First of all we are going to start by creating our ThinApp package, I’m not going to document the finer details of creating ThinApp packages here but the steps below will allow you to create a basic ThinApp for us to use with Horizon Workspace.
We are starting with a basic ThinApp installation, I recommend having two VMs one with ThinApp installed and the installation directory shared and a second with the base Win 7 or XP installed.
Run Setup Capture.exe and complete the PreScan process
Once you have completed the prescan you are in a position to be able to install and configure your application. For the purpose of this blog post I am using the installed version of Putty.
Once your application is installed and configured you are in a position to run your Postscan.
The Postscan and compare will complete and you will be asked to select the entry points for your application.
We are now able to tell the ThinApp that we will be managing the Application with Horizon. This will negate the need for us to set our permissions for the application as Horizon will manage this element for us.
We will now run through the rest of the ThinApp process, I haven’t documented this here but I have chosen all the default options. Once the application has compiled I will edit the package.ini to set the Application to stream rather than be downloaded. We are also able to edit the Horizon URL here if needed.
We will now build the ThinApp.
Once finished we will see our exe and MSI in the bin folder, if we try and run the application on this machine we will see that it is unable to be ran as the Horizon agent hasn’t been installed on our build machine.
We will now copy the two files within the bin folder to our ThinApp share, please note these need to be placed into a folder named after the application for Horizon Workspace to pick it up correctly, if it is placed in the root of the folder it will not be picked up.
We are now going connect to the Horizon Configurator and ensure the ThinApp module is enabled.
As we can see above the ThinApp Package module is enabled and we are going to follow the Connector hyperlink to configure it.
Once at the connector management page, we select the ThinApp Packages section on the bottom left, edit in the middle of the screen and then configure the location of our ThinApp packages. As you can see above I am saving my ThinApps on a share on my domain controller, this obviously isn’t recommended in a production environment. You can also set how often Horizon should sync with this share to check for new packages.
As you can see above we are able to manually sync using the button in the top left and when the sync completes we are then able to see the new application appear.
We are now going to move over to the workspace admin page to entitle the users or groups to use the new application.
Once logged into the workspace admin page, we are going to select Catalog and select the application that we have just added.
As you can see above we have selected the add group entitlement button in the top right, we are then able to choose the group we wish to entitle the application for and finally choose whether the application is automatically installed on the user’s desktop or alternatively whether the user is able to choose to install the application. We have chosen to automatically install the application.
If we connect to one of our desktops with the Horizon Agent installed, with an entitled user connected we will see the application will automatically appear, you may also see very faintly that we received a notification telling us the application was now available.
Similarly if we remove access to the application it will disappear and we will get a further notification.
Finally if we had chosen User Activated the user is able to install the application to their desktop by using the Horizon web interface.
By selecting the Add button above the application is installed to the machine.
Whilst this functionality has been around for a while now with Horizon application manager it is nice to see this now packaged with the rest of the Horizon Workspace functionality and even the Horizon Suite. Whether you are using VMware View or not this is surely the must have way to be managing your application deployment to your desktops.
Excellent overview Barry. Reminds me of my days using Novell ZENworks 🙂
Thanks for the great post, Barry!
Great article….when I’ll be able to download a trial of Horizon Suite ???
I don’t believe there has been a formal announcement on release date as yet