Citrix Connector for System Center Configuration Manager 2007

Source; http://blogs.technet.com/b/systemcenter/archive/2010/07/01/citrix-connector-for-system-center-configuration-manager-2007.aspx

Microsoft have recently jointly released the Citrix connector for ConfigMgr 2007.  Through this release, the ConfigMgr SDK has been used to extend and support the management of application services through XenApp.  Very cool indeed.

Here is the announcement. Links are below.

Citrix® XenApp™ 6 introduces integration with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 giving organizations a single, integrated view and management of all applications across the enterprise including on-demand apps by XenApp. The Citrix XenApp Connector leverages the Configuration Manager console to deploy and publish applications and updates to XenApp servers with zero disruption to users and extends the reach of Configuration Manager applications to a broader set of users, devices and access scenarios

Some resources for you:

  • Jointly authored whitepaper is available here
  • A Video Demo can be viewed here

Technical Preview Citrix XenApp 6 for Windows Server 2008 R2

The Technology Preview of Citrix XenApp for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 is now available for

Download here; http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/feature.asp?contentID=1854441
(You will need a Citrix login)

New features :

More users, faster logons – Get up to 20% more users per server with XenApp on the R2 platform and faster logons with new Profile management streaming technology that improves user profile load times by up to 80%.

Seamless management integration – Role-based installation wizards, a new unified application management console, management through Active Directory group policies and support for PowerShell 2.0 help you deploy, configure and automate XenApp faster and easier than ever before.

More apps in HDX – HDX RealTime now delivers high quality audio using up to 90% less bandwidth and enables video conferencing using Microsoft Office Communicator or teleconferencing using VoIP softphones. New HDX Plug-n-Play support for Windows portable USB devices lets users connect more of the devices they need to the applications they use including point-of-sale, webcams, scanners, digital cameras and more.

Self-service application delivery – Citrix Dazzle, the first self-service “storefront” for the enterprise, gives corporate employees 24×7 access to the applications they need to work. Citrix Streaming technology with Windows service isolation and Microsoft App-V integration provide new options for delivering more applications to your users.

Complete mobility – New plug-ins as well as updated Receivers for Windows, iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile keep business moving by enabling complete mobility and freedom to access enterprise applications from anywhere.

The Delivery Services Console provides a streamlined interface for performing a number of management functions. As with the Access Management Console in previous versions of XenApp, you can manage components administered through other Citrix products, such as Citrix Secure Access and Citrix Single Sign-On. For Citrix XenApp, you can set up and monitor servers, server farms, published resources, and sessions.

Streamlined design

The Delivery Services Console conforms to the console design standards in Windows Server 2008 R2. As with other Windows consoles, the Delivery Services Console includes:

  • a tree pane that provides an overview of the components in your XenApp farm.
  • a results pane that displays views of the items selected in the tree pane. For example, when you select Policies from the tree pane, the results pane displays tabs that show the computer and user policies and settings configured for the farm.
  • an Actions pane that contains all applicable tasks that can be performed on a particular item in the tree and results panes. For example, when you select the Servers folder, the Actions pane displays the tasks you can perform on the folder. When you select a server from the results pane, the Action pane displays the tasks you can perform on the server as well as the folder-level tasks.

Consolidated administration

In previous versions of Citrix XenApp, administering a farm meant using two consoles: the Access Management Console and the Advanced Configuration tool. Administrators had to know which console to use for certain tasks. In this Technical Preview, functions that were previously managed through the Advanced Configuration tool are now managed through the Delivery Services Console. Whether you need to publish applications or configure XenApp policies, you can perform farm administration tasks with one console.

Improved startup and discovery

In previous versions of XenApp, the management console started up slowly and required re-running discovery to display any changes made to the farm. In this Technical Preview, you can improve the console’s startup time by disabling Authenticode signature validation.

As you use the console to administer your XenApp farm, the display refreshes whenever you make a change to the farm or when you press F5. You do not need to re-run discovery to ensure the console display is up-to-date.

Farm Settings and Policies Management

In this Technical Preview, farm properties and XenApp policies are managed through Active Directory Group Policy. Active Directory simplifies XenApp farm management tasks because you can use the same tools you use already to manage your Windows environment. You can:

  • Use the Delivery Services Console to create and configure XenApp policies and run simulations of policy deployment scenarios. Alternatively, you can use the Group Policy Editor to create and configure policies and the Group Policy Management Console to run policy deployment simulations. You can also use the Group Policy Management Console to calculate the resulting set of policies for a specific user or farm server.
  • Use the Advanced Group Policy Manager, if available, to manage XenApp farm and policy settings, delegate administration, and manage changes to group policy objects.
  • Publish applications to server groups or organization units.
  • Provide access to published applications to anonymous users.
  • Delegate farm permissions to other Citrix administrators.
  • Enable zone preference and failover functionality for server groups and organization units, without creating zones.
  • Assign load evaluators to server groups or organization units.

Even though XenApp provides integration with Active Directory, organizations that use another directory service, such as Novell eDirectory, can take advantage of XenApp’s independent policy system and Active Directory SDK to integrate XenApp into their environment and support authenticated users.

Simplified installation

In previous versions of XenApp, the installation process often required pre-installation and post-installation tasks that took more time than the actual installation itself. In this Technical Preview, installing XenApp is much simpler. The XenApp Server Role Manager steps you through the deployment process by:

  • analyzing your computer and installing needed pre-requisites automatically
  • providing additional information about the roles in which XenApp components are grouped and their requirements
  • installing components according to the roles you select
  • providing a task list to help you keep track of your progress in configuring the roles you installed

HDX Enhancements

The XenApp Technical Preview includes several HDX technology enhancements:

  • Support for video conferencing with Office Communications Server 2007
  • New audio codecs and echo cancellation to enhance audio quality in XenApp sessions while reducing bandwidth
  • True multi-monitor support
  • Support for Microsoft Plug-n-Play device redirection so portable devices like MP3 players, digital cameras, and devices with Microsoft POS for .NET can be used in XenApp sessions

Application Streaming Enhancements

  • Service isolation enables you to install services in application profiles so that they run in isolation on user devices. Fully tested applications include Office 2010, Adobe applications, and the Firefox browser.
  • Profiled applications (especially those in Office 2010 and 2007) are no longer packaged in .CAB files. Instead, you can locate the application files in directory subfolders for the application.

Single Sign-On Enhancements

This Technical Preview includes several enhancements to Single sign-on, including:

  • Enhanced Web application definition creation and management functionality
  • Sendkeys functionality for Web, matching existing availability for Windows

For a complete list of enhancements, see http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xenapp6-w2k8-tp/pm-welcome-features-new-v48.html.

Profile Management Enhancements

The XenApp Technical Preview includes the following enhancements to profile management:

  • Citrix streamed user profiles enable files and folders on the local computer to be synchronized only when they are needed, which speeds up logon and logoff. (Registry entries are cached immediately.)
  • Profiles are synchronized locally after logon as a background system task, without any feedback to users.
  • With active profile write back, files and folders (but not Registry entries) that are modified can be synchronized to the user store in the middle of a session, before logoff.
  • Administrators can now set the computers and groups to be monitored using the Diagnostic Facility in the Daily Management Console. They no longer have to configure logging in the ADM template and force a group policy update (that they may not have permissions for). In addition, new event log messages display the full path to the user store for each user logon.
  • Profile management checks for more errors during installation and, if they are encountered, writes messages to the event log. A new command-line switch installs Profile management without the .ini files that were previously used for configuration.

Announcing App-V 4.6 RC and integration with Office 2010 Beta!

Source: http://blogs.technet.com/softgrid/archive/2009/11/19/announcing-app-v-4-6-rc-and-integration-with-office-2010-beta.aspx

First of all, we are excited to announce the availability of App-V 4.6 RC! In August we announced the App-V 4.6 Beta. Since then we have taken in lots of customer feedback and continue to refine the App-V 4.6 release so that we can deliver a great product!  We invite you to check out the RC release by registering and downloading the App-V 4.6 RC release via Microsoft Connect, where you can also submit feedback directly to the team.

We’re not done though, in addition we’d like to share some great news and also announce our integration with Office 2010 Beta:

Microsoft Office 2010 Beta, Ready to be Sequenced With the Microsoft Office 2010 Beta Deployment Kit for App-V

As you know the Office team just completed a major milestone Microsoft Office 2010 Beta, congrats to the team!  Throughout the process of building Office 2010 the App-V and Office teams have been working very closely to make sequencing Office 2010 Beta possible with App-V 4.6 RC!  We have taken the feedback and requests from post-Office 2007 and App-V 4.5 releases, and have been hard at work implementing a solid integration experience for Office when App-V 4.6 releases in H1 2010.

So what’s Different when using Microsoft Office 2010 Beta and App-V 4.6 RC together?

Office 2010 has introduced a new piracy protection initiative, the Software Protection Platform (SPP) service.  This service uses a machine’s hardware characteristics and product key to activate the installation, which is performed during the first Office application launch.

Since the Office 2010 product activation is linked to the hardware on which Office is originally installed, customers who wish to deploy Office 2010 using App-V must physically install the SPP service on the sequencer machine before beginning the sequencing process – and on any client machines that will stream and run Office 2010.

Our engineering teams have collaborated to address the top customer issues that people were running into when virtualizing past versions of Office.   As a result, Office 2010 has a much more integrated user experience.  The Office 2010 integration delivers key productivity enhancements and a seamless user experience by enabling the following::

· Microsoft SharePoint Integration – You can open, edit, and save Microsoft Office documents using Microsoft SharePoint.

· Microsoft Outlook Fast Search – You can use Microsoft Windows Desktop Search to find specific messages in your inbox.

· MAPI Proxy – You can connect to your inbox using Microsoft Outlook Send To functionality.

· Microsoft Office Document Indexing – You can index your documents so that you can use Microsoft Windows Search to locate files.

· Virtual Mail Control Panel icon – You can use the Email icon in Control Panel to perform advance mail configuration.

· URL protocol handler – You can configure links in the browser and specify the appropriate associated Microsoft Office application.

· Send to Microsoft OneNote Printer driver – You can print documents to Microsoft OneNote.

To help customers facilitate this process, we have created the Microsoft Office 2010 Deployment Kit for App-V (Beta). The Deployment Kit contains both the required SPP licensing component and Office 2010 integration features.

And what’s even more exciting, you can get your hands on it now.

How Do I Sequence Microsoft Office 2010 Beta for App-V 4.6 RC?

1. Download Office 2010 Beta here

2. Download the Microsoft Office 2010 Deployment Kit for App-V (Beta)

3. Download App-V 4.6 RC on Microsoft Connect

4. Read the App-V recipe for sequencing Office 2010 Beta on Microsoft Connect.

For detailed information on whether your environment meets the requirements of Office 2010 and App-V 4.6 RC, please refer to the App-V recipe.

Please note: We are providing a recipe to support the sequencing and testing of these pre-release products on Microsoft Connect.  Please provide feedback via Microsoft Connect, by choosing FEEDBACK once logged into the App-V 4.6 Program.

We look forward to hearing about your App-V 4.6 RC and Office 2010 experience!

Citrix Workflow Studio 2.0

I’m pleased to announce that Workflow Studio 2.0 is now available:

Download Workflow Studio 2.0 (MyCitrix login required)

This release has a number of great new features and is a seamless upgrade from version 1.x. Here are some of the key new features:

  • Native XenApp activity libraries (and many other additional activities)
  • Remote runtimes
  • Simplified management interface
  • Enhanced security features
  • Simplified installation and configuration
  • Improved SDK
  • Simplified workflow Designer
  • Globalization support

I will post some more blogs over the next few days with more details on the above features and will also be updating the CDN site with many new articles, so subscribe to the Workflow Studio blog and head over to the Workflow Studio CDN site and subscribe for updates on CDN as well.

Feel free to leave feedback in comments or email me directly.

Workflow Studio will be included with XenApp Feature Pack 2

Learn more about Citrix XenApp 5 Feature Pack 2