My company (Login Consultants) uses a VMware Horizon DaaS environment for testing and demonstration purposes. We have multiple kinds of desktop pools, including Windows 10 persistent and non-persistent VDI. Among other application virtualization solutions, we used ThinApp 5.2.0 for application delivery.

ThinApp 5.2.0 was released specifically to include Windows 10 support, but from start I always had issues with performance, especially with application startup times.

ThinApp 5.2.2

It wasn’t until I recently visited the VMware Communities for ThinApp I found out ThinApp version 5.2.2 was released already three months ago, in November 2016.

Reading the Release Notes, one of the Resolved Issues states “ThinApp applications take twice as long to open in Windows 10”.

This looks promising!

Upgrading to ThinApp 5.2.2

The upgrade path to a new ThinApp version is really simple. You basically have two options:

  1. Rebuild the package in ThinApp 5.2.2
  2. Use the relink command to upgrade the package

Relinking is faster and easier than rebuilding. One major advantage of using relink is you do not need the ThinApp application project directory; all you need is the bin directory for the virtual package.

The relink executable is found in the “C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware ThinApp” folder after installing the ThinApp 5.2.2 installer package.

As shown in the example, we can use the following command:

  •  relink <path> \<executable_name>

thinapp-2

After the relink operation is completed, a new ThinApp executable is created in the same folder as the original executable. The original executable itself is renamed as .BAK file.

Comparing application startup times

So let’s compare the ThinApp 5.2.0 and 5.2.2 startup times to see if VMware can keep their promise!

As shown in below table, the decrease of the application startup times is really significant!

Application ThinApp 5.2.0 ThinApp 5.2.2
7-Zip 6 seconds 2 seconds
Mozilla FireFox 10 seconds 3 seconds
Notepad++ 7 seconds 2 seconds
Paint.Net 10 seconds 3 seconds
VLC 9 seconds 3 seconds

Please note: As you can see,  I used fairly simple software packages to demonstrate the application startup time differences.”Advanced” software packages might show different results.

Conclusion

When running Windows 10 and using ThinApp for application delivery, I think it’s fair to say it’s a must to upgrade to version 5.2.2. The upgrade path is quite easy and straightforward. The release notes are confirmed; we see a 2-3 times better application startup time!