I have been looking at VMware’s ThinApp 5.0 and the 64bit support that was added for the last few weeks now. Triggered by an excellent blog here by Rory Monaghan I decided to blog about one bit of missing information.
Rory blogged about the installation, the setup capture process and the added 64bit settings in package.ini. I will not show the same information here but will only show the information I want to add to the post of Rory. I want to show you the extra folders that are created in the project folder which in my eyes are quite different from how Microsoft added 64bit support to AppV and to their client operating systems in general. Microsoft added 64bit identifiers like C:\Program Files (x86) and C:\Windows\SysWOW64 to the parser items list in AppV. This is how VMware added 64bit file locations:
As you can see VMware added the %ProgramFilesDir(x64)% and %SystemSystem(x64)% entries to hold 64bit program and system files. Virtualizing 32bit applications hasn’t changed: the files were stored in the %ProgramFilesDir% folder before 64bit support was added and are also stored in that same location in ThinApp 5.0. This means that applications virtualized with earlier versions of SetupCapture should continue to work because only new entries are introduced for 64bit support. Unlike the Microsoft solution where you need a specific client version of AppV (4.6.x or 5.0.x) to be able to leverage 64bit support, because the parser item list on the sequencer and the client need to be the same.
I really like this way of adding 64bit support which provides backwards compatibility.