If you are familiar with AppSense Environment Manager, you probably know that when you “personalize” an application, you can either set up the includes and excludes on the executable itself or you can make the executable part of an Application Group and do it there. You may also know WHY one would need an Application Group at all. You have probably seen Application Groups used most often for applications like Microsoft Office where you have multiple executables that are part of the same suite of products.
By grouping them, they all exist within the same virtual “bubble”, and therefore can share settings with each other the way they were designed to. This is pretty logical, but did you know that we also recommend creating an Application Group for an application that uses a SINGLE executable? It’s true. We do. So…. Why?
It goes back to the virtual “bubble”. The problem with personalizing an executable by itself is that it must stay by itself. That’s right; you would be condemning that poor executable to a life of neglect and total isolation (How could you do such a thing?). It is a far kinder thing to put that executable into an Application Group, because even if it is alone today, you can always add another executable to the group later.
You may wonder when you would need to do such a thing. It’s actually more common than you’d think. Sometimes developers will add companion executables to their applications when they upgrade to new versions. Another scenario would be when you realize that two applications that once were being personalized separately now suddenly need to be combined. If they are two personalized executables that now need to be joined into a group, you lose the personalization history for both programs. By having a grouped strategy, you minimize the potential for lost settings when needing to group new or existing applications. Of course, we cannot forget that it is always easier to have one place to go for all your includes/excludes rather than two!
To quote a movie line from Star Trek, “Let us redefine progress to mean that just because we can do a thing, it does not necessarily mean we must do that thing.” (Extra geek-points if you know which movie that is from without Google). You certainly CAN personalize single executables within Environment Manager, but with all the flexibility grouping provides, why wouldn’t you just do it that way?