Liquidware Labs' ProfileUnity updates adds side-by-side DLLs for fewer FlexApp conflicts

Back in December, Liquidware Labs shipped the latest version of the ProfileUnity in late December and announced it at Citrix Summit in late January. The latest version, 6.

Back in December, Liquidware Labs shipped the latest version of the ProfileUnity in late December and announced it at Citrix Summit in late January. The latest version, 6.5.1, includes a few updates like support for Windows 10 and the ability to support side-by-side DLLs in FlexApp.

I learned that one of the challenges Liquidware (and every other UEM vendor) has to deal with is that in Windows 10 the Start Menu isn’t populated the same way as previous OSes where files lived in a hierarchy of folders. In Windows 10, it’s actually a Jet database, which, without getting into the nitty-gritty, means that you can’t easily migrate from one to the other. I’m sure someone will come up with something, but in the meantime “Windows 10 Support,” at least from Liquidware’s perspective, means everything but the Start Menu (though they do support pinned items on the task bar and everything else you’d expect to see from ProfileUnity).

With FlexApp, one of the things they’d been missing that I believe you need to have to be a mature Application Layering product is the ability to automatically resolve certain file/registry/DLL application conflicts. This release adds in a capability they call Micro Isolation to address that.

When applications are installed in a traditional way, they have intelligence to work around conflicts that the installer sees. (Well, good application installers do.) If there is a conflicting DLL, for example, they can install their own copy and route around it. In a normal environment, this works great, but when you compartmentalize applications and bolt them on to an OS, conflicts can arise. Other vendors have the same problem and work around it in different ways (or not at all in some cases).

Liquidware’s approach is to watch as the applications are attached to Windows. When an application is attached, the FlexApp driver (part of the agent) detects any conflicts that the files or registry entries of the new application might introduce. If it detects, say, a DLL conflict, it simply refers any request from the new application back to the DLL in the FlexApp package rather than the one that is already installed with another application.

There is no configuration required to get this feature–it’s just built into the product. When you’ve upgraded to 6.5.1, you’ll immediately begin using it behind the scenes without any additional work. In fact, you might even be able to package apps that would have been troublesome in the past, like individual applications from Adobe’s Creative Suite.

It’s not much of a departure from the other approaches, so I don’t want to oversell this as some sort of revolutionary method of resolving application conflicts. The point here is that for a company to produce a good Application Virtualization product, it needs to have this feature, and ProfileUnity with FlexApp now has that.

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Apparently Microsoft are working on a fix for the issue of the Start Menu not unloading cleanly at logoff, expected about April time last I checked.


Thanks for the write up Gabe. I would also note we're the only vendor shipping all the layering tech we're talking about, everyone else is pre announcing many QTR's ahead of time. The big goal with micro isolation is to mange each app in its own layer for the best life cycle management process possible vs building a house of card slamming many apps into a single layer.

Kx20fl, we have the unload working fine. We just have to write some code to being in old start menu items from XP,7.8.1 to win10. It's on the books and just a matter of time before we do.