Today VMware has announced the release of ThinApp 4.7 along with the release of Horizon App Manager 1.2.  Seems fitting that they were released at the same time as now ThinApp has the ability to package applications specifically for Horizon, and Horizon has added the support to catalog ThinApp Windows applications.

Before 1.2, Horizon App Manager was an app catalog which could be used to deliver a single sign on experience with active directory integration in order to publish SaaS apps such as Google Apps and box.net to end users.  With the ability to now publish those Windows applications that are used on a daily basis, I can see usage of this product ramping up.  

Essentially the horizon administrators manage what applications (both SaaS and ThinApp Packages) that the end users will see by tying the applications to Active Directory or Horizon specific groups of users.  From there and end user will log into the web portal using their AD credentials and click on their specified application.  Horizon then pulls the ThinApp application from the ThinApp repository and pushes it down to the client machine where it is stored for offline mode, and the appropriate shortcuts and start menu items are created.  From then on, if there is updates to the ThinApp packages, they are pushed down upon the end users next visit to the web portal.  Eric Sloof has a much more in-depth and technical explanation of the whole process here.

A lot of the big buzz from VMworld this year was centered around Project AppBlast which essentially allowed end users to stream ThinApp applications through the likes of Java and HTML5.  Although these releases still do not support any streaming, they are definitely a huge stepping stone to the completion of Project AppBlast.

More information on the Horizon App Manager release is available one the End User Computing Blog, while the ThinApp release is on the ThinApp Blog.  There is also a nice architecture video worth checking out below.