In the past I have published several articles on Symantec Workspace Virtualization 6.1 beta. Now I have the release Candidate.
I will post several articles about this final build that will be released very soon.
In this first article I will explain the installation and show you several features that are included.
Be aware that this is a brand new installation. In a later article I will do an upgrade and explain that.
So let's install SWV for the first time.
I used a clean VMware machine to do this. It's just a default template I use and it is perfect for this.
After downloading the software from the link Symantec supplied me I have two files inside the zip file. One is an executable and one is an MSI. Included also are two files: the Release Notes and the Users Guide.
After double clicking the executable I get the first screen:
Welcome to the Symantec Workspace Virtualization Agent Installation Wizard. Click Next to continue.
As expected we see the License Agreement. Click Next to continue.
Now we see the License Key screen. This is the first time we can say that Symantec Workspace Virtualization will stay free for personal, NON-commercial use. That is really great news for a lot of us. Now you can click on "get a free license" or enter the license key Symantec sent you.
Again we see that we can not copy and paste the license key from the license agreement. We have to paste it by using 'CTRL-V'.
After entering the license key we click Next to continue.
Identical on the SVS screen we can now select to install the administrator tool, the default Global Excludes and very new is the option to install the Symantec Workspace Virtualization SDK (Software Development Kit) That is a great improvement. In one of the later articles I will come back to that.
After selecting the desired actions click Next to continue.
Now we are ready to go. Click Next to start the installation.
The software is installed and we have to perform the final step: Rebooting the machine to load the driver.
After rebooting the computer we are ready to see what functionality we get.
We have a new Icon on the desktop.
Let's double click on it.
This is what the new administrator looks like. Under File we see some changes. In the old version there was more functionality here like export layer or update existing layer. That is moved to the tab Layer.
There is a lot more here. I will describe these functions in the later articles. But I'm very impressed. It looks great. I believe changing the standard functionality to the next tab is a good one, but that will always be a personal preference.
In View we can refresh the screen and change the way the icons are presented to us. Default it will go to list view where I prefer the Details view. But again that is a personal opinion.
Finally we now have the Help tab. In Help we see two things. The Users Guide and the About screen. As usual in About we can see what version we are using.
Ok, the version of the filterdriver is 6.1.4063. That is the same as in the beta release. I liked that build, so I'm not surprised. To protect my license key I blanked it out, so do not ask me why it is not registered. I did register it but do not want to show you.
Again we see the button Register appearing here. I do not know what the functionality should be because without registering it you will not be able to install it. The only thing you can do is reregister with a different key.
First time capturing:
First thing I want to do is see how the capturing works.
Click on file and create new layer.
Click on Install application and then Next.
Give the application a name. For my first real experience I use Abiword. That is an easy install and I know how the layer should be looking.
Now we can select between two capturing methods. Single Program Capture and Global Capture.
In previous versions when an application started with more screens we used CMD.exe to capture all the screens. In this final release we see that even when you do a single program capture all the child processes that are started will be captured also. This takes away the need to use Good Old DOS. It is almost identical on a Global Capture but the Global Capture also captures all the junk that is running on your computer that you do not want into the layer.
With the Single Program capture we also used CMD.exe if we needed to do more applications in one layer - like Abiword that also has dictionaries as single executables. This need is now taken by a very good feature. You will see it in a few steps.
Now you see the summary. Click Finish to start the capturing.
I will not describe all the views of capturing Abiword. These are already on Connect several times. So we jump to the last screen in the process.
As you see now SWV asks if you would like to capture another application in the same layer.
I really like the new SWV. There is a lot of new functionality in it that will enhance SWV more and more. The developers of Symantec actually listen to their users and contributors. There is not too much changed, a lot of functionality added and very importantly: Still free for personal and non-commercial use.
With the new Symantec Workspace Virtualization, Symantec is going further and further on the path of software and application virtualization. It now is a player in the market that we have to look at. Symantec Workspace Virtualization is a winner on several targets.
- Packaging: Packaging is still very easy. Just add a couple of additional tasks and then it looks like a normal installation of the software.
- Isolation: In this version Isolation is added as a feature. All the competitors are actually isolating applications and then you do several additional tasks to de-isolate the application if possible. De-isolating applications is not always possible. You actually can choose various ways in Isolation. You can isolate a layer from other layers or from the operating system. If you play around with this option and use Office or Java as an layer you will see why Symantec is a winner. I will come back to this functionality in another article.
- Clone layers: I already wrote about this a few weeks ago. When you have build a layer and want to edit it you have to export it first before you start cleaning. This prevents you form loosing the layer and you have to start over. When you clone the layer first you alway's have a backup.
Note to the competition:
The battle in Software Virtualization will start now and you should all be aware that Symantec is now a real player in the market.