Recently a friend asked if it’s possible for him to create a portable application which can be launched directly from an external device.
He basically would like to be able to run VLC Player by VideoLan (an open source video player) on his office’s computer without having to install it on the machine.
I guess he doesn’t want his IT administrators to find out that he has installed an application without their permission, so he just wants to run the app from within his thumb drive.
So I did some searching and soon found the solution to his problem: through application virtualization.
In summary, with application virtualization you can use an application without having to install files or data onto the host PC.
A virtualized application is simply an executable file (.EXE) which contains all the necessary libraries and data required to launch and run the application successfully.
If this has caught your attention, then you should definitely checkout Evalaze – an application virtualization tool for Windows applications.
Evalaze is a solution developed since 2009 by a German company – Dögel IT-Management.
On its website, you should be able to see the following example virtual apps (free / open source) readily available for download:
One of the apps which has already been virtualized includes VLC Player (download) so my friend can simply download the file into his thumbdrive and run in directly.
Evalaze is commonly used by organizations to simplify software distribution and resolve application compatibility issues arising from new OS upgrades.
The following are some Evalaze’s features:
- Supports 32 bit apps on 64 bit systems.
- Ability to use legacy 16 bit apps on 32 bit systems.
- Every virtualized app runs in its own environment.
- Can be run on user-mode without administrative rights.
- Can be installed on Windows 2000, XP and Windows 7.
- Ability to separate the virtualized application from the OS and other host apps.
To better understand how virtualized apps run in its own environment, see this video on how Evalaze can be used to run multiple versions of Microsoft Office (Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010) all at the same time on the same OS.
In order to create a portable / virtualized application, I gave Evalaze a try on my machine and these are the high level steps:
1. Install Evalaze.
2. Run the Wizard (It will start to pre-scan your machine).
3. Begin to install and configure the application that you want virtualized.
4. Run post-scan followed by selecting the application that you want virtualized.
5. Personalize splash screen.
6. Determine the output location.
7. Voila! The application is generated and the final output will be in a form of an executable file.
View this Evalaze software virtualization video for more details on how to virtualize an application.
Do note that the pre-scan and post-scan process can take a while to complete but if you want it to be faster, try to perform this encapsulation process on a clean machine without many apps already installed as this ensures that scanning the registry and the file system is faster.
I hope today’s post exposes you to the application virtualization technology and shows you a way on how you can create a portable virtualized application with Evalaze.