How to: ThinApp SBMerge

By Rory Monaghan


One of the my criticisms of VMWare ThinApp has been the fact I believe compared to other application virtualization technologies, ThinApp requires a little more back and forth, this is because VMWare has a bunch of utilities rather than say one tool which does it all. If you install VMWare ThinApp on a machine you will notice a few different utilities in here. Obviously there’s the Setup Capture tool for creating your ThinApp. But the one this blog post is based around is the SBMerge tool.

The SBMerge Tool allows you to Merge a sandbox with your application. What do I mean? If you are familiar with ThinApp you will know when a user runs an ThinApp application a sandbox is created, this is by default is created to %AppData%\Thinstalls but this could be configured to go to a different location or even a USB key! We’ll assume for this demonstration that the Sandbox got created to the default location. So, basically I can launch a a virtual application that I created with ThinApp, make some setting changes to the application, close the application and then use the SBMerge tool to take those changes I made and merge them into my package. This is because those settings during run time were stored in my Sandbox and SBMerge will merge my Sandbox into my package. To do this I open a command line as an Administrator.

Then I run the following Command:

SBMERGE APPLY -PROJECTDIR <Path of my ThinApp Working Directory which contains my macro folders, Package.ini etc.> -SANDBOXDIR <Location of my Sandbox e.g. %AppData%\Thinstalls\AppName_Versions>

It’s as simple as that. The tool runs and merges the sandbox. You can then run the build.bat which will re-create the package with the sandbox settings included and the entry points and files\folders updated.

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