With application virtualisation legacy applications can be made available on newer operating system platforms, in particular 64 bit architectures. VMware ThinApp is designed to allow 32 bit application run on 64 bit operating system natively out of the box, however with some applications this doesn’t always work as expected.
Within the ThinApp packager there is an option you can enable that allows the emulation of a 32 bit platform for your virtualised application allowing its use on a 64 bit operating system. The following steps detail how to enable this feature.
Step 1. Before building your application, edit your package.ini file by uncommenting the wow64=0 entry as shown below.
Step 2. Save your package.ini file and built your application.
With a lot of Microsoft applications .NET Framework is commonly required during installation. When trying to ThinApp these applications .NET Framework can be required as part of the virtualised app. This post will detail a step you may fine yourself needing to take if you experience .NET related problems with your ThinApp applications.
Basically, when you install .NET Framework not all components are executed and compiled during the time of installation. Some of these components can remain uncompiled until the application calls for them. If this is the case with an application you are trying to virtualise you may run in to issues launching the ThinApped application.
To get around this, during the installation period (After prescan, Before postscan) run the following command in a command prompt window.
This post details a straightforward simple approach to creating your first virtualised application with VMware ThinApp. In this guide VMware ThinApp v4.7 is being used to virtualise Firefox v9.0.
Step 1. Load the ThinApp application and click next.
Step 2. When ready, click prescan to create a capture of your systems current state.
During the capture you can monitor the directories being scanned.
Step 3. Once the prescan has completed, install the application you wish to virtualise. In my case, Firefox.
Step 4. Once the application is installed and configured click postscan.
Step 5. After the post scan has completed you will be presented with a number of possible entry points for loading the application. Use the default selection and click next.
Step 6. Use the default setting of everyone and click next.
Step 7. Use the default setting of full write access and click next.
Step 8. On this step you can choose to have the application USB portable, or for desktop use by selecting where the application user data is written to. For this guide we will be using the default selection of writing application data to the users local profile and clicking next.
Step 9. In this step you have the option to specify a name for you application.
Step 10. Here you can select to use a single file to access your application or split it out into a data file and entry point. Splitting out the application is used when the application is particularly large or consists of multiple entry points. For this example I will stick with the default option and click save.
Step 11. Once the project has been saved, click build to start the application build process.
Step 12. Once the application has been build it will be visible withing the capture directory.
Step 13. Run the application.
Thanks for reading and look out for my future posts on advanced ThinApp configuration.