App Layering comparison & reviews

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  • + Rapid innovation and rich feature set
  • + Isolation capabilities through session layers
  • + Can output directly to VHD or VMDK
  • + High success rate for real time\hot add application layers
  • + Relatively lightweight infrastructure setup
  • + Simple provisioning workflow
  • + Features image management which helps move your image from one platform to another including from on-premises to the cloud
  • + High rate of success with app layers in published shared image
  • + Most mature layering product on the market
  • - Can license standalone but still requires ProfileUnity install
  • - Recommended to limit number of AppStacks on RDSH to 10-12
  • - Can be setup to output as in-guest VHD or VMDK but not both at the same time in a single setup
  • - Must modify config file in order to capture COM+ Component Services
  • - User layers currently not in production
  • - Currently restricted to deploying app layers to source OS Layer
  • - Lacks automation capabilities
User Reviews
Details (by section) Expand All Data
Support Status
Product is supported (Not End Of Life )
Under active development
Public enterprise references in Europe
Public enterprise references in US
Official training classes available
Official Certification program
Large community resource
Some recipes available & community scripts
Solution licensing
Concurrent licensing
Device licensing
Per named user licensing
Free for personal use
Limited time free for 25 users
Services Provider License Agreement
Layer Characteristics
Pre-launch scripting
Deploy One Layer to Many Operating Systems
Currently in Labs
Layer can override GPO
Yes with Micro Isolation Feature
Public layering recipes (10+ available)
Optional compression of layers
User Writeable Layer
Currently only for Desktop OS
Reboot during packaging supported
No, reboot is not simulated
No limit on package file size
Unattended application packaging
Import of MSI packages for conversion
User can layer their own apps
MSIX Support
No need for clean OS during packaging
Layer format is open source
Virtual Disk can be mounted
Virtual Disk can be mounted
Virtual Disk can be mounted
Built-in package encryption
Show custom message at app launch
Only through scripting
Only through scripting
Only through scripting
Printer Management
User Experience
Windows Explorer context menu integration
User driven application repair
Registry Pre-staging / optimization
Can be configured
Can be configured
Out of the box handles registry relatively efficiently
Publish shortcut and mount app on demand
Click to Layer Available
Simple app rollback
Unassign removes app layer cleanly
Unassign removes app layer cleanly
Unassign removes app layer cleanly
App upgrade while in use
App upgrade using deltas
Yes, through differencing disk
Support for protocol handlers
Supports use of roaming user profiles
Compatible with DRM solution
Package apps with kernel mode drivers