Attachmate Claims Industry First with Emulator’s Support for App-V
August 10, 2010 Alex Woodie
It will be easier for organizations to deploy the Reflection 2011 emulator released last week by Attachmate if they’re using the App-V application virtualization software from Microsoft. According to Attachmate, the new emulator is the first third-party product to natively support the App-V file format on Windows 7, which should save administrators hours of configuration time. But if virtualization trends continue, Reflection 2011 won’t be the only native App-V product for very long.
With Reflection 2011, (which Attachmate announced in June but which didn’t ship until last week), Attachmate has taken a lot of the work out of preparing the emulator to be deployed using Microsoft’s App-V desktop application virtualization software.
App-V, if you recall, is based on the innovative Softgrid technology Microsoft obtained years ago with its acquisition of Softricity. The technology enables Windows applications to run in their own private “bubble,” if you will, which separates the application from other Windows applications, and cuts down on the possibility of conflicts with other applications or the operating system itself.
By making Reflection 2011 available as a .FST file (FST is App-V’s native file format), as opposed to the standard MSI installer format that all Windows admins are familiar with, customers no longer must go through the work of preparing Reflection for deployment using App-V, Kris Lall, product marketing manager, tells IT Jungle.
“Instead of saying, ‘We’re going to give you Reflection 2011 in MSI format and you must go through the sequencing process to produce this FST file yourself,’ we’re going to do that process for you, so you don’t have to do it,” Lall says. “We’re going to save two to four hours of time sequencing our applications. We’ll make it very easy to deploy to end users by providing our software in the .FST format.”
Lall says the decision to bolster Reflection’s App-V support was the result of requests by customers who have adopted Microsoft’s virtualization technology. The software also runs under VMware‘s virtualization environment, and also supports Citrix XenApp, which is the latest name for Citrix’s traditional screen-based emulation products. But Citrix and VMWare have no equivalent to the App-V application streaming technology, and there is no standard like .FST to support, Lall says.
An Increasingly Virtual World
Benefits of deploying Reflection 2011 under App-V include faster and less expensive deployments, since there are likely fewer compatibility issues and testing may not take as long. Customers will also be able to run multiple versions of the emulator on a single machine, which would have posed problems before.
Organizations making the move to Windows 7 from Windows XP may find App-V useful for smoothing out kinks in the migration, Lall says.
“I think we’re going to see a lot of virtualization used as people move to Windows 7,” he says. “Maybe they have applications that aren’t compatible with Windows 7. These applications can be made compatible with Windows 7 because the application gets put in this App-V bubble where it doesn’t use shared resources on the desktop, and it doesn’t access the local file system. It uses the registry that was populated when you went through the sequencing process.”
Attachmate doesn’t have plans to offer a .FST version of its other terminal emulator, EXTRA!, which has a larger installed base than Reflection. But if there is demand, Attachmate will offer it.
“It’s going to take some time for this to catch on. . . . It’s still very early on,” Lall says. “We know there are cases, in enterprise customers, where they’re going to use our products on [Citrix XenApp]. But we also know there are going to be customers that are going to use App-V.”
Reflection 2011, which provides access to IBM System i midrange, System z mainframe, Tandem, OpenVMS, and Unix platforms, brings other notable features, including:
The Reflection 2011 suite is now available. Pricing ranges from $110 for an upgrade to Reflection for IBM, which includes 5250 and 3270 emulators, to $382 for a purchase of Reflection Standard Suite, which includes 5250, 3270, and OpenVMS emulators. For more information, see www.attachmate.com.