An electronic software distribution (ESD) system is designed to efficiently move software to many different computers over slow or fast network connections. With Application Virtualization, using an ESD system, you can use one of the following methods to distribute your virtual application packages:
Configure your ESD system to distribute the packages directly to each client computer by using the Windows Installer version of the package generated by the Application Virtualization Sequencer. The Windows Installer file contains the icons, package definition information, and the content, and when you use Windows Installer, it publishes the icons to the Windows desktop and Start menu and loads the package content into the Application Virtualization Client cache. The user can immediately start using the applications without any further setup requirements. Upgrading a package to a newer version is accomplished by using Windows Installer to uninstall the package.msi file and then to install the new version.
Place the package content on a software distribution point or Application Virtualization Streaming Server that is readily accessible to the client computers over a network connection with good bandwidth, such as a LAN. For example, you might use the existing ESD system distribution point computers in each branch office. Using command-line parameters to define the streaming source from which clients will stream the virtual application package, the ESD system would deploy the Windows Installer version of the package to each client. The ESD system could also be used to copy the SFT file that contains the package content to the file share on all streaming servers. Upgrading a package to a newer version is accomplished by using Windows Installer to uninstall the package.msi file and then install the new version.
As an alternative to using the self-contained Windows Installer file in either of the preceding modes to deploy the packages, you can control the deployment in a much more detailed way by using the Application Virtualization command-line language SFTMIME. This provides many commands to control all aspects of managing the packages. While SFTMIME is powerful, it is also complex, so administrators should plan to create all commands as scripts and thoroughly test them in a test environment prior to production use. For more information about available SFTMIME commands, see SFTMIME Command Reference.