Recently I’ve been preparing for some presentations that I’ll be doing over the next couple of months. One of the recurring topics centers around the different application virtualization technologies on the market today. Over the last two years, I’ve collaborated with Ruben and Jurjen on the Application Virtualization Smackdown book, which is free to download HERE Every year I spend a lot of time trying to test out the different products on the market, as you can imagine many of these products get updated quite frequently. I was very, very pleasently suprised by the huge updates to Cameyo! Cameyo has been one of my favorite products on the market for a while now. Along with Spoon, they deliver a strong product with a fast paced development cycle. Their products are always progressing and adding new features. Something I feel larger vendors simply cannot compete with due to their size and possibly due to their large user base.
With version 2.6, Cameyo made a few updates to the core Enterprise product and packaging tool used for creating their virtual applications (.cameyo self contained applications) but the huge innovation this year has been the introduction of the ability to ‘play’ your virtual applications within the browser. This may be a new concept to you as a reader but is not really a new concept in general. Other products such as Mainframe2 and RollApp currently provide this also but Cameyo do something which to me is truly unique in it’s simplicity and power! I think you’ll get that after this post. Lets go through what I mean by playing applications from the browser. It’s exciting and you’ll love it 🙂
Playing apps in the browser
Currently you have a bunch of legacy windows applications in your environment and your company has implemented a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. All of a sudden you as Mr. or Mrs.\Ms. IT person now has to figure out a way to allow those users to still use the required corporate windows applications on a wide variety of devices that have Operating Systems that are not compatible. Currently there’s a few common solutions to this problem. You may take the applications and deliver them in XenApp, your users then have the Citrix Receiver on their iPhone, iPad, Macbook, Android device etc. Or maybe something like VMWare Fusion, Parallels or whatever….these are solutions that can be quite expensive and complicated to implement and also adds an extra layer of confusion for users (sometimes). Cameyo allows you to package your applications into virtual application containers and then run them directly from within the browser through the power and glory of HTML 5. No receiver or agent required. HTML 5 is also common across all browsers and all devices so your ‘legacy’ windows applications can now run from ANY device! Let’s take a look at how easy it is to get your applications running the browser!
Start off by going to www.cameyo.com and logging in with your Cameyo account. If you don’t have one, get one. It’s free. If you’ve used Cameyo in the past you’ll notice the site has been updated and right off the bat you can tell it’s harnessing that sweet, sweet HTML 5 goodness. It looks great on all devices (except for the login prompt but whatever)..also by the way, note that I’m actually carrying this tutorial out on my Macbook in Safari, just because I can 🙂
For this quick example I’m going to select Choose file and point it to my Orca.msi…if you have a URL to a downloadable installer you can even just paste that into the top text field. If your installer is not an MSI you may need to do some discovery and find the silent install switch in order to successfully use the Virtual App Builder.
We can now see it has attached my MSI. Click Submit
You’ll note that packaging is in progress. You don’t have to do anything. As it’s a silent install, it’s using Cameyos own resources to package. Pretty cool!
Next thing you’ll see will be the above screen telling you your package is ready, at this point you’ll also receive an e-mail with a link to the application telling you it’s ready..in case it’s a larger application and you walked away from it. You can download or Play. If you download you will be downloading the .cameyo self contained application which is great and is something I’ve covered in previous review\overviews of Cameyo (which you can find HERE)but you’ll also notice the play button! Go ahead and click on it!
SUCCESS! That is a Orca 3.1, an old Windows application running within Safari on my Macbook. Check out the yellow text on the bottom. It’s indicating that there’s no storage attached. Some applications write during runtime or possibly allow you to safe something yourself. For this you can actually click on that text.
You can see you have the option to lync to some cloud storage using Dropbox. Allowing you to save your application data and move from device to device seamlessly on the go whilst use your applications in a uniformed fashion.
Your application is now placed inside ‘My Cloud Apps’ and is ready for use whenever you want, where ever you want from whatever device you want! check out this awful looking matrix image (I suck when it comes to art\decoration) I put together:
One of the great features of both Cameyo and Spoon are their freely available applications already pre-packaged and available online via the Application Library. Cameyo have been hard at work increasing the number of applications in their library.
Obviously these applications tend to be freeware due to licensing requirements…
But that’s not all. Click on one of the application in the library and you’ll see… All of these applications can also now be run from the browser!!
Before moving on to my conclusion, I know this post has focused on the ‘cloud’ apps being run directly from the browser but there has been some changes to the packaging tool which helps you manage and create your virtual application containers.
Check this out. You can now secure your application containers. You can do this by setting up custom passwords and even setting an expiration date. Again with the BYOD in mind, this helps provide peace of mind. If your employees device becomes compromised you can rest assure that your corporate applications will not fall into the hands of the thief. There’s some other features like splitting the application using a .DAT file which is exactly like ThinApp, this is for performance of larger applications. More info can be found in the tools help.
This is very cool! I love what the folks over at Cameyo have done and are trying to do. I should state that not all of the applications in the library work too well within the browser. Many of them have first time prompts when you click on play. It’s not necessarily an issue with the technology and is likely just due to how they were packaged. The guys over there may have automated the packaging which would not have suppressed the pop ups. Other application don’t just have a first time pop up, they seem to have a more serious problem. But never the less, this has huge potential and I’m very impressed with the ability to upload my own applications and have them running from within the browser in minutes! Linking my Dropbox for storage is also amazing, I hope they expand on this and allow me to link up my OneDrive, Box and other cloud storage solutions. With the integration of Spoon and ASG’s solutions, it’s every changing functionality AND the fact it’s free to 50 or less users continues to make me a big fan!.