For a few years Softricity is available and was the first offering application virtualization. Nowadays Softricity is just acquired by Microsoft, so we will hear a lot of this technique in the near feature. If you have already worked with Softgrid you probably have the same experiences as I have. I really like the technique and the way the application works, but the way a new sequence (application package) needs to be added to the database is a really time consuming action.
Daniel Nikolic of DNC-IT.com had the same feeling and developed SftImport. SftImport is a command line tool with parameters to add/delete or change sequences into the Softgrid database.
SftImport has no requirements and no installation process. The complete tool exist on one executable, with more than enough parameters to simplify your administration of the Softgrid sequences. There are a few prerequisites. You need to start the tool with enough user rights (domain admin right advised), .Net Framework and modify access to the Softgrid database.
Using the tool to import applications
As mentioned before the tool exists of one executable with can be configured using several parameters.
For all options you need to specify the SQL server, SQL username and password and the database name with parameters. You can also use a trusted connection (a DSN where all these settings are already configured).
For the time consuming part of Softricity adding sequences to the database the parameters /import and /importall are available.
With /import you can add one single sequence to the database. Together with this parameter you can specify the name of the application (the name showed to the users), groups allowed to use the application and the paths to the OSD and SFT file (can be seperated if necessary). If you use variables and a small script this makes importing Softgrid application really easy.
If you are using a OTAP environment or configuring a complete new server you probably like the /importall option. With this option you specify the path where the OSD are stored and the tool import all the applications found at the specified path. Remember that the ICO file needs to have the same name as the OSD file. All settings will be modified automatically so with a few minutes you Softricty environment is completely filled with your applications.
Beside the import functionality the tool offers some other options, which are pretty useful. With the parameter /addext you can add a file association to a defined application within Softricity. Need to add another group or user to the allowed users for one application you can use the parameter /addsec. Need to add a group to all applications? Therefore the parameter /addsec2all is available. With /changeosd and /changeallosd you can change some parameters in the OSD files directly. You can use this parameter if you are changing to an other VAS server.
With the last parameter /query you can query the database that shows all known applications within the database.
Daniel delivers a nice manual with a description of all parameters and good examples.
With this small utility you can really simplify the time consuming actions to import a single Softricity sequence. Beside the importing functionality the tool offers some more useful options to change settings within the Softricity database. Beside .Net Framework you do not need to install any additional software nor the tool itself needs to be installed. If you have Softricity in your infrastructure I really can recommend this utility.
SftImport can be downloaded from DNC-IT.com.