ThinApp – Part 1: Introduction

ThinApp – Part 1: Introduction

ThinApp In two parts, we will go over ThinApp benefits and deployment process. As there are other methods of delivering applications to end users with Horizon (Hosted App, AppVolumes), I want to detail the benefits of ThinApp to define its use cases and also  want to revisit the deployment process.


In the traditional systems, we may have an application conflicts or badly behaving apps and sometimes we are not able to deploy some apps to specific images. With ThinApp, by packing/virtualizing  applications and separating Operating system from those applications, we are able to eliminate any conflicts at the app and OS level.

ThinApp is an application virtualization product. ThinApp creates application containers, using a built in process to package app files and registry into single executable. This enables us to run the application without installation on Desktops or from network shares, USB, flash or CD-ROM.

During capture process, any changes in registry and files system gets put into virtual registry and file system. These are packaged so that when the application runs, these virtual settings are presented to packaged application with ThinApp Runtime, which is called virtual operating system. Each app is separated from each another and OS within its own container, EXE.

ThinApp Container

So with this architecture, we have the following advantages:

  • ThinApp packages are portable and no need to install anything
  • ThinApp runs under User Mode
  • All changes are directed to a folder (sandbox) associated with the virtualized app. If Sandbox is shared on a network location, app settings moves with the user from PC to PC. By deleting sandbox, you can also reset apps to their original state.
  • Agentless… to run the executable.
  • Serverless… No Need to run server to run virtual application.
  • Side by side… New versions can run with older versions side by side on the same PC.  Furthermore, One can be virtual and one can be native installation. (Think about trial editions for example)

The benefits include:

  • Simplifies OS migrations, you can package legacy apps from Windows XP and deploy on Windows 7-8 (avoid recoding or migration to another applications)
  • Streamlines App delivery and maintenance: The packages can be MSI or EXE and be deployed to multiple devices
  • App sync feature updates packages automatically (Service packs, new files, or configs)
  • Application link: you can establish a link between applications for inter-dependencies  between apps
  • Easily Upgrade older ThinApp with relink command line utility
  • With Performance accelerator feature, it reduces page file usage for virtual apps, increase memory sharing between multiple instances.
  • Fully integrated with Horizon View Virtual Desktop infrastructure, comes with any Horizon edition…With View and Thinapp;
    • You can reduce storage cost, and app conflicts.
    • Fewer desktop images, no re-testing of images for applications, easier to upgrade images
    • Package apps once and deliver to anywhere across different OSs
    • Reduce capability testing time and matrix.
    • Remove users from local administrators 🙂 ThinApp runs under User mode.

In the second part we will be capturing applications…

See Part 2 for Capturing Applications…

Bulent Tolu
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