Sunday, October 14, 2007

SoftGrid MSI Utility

News regarding the automatic distribution of SoftGrid packages: Microsoft is working on a MSI utility that will take a SoftGrid package as input and deliver a MSI package as output, ready for distribution using ESD's such as SMS and SCCM. More information is available at the the SoftGrid team blog.

The article hints at how this will be done in practice: the SoftGrid package is loaded into the cache and published on the desktop. This probably means that the utility will roughly do this:

  • Use the sfttray utility to load the unpacked SFT file into the cache.

  • Publish the application using sftmime.

  • Write uninstall information in the registry.

which is pretty much what the SMS Connector VBScripts do at the moment. Appearantly the MSI utility is going to replace the (crappy) SMS connector, which sounds like a good step forward. Also, the availability of SoftGrid applications in MSI form allows a better integration with existing ESD's, making application virtualization available without the immediate need for a full blown SoftGrid infrastructure.

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