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Any experiences with Portable Applications?

Hi!
A potential customer asked if there exists a "Portable App" version of my product (a Windows software), because in his corporate environment there was prohibited the installation of software that creates/changes the Registry and directory structure.

For reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_app

I suspect that this is (too) easily pirateable.
Any experiences (pros and cons) with this kind of applications, from the business of software perspective?

Thanks!
Néstor Sánchez A. Send private email
Friday, July 26, 2013
 
 
Néstor, Sorry to be completely off topic but would you mind telling me if you bought or created the flow chart UI component in your application?

If you bought it would you mind telling me who makes it?
If you created it, have you thought about selling it as a component for other developers?
Adrian Lock Send private email
Friday, July 26, 2013
 
 
Nestor, tell him to install your app with Ceedo or some other tool that creates portable apps. Then he can use it anywhere he likes.
PSB136 Send private email
Friday, July 26, 2013
 
 
@Nestor
>>"I suspect that [portable app] is (too) easily pirateable."


No, not with well designed licensing it isn't. It's no more or less "pirateable" than a "regular" app. We have a handful of customers using LimeLM (hardware-locked licensing) with their portable apps.




>> "Any experiences (pros and cons) with this kind of applications, from the business of software perspective?"

All of the pros / cons relate to the distribution and installation of the app. (E.g. zip file vs. installer). So if a user is explicitly requesting a portable app, and it's something you want to devote the resources to making, then go for it.
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Friday, July 26, 2013
 
 
Isn't it just having an option to store preferences in a local .ini file, rather than a the registry? Or is there a lot more to it?
Andy Brice Send private email
Friday, July 26, 2013
 
 
>because in his corporate environment there was prohibited the installation of software that creates/changes the Registry and directory structure.

But they are allowed to put USB sticks in the USB port?
Andy Brice Send private email
Friday, July 26, 2013
 
 
IIRC, Google Chrome used to install in ProgramData for this reason (or possibly AppData). 

If the user can save their document, they should (I think?) be able to save your program to the same place, and you could save your .INI files there as well.

But to answer your question, no, I don't have any experience :(
Doug Send private email
Friday, July 26, 2013
 
 
Hello, thanks for the answers...

@Adrian, ThinkComposer UI components, including the core diagramming capabilities, were created by myself (except those indicated in About->Acknowledgements).

I've thinking it might be licensed as a whole product (as Sybase did with PowerDesigner for Quest Software, which renamed it QDesigner). I'm open to listen proposals in that sense.

@PSB136 I will learn about that Ceedo software.

@Wyatt I will investigate further that alternative.

@Andy and @Doug, my product needs some directories to store user files and shared templates, plus it uses the standard Windows MSI installer, which registers the product. So, the effort to change that is not trivial as redirect config files location.

>But they are allowed to put USB sticks in the USB port?
Excellent question!
Néstor Sánchez A. Send private email
Friday, July 26, 2013
 
 
For my product Notezilla, I have both installer version and portable version. In my case, about 5% of the downloaders choose the portable version. It is good to have a portable version. Corporate users can try it easily. Many users do not want to bloat their registry and other system area for just trying some software. So it is good for them too.

Creating a portable app is fairly simple. Just have all the data along with the exe (may be in a subfolder). Instead of registry, you would use an ini file. The ini flag can have a flag that would say whether it is a portable or regular installer version. You would set this flag when building the package. Based on the flag you would know where to look for the data and other such decisions.

Most licensing software would wrap the exe to protect against piracy. You would ship the same exe for both installer and portable version.  So, it will not affect the rate of piracy.
Gautam Jain Send private email
Saturday, July 27, 2013
 
 

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