A big advantage to SoftGrid or App-V is that you can run it on a Terminal Server – something some lesser application virtualization products don’t do. Being able to run on Terminal Server offers several critical advantages. Since SoftGrid supports Terminal Server, does that mean I can sequence applications that are not designed to run on a Terminal Server (or Citrix server) and magically make them compatible?
The short answer is “No” but the long answer includes an unofficial maybe. Regarding the ‘No’ answer, since an application virtualized with SoftGrid still essentially runs natively on the underlying OS, we’re generally not going to enable functionality that didn’t exist in the application originally. In other words, if it doesn’t work when installed natively then it probably won’t work when it’s virtualized either.
Regarding ‘maybe’ — There’s always an exception, isn’t there? To be 100% accurate I should mention that SoftGrid/App-V can technically allow some programs that would not normally run on a Terminal Server to work. A contradiction? Not really, because these results are more of a side effect than a design goal. For example, there are applications which use HKLM to write user specific registry keys, thus making them less than ideal when it comes to running on Terminal Server. With SoftGrid/App-V, HKLM is virtualized, giving each user of the virtual app their own unique HKLM, thus offering a workaround for that particular issue. Another great example is something like Mailslots. SoftGrid allows the virtualization of some interprocess communications like Mailslots so if that’s what’s causing your app to fail on a Terminal Server it may in fact work when virtualized.