Application Streaming

What Does Application Streaming Mean?

Application streaming refers to an on-demand software delivery model that works based on the fact that the majority of applications need just a small portion of their total programming code for operation. This indicates that there is no need to fully install a program on a client machine; however, portions of it could be offered across the network whenever required.


Similar to progressive downloads in audio or video, application streaming is totally transparent for the end user. The client gets sufficient information from the server to trigger the application, which is generally as low as 10 percent of the application. Then the rest is streamed to the client in the background, even when the end user is performing other tasks. Application streaming makes use of the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP). It is commonly used along with desktop virtualization.

Techopedia Explains Application Streaming

The advantages of application streaming include:

  • Application streaming lets users download just the features they actually require. Users can store the other attributes on a remote network server, which can be accessed as needed. Application streaming avoids the use of unnecessary apps or programs, which exploit system resources like speed and storage. This makes the systems run much faster.
  • Helps to reach countless users with just a single copy of an application. The users can access a specific application in any location using any machine, which is especially useful for mobile users.
  • Because users require just a single application copy, updating and managing it is simple. Users are able to make modifications on a remote server where they can easily sign in and download the most recent version to their systems.
  • Application streaming is cost effective thanks to the following factors:
    • Software Upgradation: When an organization plans to upgrade or change to another app version, this can be set up to be completed automatically whenever the user logs in.
    • Software Installation: Because streaming applications can be provided from a remote server, the user just has to notify the system about desktop requirements and a suitable version is delivered when the request is made from the network.
    • Licensing Fees: Streaming cuts down software license fees as well as licensing administration expenditures because there is no need to buy more and more licenses.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…