VMware ThinApp 4.0.1 is an agent-less application virtualization solution that features an embedded virtual operating system (VOS) that is deployed as part of the application package.
In line with other application virtualization products, ThinApp is able to execute applications without them being installed in the traditional sense by virtualizing resources such as environment variables, files and Windows Registry keys.
Originally developed as 'Thinstall' by Jitit Inc, the technology was acquired by VMware in January 2008 and subsequently renamed to VMware ThinApp in June of the same year.
ThinApp does not have any pre-installed components and does not require the installation of device drivers allowing applications to run from USB keys and network shares without ever requiring Administrator rights.
No client side agent is required as ThinApp converts standard application installer files such as .msi files into self-contained EXE files which includes everything required to run the application. ThinApp does not need to self extract the files in order for the application to work. Additionally registry changes to the client are not required either to get the application to work.
ThinApp doesn't use true streaming as does Microsoft App-V but the streaming is similar to Citrix XenApp's Application Isolation technology, where the application is downloaded from a central file store to the user's device.
Licenses are required for ThinApp and are available generally in bundles of 100 or can be brought in combination with VMware View's VDI offering.