If you've had a chance to download and play with one of the new members of the ZENworks family, ZENworks Application Virtualization, then you'll be familiar with it's great features. For those who haven't had the time yet, this solution allows you to run applications in their own little world without disturbing the underlying Windows operating system.
To answer two frequently asked questions on ZAV
Q1)Does it need an agent?
Q2)Can they run under a normal user account i.e not require local administrator privileges ?
You can run these virtual applications from any storage location including USB sticks. I've been creating a little collection of my frequently used programs and storing them on a USB stick. Now I can run these from any Windows PC without actually installing anything.
Distribution of applications is now an exercise of installing one file to a folder and having a launch action enabling the end user to execute it. ZCM makes this really easy but here's a few suggestions to make things go smoothly
1.It helps to have a naming standard in order to quickly tell the difference between full install and virtual applications. I've created a bundle folder in ZCC called virtual applications and all such applications are prefixed with the letter v.
2.Design a directory structure to hold virtual applications on the end user device. Use the create directory action to implement. Run this action as a secure user to avoid any permissions issues before the install file action and name the directory after the virtual application.
Example C:\novell\zav\vApp1, c:\novell\zav\vApp2 .. c:\novell\zav\vAppX
3.You will need a launch action to run the virtual application when clicked on by the end user.
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.