A Closer Look at Liquit / A Liquit Review
I think workspace management is an interesting topic for AppDetails so I’m happy to have had the opportunity to get a deep dive on Liquit in preparation for a Liquit review. They set me up with an Azure hosted environment, though they did say most customers choose to install it on premise. In some due diligence, I did look at the installation instructions and there is nothing scary about installing the solution; very straight forward.
Using a lightweight Liquit agent is optional, but is necessary if you want to take advantage of what Liquit does best. The agent can present its own workspace, but it also powers your browser so it can function as a workspace. By this I mean the presence of the agent allows your browser to do many things it normally could not such as launch applications, browse for files, collect icon images from executables and DLLs, etc. (and it can do so in the browser of your choice).
The interface and user experience is great, but from an AppDetails audience perspective, I think it valuable to focus this Liquit review more on its packages feature and let you browse the screen shots to make your own opinion about the interface (I like it).
A package is not simply for deployment in Liquit; it is where you set actions not just for installation but for launching and removing an application as well. For Install, Launch and Uninstall, the action specified can be run:
- Sequentially – Run them one by one in the order they are listed.
- Sequentially, ignoring errors – Run them one by one in the order they are listed, but keep going when errors are encountered.
- Set to stop after the first effective action – Run them one by one in the order they are listed, but stop as soon as one can run based on the filters in the action.
- Set to stop after the first successful action – Run them one by one in the order they are listed, but stop as soon as one action is successful.
You can also choose how frequently to run an action:
- Once per device – This action will only run once for each device.
- Once per user – This action will run once for every user that logs in on a device.
- Always – This action will always run.
The fact that you can set multiple actions like this is very powerful. You dictate the order in which it attempts the actions specified and Liquit has the smarts to visually show the user if the package is available to a user or not based on how you’ve set it up. For example, you could have a package for Excel…
- Run Excel from the local computer. If it can’t…
- Install Excel from a local corporate network share. If it can’t…
- Run the Cloud version of Excel. If it can’t…
- Show the application as unavailable.
Liquit is also location and user aware so you could for example, not run a program locally (or install it) if they are not in the office but instead launch a web version. Or any other number of scenarios.
It would be nice if you could provide Liquit a setup path when creating a package and have it automatically upload the setup and store it on the Liquit server for distribution. It can do so for MSI setups, but as of right now, it is necessary to stage any multi-file setups or legacy setups on the network beforehand and reference them using a network path when creating its package. I am told that this is a roadmap item Liquit intends to address in a future release.
Liquit keeps snapshots whenever you save changes to a package so you can review a version history and roll back if necessary.
Liquit supports several connectors which allow it to pull from other Liquit Workspaces and to leverage other delivery systems such as Citrix StoreFront, Microsoft Print Server, Microsoft RDS and Liquit Setup Store (a database of over 1600 ready to use packages).
In this Liquit review, I found that one area in which it has room to grow is in its Licensing capabilities. It is tracking statistics for launch and you can tell it your licensing details, but there is not active or passive metering at this time (that is it does not prevent running an application when concurrent licenses are unavailable, or report on such an event after the fact to be addressed retroactively by purchasing more licenses). Unsurprisingly, I’m told this is an area that Liquit intends to extend the product to add further value to this solution.
One last thing I wanted to point out is that the applications installed locally, need not be launched from the Liquit workspace (agent or browser) but can be launched from the standard Start menu interface or a desktop/task bar shortcut. This means you are not locked into forcing use of the Liquit workspace if you do not wish. If you do not want application shortcuts installed to the user profile, you can modify your package accordingly. As a third option Liquit applications can be published in existing portal such as Sharepoint.
This Liquit review has been focusing on the packages, so I wanted to mention there are other features and capabilities we have not touched on here. For example, Self-Service Catalog with approval workflow, Automation, Teams and Multi Tenancy (which may be significant for Managed Services Providers). Additional capabilities include Remote control, Wake On-Lan, Strong Authentication, Single Sign On, and its support of Imaging (with MDT).
For pricing, a demo, questions or to discuss your requirements, you are (as always) encouraged to leverage AppDetails Recommendation Services free of charge.
– Bob Kelly, AppDetails