows 10 without the need for recoding, retesting or recertification. Installed applications are automatically converted to ThinApp packages in the background. Application packages already created for use with ThinApp on Windows XP or older versions can be conveniently converted to a ThinApp Windows format using the Relink feature.
Isolation of applications to avoid conflicts
Conflicts between individual applications or between applications and operating systems are avoided with ThinApp by packaging 32- or 64-bit applications, including settings, in a single MSI or EXE file; these can then be deployed in different Windows operating environments.
The virtual applications are isolated from each other, allowing them to run independently without changes to the operating system in question. ThinApp packages can also be deployed and managed with App Volumes for complete life-cycle management.
With ThinApp, applications can be run on restricted user accounts and "locked down" or restricted PCs without requiring prior system changes or downgrading security policies. The application packages are executed only in user mode.
Since ThinApp does not use kernel mode code, it does not violate existing computer group policies for users. This solution also avoids unintentional policy violations by not assigning advanced application permissions to the devices connected to each computer.
Mobile access from multiple devices
ThinApp also enables reliable and flexible mobile access in the office or on the road on all devices, because it does not require the installation of any software or device drivers, or the granting of administrator rights. ThinApp therefore also supports BYO (Your Own Device) devices, so that users can access the applications provided from private devices at any time, even if a non-compatible operating system version is installed.
The applications provided via this can also be executed directly by users via mobile storage devices (e.g. flash drives) and thin client terminals. Likewise, deployment, maintenance and updating is possible for admins.
Other benefits of ThinApp:
- ThinApp supports Windows 10 - making it easy to migrate legacy applications such as Office 2003 into Windows 10 images. Expensive recoding, regression testing, and legacy browser application support costs are thus avoided.
- ThinApp allows a variety of application linkages - including configuring relationships between virtualized applications, plug-ins, service packs, and runtime environments such as Java and .NET.
- ThinApp's guaranteed compatibility with other applications, including when migrating legacy applications to current desktop environments, eliminates the need for extensive software recoding - enabling organizations to save valuable resources and therefore costs in application management.
- Instant, easy access to applications without a prior installation process from a variety of endpoints - both personal and corporate devices - increases employee efficiency - they can get back to work immediately and without delay.
- Application streaming with ThinApp, as well as personalization for users, takes place at the data processing level via consolidated session-based servers, running on Microsoft RDSH or Citrix XenApp servers.
- ThinApp's integration with VMware Horizon Workspace also makes it easy to manage and securely deploy applications to cloud-based application catalogs. In addition, automatic updates via the web are possible with AppSense.