Free Application Virtualization

This is not a detailed blog regarding the program but rather the potential for having a free alternative compared to Xenapp and Thinapp.  I stumbled upon Cameyo (for whatever reason I can’t remember now) and the product seems to work just like Thinapp with respect to the portability of the app.

Application virtualization is not new to the industry, I first came across it back in AFCEA 2006 here in San Diego, CA.  Softricity has a booth and I had the priveledge in seeing the product in action.  I remembered being amazed and light bulbs lighting up left and right for its potential use case.  Softricity was later on bought (or swallowed) by Microsoft and it is the base for their SoftGrid architecture..

Anyways, back to Cameyo.  Well really there’s nothing else to say about it since I have not experimented on it yet.  But I do have to mention that the product has great potential use case.  For instance Visio, for licensing purpose you wouldn’t want Visio a part of your desktop image, unless you don’t care about proper licensing that is just crazy talk.  Another example is running Adobe Reader, Firefox or Chrome as a portable apps.  Some might ask what is wrong with installing Adobe Reader, Firefox or Chrome on your computer, well the answer would be nothing.  However you have to remember that whatever you install in your system is a vulnerability that you have to patch and maintain multiplied by however many machines you have it installed.  Adobe Reader (or Adobe software in general) has a bad name when it comes with this.  As soon as I get done deploying patches for the domain, a new cat1 vulnerability would come out the following day.  Windows application believe it or not is not bad, I say that with a little caveat, as long as you have WSUS or any automated patching system.  WSUS is a whole new blog by itself but the idea of automated patching is the point that I am trying to emphasize.  When it comes to desktop image software the leaner the better.  Get rid of extra fats that you are not going to need like winzip, 5 years down the line and you are still evaluating that software.  Windows has builtin capability to zip and extract files that’s good enough.

Like I said application virtualization can help and having the free Cameyo does not hurt trying it out to see how it can help your organization.

Here’s the site:  http://www.cameyo.com

Update 3/24/2011:  I was able to successfully package Firefox 4 beta with JRE and flash plug-in using Cameyo.  Next item on the list is Chrome, VLC and Microsoft Visio.  I am sure the list will grow but that is it for now.

Update 2/21/2012:  This update is long overdue but, I was able to successfully package Chrome, VLC, Visio, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, IMGBURN, CDBurnerXP, notepadd++ and more without, any major problem.  There are some software however that are tricky to virtualize and I haven’t spent enough time revisiting the issue.  These are software that depends on SQL or MSDE.  Adobe Reader for some reason gave me issue 6 months ago but Adobe Pro was a success (I know, explain that!), unfortunately, Adobe Pro was bloatedly 1 gig (with all current patches).  I should revisit packaging Adobe Reader again, there should be no reason why it would not work.  I was also able to do file associating for any give extension with a simple registry hack.

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