Introduction To The Application Virtualization


 The term "virtualization" was understood in the IT environment so far rather the virtualization of computer hardware.
Typical and well-known representatives are e.g. VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V or Virtual Box.


A quite different approach to the virtualization refers, in contrast, but not to the underlying hardware, but on the application, so the software itself these two techniques together to compare apples to compare with pears, both virtualization technologies focus on two very different Technologieen.

Application virtualization also has something to do with application isolation and has worked over the "traditional" application installation the advantage of DLL conflicts can be avoided.


It is e.g. possible to install on the same computer, and various versions of the same applications, which can not normally be used simultaneously or install.


A typical application would be to install and the parallel operation of two different versions of Office on the same machine. One can also prioritize that e.g. a. doc file with Word 2003 opens, while a. xls file is started with Excel 2007 or 2012.A typical application would be to install and the parallel operation of two different versions of Office on the same machine. One can also prioritize that e.g. a. doc file with Word 2003 opens, while a. xls file is started with Excel 2007 or 2012.


Virtualized applications do not change anything on the file system or the registry of the computer with (or only on request).






Technical the "installation" of a virtualized application is more like unpacking a zip file in a defined directory structure on the local computer system (c: \ flsrdr \ ... by default). The application will be used by the appropriate application layer is activated. Here, the application lets you "appear" in the operating system. All system change messages sent by an application to the Windows operating system - and vice versa - (Read File and registry operations, / write) are intercepted by a driver and an isolated / virtualized registry - diverted and file environment for explicit this application was created.


From the user's point virtualized applications work exactly as naturally as if they had been installed in the traditional way, he will not notice any difference. After activation of the corresponding layer, all files and registry keys are exactly where they expect the user or other applications would. So it would seem.





Applications by sending a simple command (via admin interface or via command line) enabled very easily and as needed, disabled, or on the original installation status will be reset.

This happens i.d.R. within a few seconds (even with a larger application such as Office)!

SWV can also register services that an application installed with the Windows Service Control Manager. After the service control manager who started the service, the application of functional.

The installed by SWV applications are immediately available. After you enable or disable an application must be made no reboots.





The Symantec Workspace Virtualization can also be used completely independently of the Altiris framework, eg also in combination with SCCM or other deployment tools.
There are API, WMI, and command line support

Ultimately this means that the client-side actions of SWV can be performed by any desktop management product.





Software Virtualization Solution hardly causes performance degradation.
The core technology is a filter driver that is less than 150 KB.






  • Microsoft Windows 7 and Win7 SP1 (64-bit and 32-bit)  (Windows 8 ab Version 7.5 ~ Q2/2013)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP1 (64-bit and 32-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (64-bit and 32-bit) when used as an endpoint
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or SP3 (32-bit) *
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later and 2003 R2 when used as an endpoint



32-bit and 64-bit editions of the following operating systems:
  • Windows 2008 Server, Windows 2008 Server R2
  • Windows 2008 Server, Windows 2008 Server R2


* If using SP2, Workspace Streaming requires the filter manager rollup hot fix. SP3 is required when using a non-English language XP operating system





An application installation is ultimately more of a defined set of files to be installed, registry keys and other system changes.


This information (system change) can be eg be distinguished with the help of the "Symantec Workspace Virtualization Admin" during an application installation. From these data, a virtual software package created ( *.xpf File).


Thus, a virtual software package therefore contains all files, registry keys, and other system settings that make up an application ("Application Layer" or "application layer"), but can also contain just data (Data Layer or "data layer), "there are two different types of virtual packages.


These virtual packages (. Xpf files) can only be used on computers where also the "Software Virtualization Agent" is installed.


A virtual software packages is ultimately a kind of data container (ZIP-compatible) and can be copied by file copy to another target system. There must be a system by an import using the "Software Virtualization Agent" will be announced. . During this import process, the xpf file (files and configuration information) is in a specific area (eg C: \ fslrdr \ ...) "extracted" on the local hard drive.


Before activating the appropriate application (= the corresponding application layer) using a command-line invocation, or through a user interface ("Symantec Workspace Virtualization Admin") is the application of the system with all its folders, files and registry settings are visible, and thus available for the user and other applications.


Although it is a virtualized application, this behaves differently for the user, not in terms of look and function like any other application on the system, ie A user will not notice any difference and not even realize that he is working with a virtualized application.




Language use:

A "virtual software package" can occur in two forms:

  • As a virtual software layer (on the system)
  • As "Extensible Package Format" (. Xpf file).

A. Xpf file is portable and can be copied to other computer systems.
It is i.d.R. also possible to use virtual XP based applications under Windows 7


A. Xpf file e.g. be created using the Altiris SWV applets ("Symantec Workspace Virtualization Admin"), by the appropriate application layer is exported.


To make the contents of the. Xpf file (such as a virtualized application, there are also pure data layer) on the target system must be fully usable. Xpf file on the target system and then activated again imported only be.


Typically, each application is an application layer generates.


A layer may very well contain several applications together, each layer is always managed as a single unit (activated, de-activated reset).


Virtualized applications at runtime so combined with the Windows-based system that the system appears to the combined contents of the virtualized application and the underlying operating system provides.


Symantec Workspace Virtualization achieved this by using file system and registry redirection to intercept system requirements and passes results on the basis of active VSP (Virtual Software Packages).


Symantec Workspace Virtualization combined together the real and the virtual file system, and this almost to the end user to view.





Symantec Workspace Virtualization technology includes a tool called SWV Admin, which will make it appropriate software can create virtual packages or modify existing ones. Download the SWV Admin is free to use for private use as well.


Furthermore, there is another tool that the "Symantec Virtual Composer," by which one can also create Virtual Software Packages and change. Involving so-called events, additional programs or scripts to run. It is e.g. to the activation of a layer can also be appropriate permissions set, or perform other actions based script.


One important feature of SWV is to define the way so-called "Exclusions". Exclusion (file extensions and / or folders) are important to certain system changes (eg all *. Doc files), refuse to virtualization, so that they can be stored directly in the file system and thus not in a layer reset lost.


A typical application would be to install and the parallel operation of two different versions of Office on the same machine. One can also prioritize that e.g. a. doc file with Word 2003 opens, while a. xls file is started with Excel 2007 or 2012.