Is there something (similar to FireFox's synchronisation account) like a central PA synchronisation feature, allowing to automatically keep the same installed apps on all the computers where I've installed PA or am using PA ? My problem is that those computers don't always have permanent Internet access (hence the memory stick) and/or are not fully under my control/exclusive usage, which makes me reluctant to use a cloud service and/or leave my cloud account credentials on these computers.
Thanks for your feedback and advice !
Sorry but you've confused me a bit, i.e. you've asked if there is something like Firefox's Sync Account to keep multiple PortableApps installations in sync, but then you say you don't want to use/trust this procedure to a Cloud Service! However, Firefox's Sync Feature is a Cloud-Based Service.
The true manual alternative is to use a Portable Synchronisation Software to sync your installation and data folders between your various base installations using a USB Stick/External Drive as the common storage/external backup device. You just need to ensure that you do perform the necessary synchronisation/update steps in an orderly way when moving between computers. How complex that might be depends on how many installations are involved. You should also bear in mind that there are some apps that are still dependent on some level of Cloud sync to work as intended, e.g. Chrome based browsers.
Sorry for the confusion, let me clarify : I'm ok to share the config information of my PA platforms in a cloud-based service, which is likely to be limited a a tiny file, so to speak (the list of installed apps). This is quite different from having a whole bunch of folders kept in sync between all the computers with DropBox (which I use for Pro on some computers), Microsoft (which I use for media files on some computers) or Google (which I use for limited files elsewhere). See what I mean ?
I understand what you're suggesting with the USB stick. However you'd admit that if I'm using a USB stick to manually ensure the synchronisation, I wouldn't have to install PA on *any* of those computers, only the stick would suffice, wouldn't it ? I was hoping to have a PA cloud-based sync service (like FF). You confirm this doesn't exist ?
I understand what you are saying, but a a true Cloud-Based system that could actually run Windows Software (including portable software) remotely would have to be fully configured with the functional Windows Operating System that the apps need. As far as I know no such service exists and if it did it would probably be a relatively expensive consumer choice, given the provider would have to licence the OS from the Microsoft on a per user basis. There are, of course, pure Microsoft, Chrome and some Linux solutions, but these are primarily propriety subscription-based services which provide a 'limited' range of software options which doesn't include PortableApps, and generally restricts users to specific 'approved' software only available through their 'Stores'.
However, one of the limiting factors you mentioned in your original post is that some of the computers you use do not always have reliable internet access, so no Cloud-Based solution (if one existed) could possibly be of practical use in those circumstances. The whole point of the alternative I descibed is that you can always run your apps (except those that require internet access) regardless of any interruption in internet service and; if used correctly, it maintains a full external backup/synchronisation system for both apps and data that may be needed across multiple computers. Yes you could simply run PortableApps from an external Drive (the original concept and purpose of portable software) and you could also store your data exclusively on that Drive, but you would then still need to ensure that you maintained reliable back-ups of the Drive on a regular basis to protect against possible (inevitable) data loss and/or corruption, so.... You could even run a "Windows To Go" system so that you can carry your own OS plus both installed and Portable software between systems but you would still need a reliable backup routine to protect the integrity of your installation and data. Cloud services have their place but are completely useless if internet access is unreliable, or for users with limited data transfer plans/slow connections, or if you have to rely regularly on public network access, where you are totally dependent on someone else's unknown system security measures.
I never meant to RUN the applications from a Cloud service. Instead, I said I'm wishing the PA platform (wherever it is run from, i.e. local PC disk, a USB stick, etc) to SYNCHRONISE its content based on a centrally stored (=hence named cloud-based here) configuration file that would list those apps to be maintained across my computers. This could be done whenever PA tries to reach Internet to check for any update -- it would first fetch that file and compare if apps were added/deleted and suggest to align with it, on top of updating the already locally present software.
If the Internet is not always available, that wouldn't matter much. The PA platform would only update at next Internet connection availability.
(My request wasn't as ambitious as synchronising application executions and their data across PA installations ! That's another crazy challenge...)
That's basically what the built in Platform updater does, i.e. checks all installed apps on a device against the store; but it can't check what a user might have 'remotely' added to another installation on another Windows device. That would require some form of account-based service similar to a full Cloud-based login-in service, somewhat similar to a Microsoft User Account, as it demands checks against a per user database of existing installations; and would most probably have to be a subscription-based service given the potential financial cost to the service provider. See John T Haller's recent post on the possible development of a PortableApps Premium Service (i.e. subscription-based) at https://portableapps.com/node/60811 as that does mention the possibility of cloud synching as one possible 'paid for service', but presumably only if there is sufficient support/interest from users.
Personally, if I needed that sort of service, I would simply use either my existing Microsoft OneDrive Account, or some preferred alternative primary Cloud Back-up Service, as I don't want a multitude of individual Cloud services fighting to access my 'PC' checking for 'updates' every time I log in. That just slows everything down even more and Win10 is already enough of a resource hog.
Yes, that's quite close to what I thought. I didn't imagine it would cost that much but it definitely would cost something indeed. Thanks for your continued feedback in this thread.
My best regards.