By eweek  |  Posted 2006-04-17 Print this article Print

Packaging Panache

Much of Softgrid 4.0s power comes from the way applications are sequenced—the process of packaging and preparing applications for virtual deployment to the target systems. Softricity has been hyping the ease-of-use features added to SoftGrid 4.0s sequencing capabilities, but our tests didnt bear out those claims. (Powerful, yes. Easy? Not so much.)

Sequencing is much more like the full-fledged packaging required in any electronic software distribution system. The neat thing is that we were able to perform myriad post-installation actions, including setting up desktop icons.

Softricity proves ROI on virtualization Click here to read more. As with any packaging tool, we started off with a clean desktop that closely resembled the target systems for the application. But, unlike other packaging tools weve used, SoftGrid 4.0 doesnt require that the hardware or even the operating system be identical to what the target systems are running. This is because the application is ultimately delivered to the virtualized environment on the desktop.

We used the SoftGrid Sequencer to specify basic characteristics of the application (or application group, in the case of Office). The Sequencer then minimized, and we walked through the usual installation steps. We did this for several versions of Adobe Acrobat, Office and WinZip. IT managers will want to allocate a specialist to the task of creating and managing sequenced applications.

Click here to read about Softricitys SoftGrid desktop virtualization software. One of the most difficult tricks to master with SoftGrid 4.0s sequencing is breaking up applications into blocks. For example, our most ambitious application sequence was Office Professional Edition 2003. Our ultimate goal was to package each Office component, including Word and Excel, as separate blocks that could be delivered on demand.

Fortunately, Softricity includes examples that provide step-by-step directions for creating such sophisticated SoftGrid-enabled applications. Through trial and error, we succeeded in creating working deployments in a matter of days.

SoftGrid 4.0 also works with a Softricity component called ZeroTouch, which provides a simplified method for provisioning and access via the Web. ZeroTouch costs $50 per named user or device.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.


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