As you may or may not know, MSFT acquired a company named Softricity over the summer (www.softricity.com). The acquisition is now complete and we will be announcing the roadmap and integration of this killer technology in the coming months. I feel that this 'app vitalization stuff' is going to be VERY huge in the next few years at least...
Anyway, so I have been playing around with the current SoftGrid Product - what has surprised me is the ease at which the product 'just works'. For those who have been tasked with application packaging for distribution via SMS or other software deployment tool, getting acclimated to SoftGrid and the process of sequencing an application is a very short learning curve. The architecture of SofGrid is also pretty straightforward - and again, just works!
So what does it do? SoftGrid allows you to package or 'sequence' an application in order to deploy it 'on use'. It provides an architecture that allows you to stream only the bits of the application that are needed at the time the application is run. It has mechanisms to cache this stream so that any other subsequent uses of that app by the user(s) with access to it don't have to wait for the app to stream again (initial run time depends on the complexity of the app but if sequenced correctly, most apps should be ready to roll within 15-20 seconds when run for the first time - if it is already cached - it is basically the same speed as if it was normally installed). The benefits to this technology are many - among them:
To drive my last point above home, below is a screen shot of one of my test machines running as a SoftGrid client:
Look closely - notice that I am successfully running PowerPoint XP and PowerPoint 2003 AT THE SAME TIME! This is possible because although both applications are running locally, they are running in their own virtualized space and therefore do not conflict with one another. Imagine the potential here when attempting to move to a newer version of something or needing to coexist two conflicting applications for the sake of some legacy but mission critical application.
SoftGrid has a high potential of resolving a LOT of headaches!!!
I's like to talk to someone who has successfully sequenced a few apps. I would like to start with a successful sequence instead of a frustrating failure.