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Tool: Symantec Workspace Virtualization Layer Definition Tool

The Symantec Workspace Virtualization (SWV) Layer Definition tool is a command-line driven application that performs two operations:

  1. Exports a virtual application package to a layer definition file and
  2. Creates or Modifies a virtual application layer using a layer definition file.

The SWV Layer Definition Tool allows administrators to export Virtual Application (i.e. layer) information to a “Layer Definition File” (LDF file) and to create or modify a layer from a layer definition file.

As an example, the below information discusses how to create a virtual application package for Internet Explorer using the new SWV Layer Definition Tool.

Symantec Workspace Virtualization provides the capability to capture an application installation to a redirected area (i.e. sub-layer) in which all of the files, folders and registry information that comprise the application are stored. After the application has been captured, it can be exported to a package (VSA file) that can be deployed to endpoints. While this is the typical case for creating a virtual application, there are scenarios where it might be useful, or even necessary, to have a mechanism to reliably create virtual applications where capturing the application installation is not possible.
 
For example, suppose you want to create a virtual application package for Internet Explorer 6 (IE6). Because IE6 is included with Windows XP, it is not well suited for the capture mechanism described above.  To virtualize this application, the Layer Definition tool lets us handcraft an IE6 layer using the SWV Administration tool, and then export the definition to a layer definition file, which can later be used to re-create the virtual application layer in a reliable way. Some might question why Symantec doesn’t just package Internet Explorer 6 and make the package available for download. The answer lies in the fact that an IE6 virtual package is comprised of Microsoft system files that can’t just be packaged up and made available to customers due to file redistribution restrictions. Therefore, the Layer Definition Tool was created to ensure that customers could reliably create virtual applications where installation capturing is not feasible.
 
To capture IE6, we need the ability to supply a layer definition file that contains all the information required to create an IE6 virtual application layer, without including the vendor-owned files. Enter the Layer Definition tool. Let’s take a closer look at how this tool can help us address this problem.

...

Read the rest of this article for more how-to instructions to complete this task.

Also, watch this tutorial on how to use the SWV Layer Definition tool.

And click here to download the tool and get installation instructions.

Published Wednesday, March 31, 2010 6:18 AM by David Marshall
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