Citrix Storefront 2.1 vs WebInterface 37 Comments

The 2.1 version of Strorefront came along with XenDesktop 7.1. There are few changes in this version comparing to the previous one and on the internal architecture of Storefront Services nothing new (reminder) : So with Storefront 2.1 out since few weeks not, many people requested an updated version of my side by side comparison between the WebInterface and StoreFront, so here it is. As always, comments are welcome and sharing your experience might be useful for the others !  

Citrix Storefront 2 (Preview) vs WebInterface 50 Comments

A new version of Strorefront is coming along with XenDesktop 7. There are a lot of change in this version comparing to the previous one but first here is a quick internal architecture of Storefront Services : What have changed with Storefront ? No more external database HTML5 Client improved Desktop Appliance Site Session pre-launch (for XenApp 6.5) International language support IPV6 Integrated smart card authentication Auth SDK Integrated with XenDesktop 7 Installer Management from Desktop Studio And after few week of test, I must admit this version is much faster then the 1.x versions. The fact Storefront doesn't need a SQL database is a major point on the architecture point, high availability and management side. Here is the installation step screenshots :         And an updated side by side comparison with Citrix WebInterface 5.4 :

WebInterface vs Receiver Storefront (CloudGateway) 23 Comments

CloudGateway is here to replace the good old WebInterface (end of support 2015) as WebInterface is one product, CloudGateway is a marketing name for several products : CloudGateway Express (Free) = Receiver Storefront + Access Gateway VPX CloudGateway Enterprise ($$$) = Receiver Storefront + Access Gateway + AppController If we want to compare the WebInterface to one of this component, that will be Receiver Storefront. This blog idea originally comes from Thomas Koetzing (CTP) blog post last year : Web Interface replaced by Citrix Cloud Gateway and I made several presentation about CloudGateway based on the table he build. I tried to maintain this table up to date with the new releases of Receiver Storefront. What is CloudGateway Citrix definition : Citrix CloudGateway is an enterprise mobility management solution that aggregates, controls and delivers Windows, web, SaaS and mobile apps, and data, to any device, anywhere. CloudGateway provides end-users with a unified single point of access and self-service to all of their business apps on any device anywhere. It also provides IT with a comprehensive single point of aggregation and control for all apps, data, devices and identities. CloudGateway helps IT and users Deliver all apps. Go beyond Windows apps to aggregate, control and deliver all apps including web, SaaS, mobile apps and data. Unified—not siloed. IT no longer needs to create and manage individual/soloed processes and tools to add new devices, user types and apps. Regain control and eliminate chaos. IT can manage and secure corporate IP, apps and data by unifying and automating controls for apps, devices and identities. Empower users by giving them every app they need in a unified, self-service app catalog that is available from any device, anywhere. My point of view is CloudGateway came too early on the market and WebInterface death have been announced too fast. With the lake of feature integrated in Receiver Storefront, the adoption by IT and companies will be slow. Citrix should have introduce a more feature complete product, of course Citrix needs to move fast and evolve as fast as possible to lead the market but simple fast make me think Citrix is big, way too big to move as fast as they were use to : New NetScaler 10 still include WebInterface instead of Receiver Storefront Citrix App Studio allow to provision WebInterface, no Receiver Storefront yet... Why's that ? Because Receiver Storefront is not mature for all our existing customer…

Receiver Storefront – adding a server to a server group 3 Comments

As I'm going through high availability architecture design for some customer with CloudGateway features, Receiver Storefront, I wanted to try in my XenServer @ home lab the "Join existing server group" option build in Receiver Storefront when you launch it for the first time. My first server already setup is SUOMIWEB02 and I want to install Receiver Storefront on the server SUOMIWEB01 which actually host my WebInterface 5.4. Since Receiver Storefront 1.1 you can install it on the same server as the WebInterface (for migration purpose). You can find bellow a brief description about what's new in the 1.1 version. What's New in Receiver Storefront 1.1 Pass-through authentication to AppController. Once logged on to Citrix Receiver or Access Gateway, users can access Web and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications through AppController without needing to authenticate again. For more information, see Planning Your Receiver Storefront Deployment. Default support for legacy clients. When you create a new store, access for older clients that support Web Interface XenApp Services sites is enabled by default. For more information, see Configuring Stores. Installation alongside Web Interface. Receiver Storefront can be hosted on the same Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) instance as Web Interface. For more information, see Installing and Setting Up Receiver Storefront. Other Features High availability. You can group your Receiver Storefront servers for increased scalability and fault tolerance. For more information, see Planning Your Receiver Storefront Deployment. Application synchronization. Subscribed desktops and applications follow users from device to device so that they do not need to subscribe to the same resources each time they use a different device. For more information, see Planning Your Receiver Storefront Deployment. Automatically provisioned applications. You can automatically subscribe all users to a core set of applications. For more information, see Integrating Receiver Storefront into Your Environment. One-click client configuration. You can configure Citrix Receiver for your users by making provisioning files available. For more information, see Configuring Stores. I won't explain the installation process again, it's very simple and you can still check it here if you need it : http://www.archy.net/2011/12/31/web-interface-moving-forward-to-receiver-strorefront/ Let's focus on the server I want to add to my existing setup, 1 server hosting Storefront Receiver with an external SQL database. This is the step by step how to you need to follow to do so : On the new Receiver Strorefront (SUOMIWEB01) server : On the existing Receiver Strorefront (SUOMIWEB02) server : On the new…

Citrix WebInterface is dead (soon), welcome CloudGateway ! CloudGateway Express exactly, Citrix Receiver StoreFront precisely... Ok it's a bit complicated :) I suggest you to read this excellent blog about difference between WebInterface and Citrix new Cloud products : Web Interface replaced by Citrix Cloud Gateway written by Thomas Koetzing You can download the Technical Preview here : Citrix CloudGateway Express (MyCitrix account required) The installation process is very easy and smooth, as usual now the installation is taking care of all the roles and features your Windows 2008 R2 will need before beginning the installation of this product. Here are the screenshot of the very simple installation (I continue to post screenshots because many of you don't have time to install everything, at least you'll see it without need to have a VM etc...) This is it, very fast and everything is now install, when you'll click on finish the console to setup Citrix Receiver StroreFront will open. You need to have a database created on a Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 Express or Enterprise. Here is the list of requirement Citrix Server Requirements Receiver Storefront can be used in conjunction with the following product versions. Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 Citrix XenDesktop 5.0 Citrix XenDesktop 4.0 Citrix XenDesktop 3.0 Citrix XenApp 6.5 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Citrix XenApp 6.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 3, for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 3, for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 3, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 3, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 2, for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 2, for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 2, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 2, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 1, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0, with Feature Pack 1, for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Citrix XenApp 5.0 for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Citrix XenApp 4.0, with Feature Pack 2, for…

This new version looks good ! This is far way better than the black dark previous one, 5.0 until 5.3. The first I must do every time I'm deploying a Web Interface is to change the template to something a bit brighter... This version 5.4 bring a "corporate" design and some new functionality : Updated end user interface. The layout and color scheme for end users has been updated to help improve navigation and readability. Session sharing for VM hosted applications. The Web Interface now supports session sharing for Virtual Machine (VM) hosted apps. This feature is only available for seamless applications and non-anonymous users. Multiple desktop access for users. In previous versions of the Web Interface, users could only access a single instance of a desktop per desktop group. Now, users can access multiple instances of desktops in desktop groups. For more information about assigning desktops to users, see the XenDesktop version 5 documentation. Improved smart card support for Access Gateway. Smart card authentication to the Web Interface is now compatible with more environments. The Web Interface can now accept User Principal Names (UPNs) from Access Gateway as well as the user name and domain. Additionally, the Web Interface has been updated to comply with FIPS. This new functionality can only be used with the pass-through authentication for smart card option and you must be logged on as a domain administrator. For more information about configuring smart card support for Access Gateway, see the Access Gateway documentation. Ability to set additional default values. Administrators can configure default values for all bandwidth-related settings, such as audio quality, color depth, bandwidth profile, printer mapping, and window size. ICA File Signing. The Web Interface digitally signs generated ICA files, to allow compatible ICA clients to validate that the file originates from a trusted source. This is what is announce by Citrix here : Web Interface what's new on eDocs Before I begin to dig deeper, here are some screen shots : and for the mobile side, the light edition of the Web Interface, it have been revisited as well : Now, is it really only what's new ? nothing under the hood ? I'm still trying to find out something new while I'm waiting for XenDesktop 5 :) Regarding debugging, the blog I wrote a while ago now is still functional : Web Interface 4.x 5.x Debug Mode Sources : Citrix eDocs…

At one of my customer place, we need to publish mstsc.exe (RDP Client) through XenApp 4.5 on Windows 2008 x64. Users complained about a weird keyboard behaviour. While typing in their session, users stated using shift for the first letter, the second letter was upper case as well. I'va made a quick video to show you this issue, you can watch it bellow :   On the Citrix Web Interface, one ICA file is used as a template for ICA file creation, default.ica. I edited this file to check what was in : In the WFClient (section bellow) I found the line KeyboardTimer=50 which mean at the end of the specified time period the keyboard data are sent to the server. I didn't wanted to modify this value without beeing able to test it before, so I right clicked on the published Remote Desktop icon to download the launch.ica file (generated with the defgault.ica and the 50ms value) saved it and the edited it changing the keyboardTimer value to 25 then 15 then 10 and finnaly 5. I had the issue until the last value 5ms tested. Now I need to make some more test to check if the bandwith consumed is really highter compare with the 50ms default value. I will update this post with the statistics result (Edgesight) Update : 1st July 2010 I've used Citrix Edgesight to check what's going on while I run some test toward ICA Session Traffic and ICA Session I/O. To run this test I created a script which open notepad and type a text (about 30/40 lines) so the same text input will be use for all the tested values. I made this test with KeyboardTimer=50 (default), KeyboardTimer=25 and KeyboardTimer=5 and here are the results :   I did blank the "non needed" data to avoid confusion and as you might notice, there is not a huge difference between these different values. I decided to commit the change for wan users and I will check in deeper statistics will real usage on weeks/month, before/after the change. I wanted to blog this issue because this is an annoying one and you might search a long time around the mstsc configuration, registry tips and tunning before finding out this was the KeyboardTimer value in the default.ica file on the Citrix WebInterface. You can also add the line KeyboardTimer=## (your value) to your WFCLIENT.INI file in your…

This new release introduce new and upgraded features. The new way to administer Citrix Web Interfaces is now completly stand alone (not integrated in AMC anymore) Pass-through with smart card from the Access Gateway. Web Interface for Microsoft Internet Information Services supports pass-through of smart card credentials from the Access Gateway. Now, users logging on to the Access Gateway with a smart card do not need to log on again to access the Web Interface. Support for 32-bit color. The maximum color depth of user sessions increases from 24-bit to 32-bit color in XenApp 6.0. XenApp farm migration. You can configure the Web Interface to hide from users the existence of duplicate applications with identical names and folder locations.  This enables you seamlessly to migrate your existing farms to XenApp 6.0 with no downtime by establishing new farms in parallel to your legacy farms, gradually moving data and applications from the legacy farm to the new one. You can also use the Web Interface to restrict access to the new farm to particular groups of users until the capacity of the new farm has been expanded sufficiently to deal with demand. Multiple launch prevention. In previous releases, users clicking more than once on a resource icon on a XenApp Web site would start multiple instances of the same resource. To address this problem, you can configure resource icons to become inactive for a specific period of time after the user has clicked them. During this time, further clicks are ignored and the cursor changes to indicate that the icon is no longer clickable, preventing the user from starting any further instances of the resource. Support for Windows Server 2008 R2. The Web Interface is supported for installation on Windows Server 2008 R2 as a 32-bit application and is compatible with Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.5. Here is some screenshots :    The past blog about Citrix WebInterface debugging is still usable : http://www.archy.net/2009/09/09/citrix-webinterface-4-x-and-5-x-mode-debug/

Tracing is controlled by editing the web.config file for the site. To cause debug tracing to be written to the file c:\temp\debug.txt, the <trace> section must be updated: <trace autoflush="true"> <listeners> <add initializeData="c:\temp\wi-debug.txt" /> </listeners> </trace> To turn on tracing for a particular category, the <switches> section must be edited: <switches> <add value="1" /> <addFONT-FAMILY: 'Tahoma','sans-serif'; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang=EN-US> Logging" value="1" /> <addFONT-FAMILY: 'Tahoma','sans-serif'; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang=EN-US> EUEM" value="1" /> </switches> A value of switches 1 = tracing on, a value switches 0 =  tracing off.