The streaming profiler defines IIC profiles as either “associated” or “dependent”.  These are fancy words which translate into, is it “just links”, or does it have an installation image of its own?

For background, refer to this recent post on the layers of glass for Inter-Isolation Communication.  This shows how the isolation system creates an N-Layer isolation environment based on a collection of separate profiles.  What was not mentioned is that this also occurs during PROFILING.

Consider that you have a big profile and want to attach a small application to it.  Let’s call the big one MS Office and the small one, YouSendIt.  No, I haven’t tested this, I just needed a small office plugin that is requires installation “on top of” an existing MS office installation.

The grand question: how do you separately profile MS Office and YouSendIt if you can’t install the second app without the first already being installed?

Answer:  You create a DEPENDENT profile and you MOUNT the big profile before installing the app.  This happens at this screen in the streaming profiler.  Observe the red-circle…

In the “unchecked” form, the profiler is creating a dependent profile and will give you an opportunity to “run an installer”, which ultimately means that this profile gets its own layer in the isolation stack.  If the circled box is checked, then the profile is an “associated” profile meaning that it is only LINKS.

First, consider “just links”

Notice that a “just links” example has no installation image for the associate profile.  The profile merely defines that the streaming client should IIC connect other existing profiles at runtime and make available for publishing, all of the applications of both A and B.

Back to dependent profile example

During profiling, the streaming profiler “mounts” all of the sub-profiles (A and B as below) that are defined as part of the new profile being created.  What the installer sees is a merged view of the sub-profiles and an installation target being created on the top. This highest target is “writable” at profiling and there is no per-user space during profiling. 

When “installing”, YouSendIt will modify stuff on the machine including potentially also in the MS Office installation space.  In all of these, the isolation system prevents those writes from hurting the sub-profiles and stores the written-to stuff into the highest level of the isolation stack.  When done, the streaming profiler collects the “changed” stuff and stores this as the isolation target that is part of this new profile.

The end answer is a profile, called “MS Office with YouSendIt”, which is a “link” to the big MS Office profile plus a true installation image (target) for the installation of YouSendIt.  At runtime, this is what the streaming client sets up to run the application.

The profiler can also adjust the relative position of the linked profiles (in blue above) via the move up and move down buttons on the sub-profile selection panel.

Joe Nord