If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:
- Installing and Configuring Citrix XenApp 6.5 (Part 1)
- Installing and Configuring Citrix XenApp 6.5 (Part 2)
- Installing and Configuring Citrix XenApp 6.5 (Part 4)
In the previous articles, I described the installation steps for Citrix XenApp 6.5. In this third part, I will start describing the configuration possibilities.
The Citrix AppCenter Console
Citrix has been promising for years that there would be one management console for Citrix XenApp which in that time was still known as Presentation Server. From version 6 there is actually one console (almost, protocol configuration is still done in a separate GUI). In XenApp 6.5 the console is named Citrix AppCenter. The first time you start this console the initial configuration wizard called Configure and Run Discovery will be shown. The first window is just informational, so you can continue with Next. In the second window you need to specify one or more Citrix XenApp servers that will be used to connect to the database. You can easily add the local server via the button Add Local Computer or add servers manually via the Add button, where you have to type in the server name. If you have the XenApp console as a published application over multiple servers, you can type in LOCALHOST as a server name. In that case, it does not matter on which servers the console is actually started.
Figure 1: Adding XenApp servers in the Configure and run discovery
The next steps are actually just pressing the next button to start the discovery and at the end the console will display your installed XenApp environment. You will get a message that there are no published applications configured and you can use the Migration Center to import those from your current Citrix environment. The Migration Center is not part of this current article series, but if there is interest for an article just let me know. When the console is fully started we can start configuring the XenApp environment.
The first option available in the console is Administrators. Here you can configure delegation of control within the AppCenter console. During the installation we used the initial administrator (by default it is the account that was running the installation wizard), so this account should be used to start the console. By using the right mouse button menu on the Administrator name in the left pane, you can add additional administrators. Configuration is divided in two parts, specifying the user(s) or group(s) that will have AppCenter rights assigned to (tip: use the Operating System User Selector), and secondly you specify the rights to that user(s)/groups(s). There are three options available: Read Only, Full Administration and Custom. Most of the times you probably use Custom, because you can configure exactly what rights the user(s)/group(s) will have. Remember that some options are offering the same functionality available in different levels. Good examples are the Session settings, which are both available in the Applications and Servers levels. I’m not going to discuss the possible permissions one by one, because the names are self-explanatory. Remember that every custom configured administrator needs to have at least the right Log on the Management Console available under administrators.
Figure 2: Configuring custom administrator settings
Logically, you can alter the settings by selecting the user(s)/groups(s) and then select administrator properties. The same configuration windows will be shown to you.
This is probably the most used part in the management interface. Here you can configure and alter Published Applications and/or Published Desktops. You can create folders in this view. This is just for a logical order and is not used anywhere else. Sometimes people think that the folder structure is used for displaying the applications in the Web Interface view and/or the placement in the Start Menu when using PNAgent. You can create Published Applications (or Published Desktops) via the menu of the right-mouse button directly in the root or in the create folders. The first page of the wizard is an informational welcome screen. The second screen asks for a Display Name and an application description, this information is shown to the end-user so configure these with care. The display name is used in the Web Interface (WI). In the third frame you need to decide what you are going to offer to the end-users. There are three possibilities:
- Server Desktop: By choosing this option a Full Desktop will be shown to the end-user. This is the best choice if you offer all the applications within the Citrix environment. From an end-user perspective the environment looks like they are working on a local desktop (dependent on how you configured the Desktop Optimization Pack).
- Content: Publishing content like a document, video or website instead of an application. I don’t see this option used a lot, but the possibility is there, for example: a user’s guide or an intranet webpage.
- Application: Using this option you are publishing an application. The best option if the user also has local applications. In this way (when using the seamless publishing mode) the application is displayed within the user local desktop. The way the application is offered to end-users differs based on the configuration options below. First you have the application type:
- Accessed from a server: This is the traditional XenApp method. The Published Application is actually running on the XenApp servers and offered as a (seamless) application to the local client. You can use an Installed Application (locally installed or third party application virtualization) or Streamed to Server (using Citrix Application Virtualization).
- Streamed if possible, otherwise accessed from a server: With the option by default the Citrix virtualization package will be used locally on the client. So the application is actually started on the local client and use local resources. If this scenario is not possible the application will be started on the XenApp environment, where similar to Accessed from a server can be a local installed application or Citrix virtualized application.
- Streamed to Client: The virtualized application is running locally on the client only.
Figure 3: Configuring custom administrator settings
The next steps are different, based on the chosen application type. Except for the Server Desktop the next step is to specify the location of the content, the executable of the application or the Citrix Application Virtualization Package. When you only use the Application Virtualization part you need to configure the offline-usage, while the other option asks you to specify the XenApp servers the application or the desktop should be assigned to (this can also be assigned to worker groups, which I will explain later). For all options the next step is to specify the users which are allowed to start and use the application.
At the shortcut presentation you can change the icon, and specify the client application folder (this one is used for the folders in the Web Interface). When using the PNAgent for publishing an application in the start menu of the user you should fill the Application shortcut placement according to the organization needs. These settings are the last for basic configuration, but you can check the option Configure advanced application settings now to further configure the environment.
The first advanced setting is called Access Control and offers the possibility via which Citrix connection methodologies the application can be started. The options are Access Gateway Advanced edition (including filters) or all connections. I prefer to use the Citrix policies for the overall settings and only change the settings on Published Application level for specific needs. Secondly you can configure content redirection which allows specifying which file types should be assigned to the application.
Figure 4: Configuring content redirection
Next is the Limits tab, where you can configure how often the application can be started. You can configure if the application is allowed over the whole farm or limit the application to be started once per user. Also the Client options like client audio, connection encryption and if the session should be waiting or not waiting before the printers are created. The last tab is Appearance where you can configure how the Published Application is shown to the end user. I prefer to use Full Screen (for Published Desktops) or percentage of the client desktop for Published Application (using 95% or 99%, depending on the customer needs). Nowadays 32 bit is the way to go, because appearance is very important to end-users. If needed you can configure title bar and maximize the application at start-up.
Most settings can be changed using the application properties; however some settings can only be adjusted via the Other Tasks options. The Change Application Type is the most important because it changes the way the application is started as described before. Also, out of the Other Tasks you can create a Pre-Launch application for the pre-launch feature in XenApp 6.5, attach a specific Load Evaluator to the Application and import/export the settings (as a backup).
In this article I started configuring the Citrix XenApp environment. I described the options and settings for Administrators and Published Application. In the upcoming article I will continue with the other available configuration options.
It you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to: