My Favorite Flings: ThinApp Factory
This is a guest post by vDestination contributor Nick Fritsch
VMware Flings have been around for quite some time now. I personally love VMware Flings b/c many of the ideas that result in the creation of a fling are solutions to challenges that I used to deal with myself, both as a VMware Administrator and a Systems Engineer. My Favorite Flings is an article I’ve been meaning to write for a while now and finally found some free time to sit down and discuss a few of the Flings that are my favorite.
What’s a Fling?
First, a little background about Flings. Flings are ideas that are turned into projects worked on my VMware engineers in their spare time. Flings are the answer to the question, “wouldn’t it be cool if you could…” Even better, Flings are free. Before you go download your favorite fling, be aware that there is no support for Flings so use with caution.
Now, onto my favorite flings. The first is ThinApp Factory. This is a Fling that continues to be updated as new versions of VMware solutions are released. ThinApp Factory helps automate the creation of ThinApp packages. For those unfamiliar with ThinApp, ThinApp is VMware’s application virtualization solution. A ThinApp is a self-contained virtualized application that is portable, agent less and can be executed on any Windows platform. Furthermore, an application executed from within a ThinApp is isolated. Do you still need to run Internet Explorer 6 still but want the security benefits of Internet Explorer 10, with ThinApp, you can run both on the same system, independent of each other. Need to update Adobe Reader across all desktops/laptops in your environment? Virtualize Adobe Reader using ThinApp and instead of upgrading Adobe Reader X number of times, simply create an Adobe Reader ThinApp package and deploy that ThinApp package to your desktops/laptops. Sound interesting and want more information, visit the VMware ThinApp webpage here for more information.
ThinApp Factory makes creating packages a snap
So how does ThinApp Factory help me create ThinApp packages? First, ThinApp Factory is a virtual appliance and can easily be deployed within your vSphere environment or within VMware Workstation. Point ThinApp Factory at your software repository (network share with all your software installation packages [.exe, .msi, .etc] and ThinApp factory will automate the creation of ThinApp packages based upon applications located in your software repository. Need to customize your installation? ThinApp Factory includes recipes that allow for customization as well as the saving of repetitive settings within an application.
Creating ThinApp packages can be time-consuming which causes slow adoption rates for virtualized applications. Think of the Apple App Store, users want their applications now. ThinApp Factory helps automate the packaging process allowing for faster and less error-prone packaging of applications. Want more information? Visit the VMware blogs page here. Want to give it a test-drive? Visit the VMware Flings webpage to download and try ThinApp Factory for yourself. As always, I would love to hear feedback on your experiences using ThinApp factory, both good and bad.
About the Autor
Nick Fritsch is an Associate Systems Engineer at VMware. He is a VCP5-DCV, VCP5-DT and an inaugural member of the EMC Elect community. Nick is an active member in the community both speaking and assisting at numerous VMUGs, presenting for vBrownbag and is active on Twitter @nfritsch. In his free time, Nick enjoys the outdoors, whether that’s spending time with his two wonderful daughters or on the golf course with fellow vGolfers.