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Best practices for capturing an application for VMware ThinApp 4.x/5.x (1030290)

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This article describes the best practices for capturing an application. The steps in this article minimize potential problems when using VMware ThinApp to capture an application.


Please validate that each step is followed. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to ensure a captured application that functions correctly in your deployment environment. Please do not skip a step.

  1. Check the list of operating systems supported by ThinApp. For more information, see the VMware ThinApp User's Guide

  2. Confirm that the problem is not listed as a known issue in the ThinApp Release Notes.

  3. Verify that the application you have virtualized is supported on the deployment (target) operating system. Using ThinApp to virtualize an application does not allow it to run on a platform (OS) that does not normally support it.

  4. Verify that the application is a type of application that is supported by ThinApp. Some applications do not virtualize properly due to how they interact with the underlying operating system, services, or other applications. For more information, see Limitations to application support in ThinApp (1007424).

  5. Ensure that all the software dependencies required to run the application were captured in the package. For more information, see Troubleshooting application dependency and capture issues (1006994).

  6. Verify that any necessary service or network server resources are available to the application. Certain services may be required to start the application and must be available to it when virtualized. For more information, see Ensuring services or network servers are available to the application (1007177).

  7. Install the application natively on a target machine and verify that all features work.

    Note: If the application cannot be installed natively on the target machine or if it fails to function correctly, then ThinApp does not support that application on that target machine.

  8. Confirm that your capture machine is in a clean state.

    • The definition of a clean machine is one that has the lowest common denominator of software with all target machines. This can either be the installation of an operating system with no other software at all, or it can be a corporate image if that image is deployed to every user in the company.
    • A virtual machine is the recommended medium for the capture machine as it is easy to revert it to a clean state after having installed and tested application. If a physical machine is used, use a software imaging system to revert it to a clean state.

  9. Verify that your capture machine has enough free disk space. From prescan to build, have three times the size of the application's disk requirement in free space.  To build an existing project, have double the size of the project directory in free space.

  10. Start the Setup Capture wizard and take a prescan.

  11. Install any prerequisite software, then install the application.

    Note: If you will be deploying the application to a 64-bit operating system, install it to C:\<Application> rather than C:\Program Files\<Application>, where <Application> is the directory for the application. This will prevent incompatibility between some applications and ThinApp's redirection of C:\Program Files to C:\Program Files (x86).

  12. Launch the application, configure it as required, and verify that everything is functional.

    Note: If the application installs a service, and its Log on as value is set to Local System account, change it to the username performing the capture and then stop the service. To confirm the Log on as value, click Start > Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Services. Find the service that the application installs, double-click the service name, and then click Log On.

  13. Take a postscan and build the project.

  14. Build the package.

    Note: Depending on your requirements, you may need to edit the package.ini or make other changes to the project before building the application.

  15. Confirm that the application works on the capture machine.

  16. Deploy the package.

  17. Confirm that the application works on the target machine.

See Also

This Article Replaces


Update History

07/26/2011 - Incorporated steps from 1006317 12/23/2013 - Added ThinApp 5.0 to product versions

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