Application streaming is an on-demand software distribution system. With application streaming, users receive only applications that they request from a master server. In addition, clients are given only the portion of the application that they need to launch the software and use its basic functions. This frees up enormous resources for the end user and allows for a smoother consumer experience.
Application streaming works by storing software on a central server. The software is packaged on the central server into blocks of information. They are referred to as starter blocks, predictive blocks and demand blocks. Starter blocks are sent to the user when the software application is launched. These blocks initialize the application and run the most necessary components.
The predicative blocks are sent after the starter blocks are presented. These blocks are necessary for the closing of the application. Finally, demand blocks are components of the software that the user might ask to use as he or she is working with the software. Demand blocks are sent only upon request.
Application streaming is of interest to many businesses because of the potential cost savings that the system offers. A considerable amount of money can be saved on expensive software licensing. Companies need to acquire only enough licenses to accomplish their present tasks.
Upgrading software is made easier and more cost-effective by using application streaming. Instead of installing upgrades across multiple machines, by using application streaming, companies simply can request an updated version of the software to be streamed to each machine on the network that needs it. Unlike web applications, software streamed to the machine can be used both online and offline.
Application virtualization typically is combined with application streaming, so the software is not installed in the usual sense. Application virtualization allows software to be run without being installed on the machine and without interacting directly with the original operating system for which it was designed. This lowers the chance of running into software compatibility issues and lessens the burden on system resources. It also provides heightened security for the end user by not allowing the software to manipulate the operating system software.
Businesses incur great expenses in managing their data and networks. Application streaming is a tool to reduce costs, save resources and provide a better user experience. The technology behind it already exists and continues to be developed. As software applications become bigger and more complex, the demand for this distribution system likely will continue to increase.