Installing and Configuring Citrix XenApp 7.5 and publishing Desktops and Applications

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On March 26, 2014, Citrix puts XenApp back on the market with the release of Citrix XenApp 7.5. This version of XenApp does not use the Independent Management Architecture (IMA) anymore like in previous versions but use the same FlexCast Management Architecture that XenDesktop use. What’s also new is in XenApp 7.5 is Cloud deployments, Full AppDNA support, Additional virtualization resource support, like VMWare vSphere 5.5, and the support for Web Interface 5.4 is back (XenDesktop 7.x didn’t support the Web Interface).

The installation of XenApp 7.5 and the XenDesktop 7.5 are almost the same. In this blog I show you the step-by-step instructions how to install XenApp 7.5, including the Delivery Controller, the Virtual Delivery Agent on a Windows 2012 R2 system, creating a Site, a Machine Catalog and the Delivery group to publish a shared Desktop and Applications.http://www.robinhobo.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif

I will use my current Citrix License Server, Citrix StoreFront Server and my Microsoft SQL Server within my environment.

XenApp 7.5 Preparations

For Citrix XenApp 7.5 you need to take the following preparations within your environment;

  • Citrix License Server 11.11.1 or higher with the required licenses installed
  • A “Master” machine for use with PVS or MCS, alternatively you can install the server(s) manually
  • A Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 or higher installed, alternatively you can install SQL Express during the XenApp installation
  • Citrix StoreFront or Webinterface server for the provision of the Desktops and/or Applications installed
  • Created security groups to assign desktops and applications to users

XenApp 7.5 Prerequisites

Citrix XenApp 7.5 Delivery Controller;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (only when installing on Server 2008 R2)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0 (for Server 2008 R2) or Windows PowerShell 3.0 (for Server 2012)
  • Visual C++ 2005
  • Visual C++ 2008 SP1
  • Visual C++ 2010

Citrix XenApp 7.5 Studio;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (only when installing on Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
  • Microsoft Management Console 3.0
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0 (for Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7) or Windows PowerShell 3.0 (for Server 2012/2012 R2 or Windows 8 / 8.1)

Citrix XenApp 7.5 Director;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 and ASP.NET 2.0

Citrix XenApp 7.5 Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) for Windows Desktop OS;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (only when installing on Windows 7 SP1)
  •  Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
  • Visual C++ 2010

Citrix XenApp 7.5 Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) for Windows Server OS;

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (only when installing on Server 2008 R2)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1
  • Visual C++ 2005
  • Visual C++ 2008
  • Visual C++ 2010

Installing Citrix XenApp 7.5 Delivery Controller

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Start the installation and click Start (next to XenApp)

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Click on Delivery Controller

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Select I have read, understand, and accept the terms of the license agreement and click Next

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I have already installed StoreFront and the License Server on a separate server so I select only the Delivery Controller, the Studio and the Director. Click Next

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I have Microsoft SQL Server 2012 already up and running in my environment so I select only Windows Remote Assistance. Click Next.

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Click Next

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Click Install

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Select Launch Studio and click Finish

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Click on Deliver applications and desktops to your users

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Select A fully configured, production-ready Site, enter a Site name and click Next

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Enter the database server and a database name. If the database not exits it will create automatically. Click Test connection

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Click OK

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Click Close

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Click Next

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Enter your Citrix License server and click Connect

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Select the correct license and click Next

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I use Citrix XenServer in my environment. Fill in the requested information of you hypervisor and click Next

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Select  the network you want to use and click Next

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Select the storage you want to use and click Next 

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Click Next

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Click Finish

Installing the Virtual Delivery Agent (VDA) on a Windows 2012 R2 system

Before we continue with the configuration of the delivery controller, lets first install the VDA Agent on a separate Windows 2012 R2 server so that we can use it later to add it to the delivery group.

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Start the XenApp / XenDesktop setup and click on Virtual Delivery Agent for Windows Server OS

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For now I will not use MCS or PVS so I select Enable connections to a server machine and click Next

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Optionally you can install the Citrix Reveiver, click Next

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Fill in the XenApp Delivery Controller FQDN installed in previous steps and click Test connection

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Click Add

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Click Next

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Click Next

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Click Next

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Click Install

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The Windows features like Microsoft Remote Desktop Session Host and the Microsoft Desktop Experience are now installing.

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Click Close to reboot the machine

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After the reboot the setup continues. Click Finish

Creating the Machine Catalog and the Delivery group

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Go back the the Delivery Controller console (Citrix Studio) and click on Set up machines for desktops and applications or remote PC access

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Click Next

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Select Windows Server OS and click Next

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Select what is applicable and click Next

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Click Add VMs (If not using MCS or PVS)

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Add the machine you installed the Agent on in previous steps and click Next

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Fill in a Machine Catalog name and the Machine Catalog description for administrators (anything you like) and click Finish

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Click on Set up Delivery Groups to assign desktops and applications to your users

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Click Next

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Select the catalog and choose the number of machines you want to add to this delivery group. Click Next

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Choose what you want to publish within this delivery group. In this case I will select Desktops and Applications. Click Next

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Add a Active Directory security group or users for this delivery group. In this case the “Shared Desktop” will be published automatic to users that are member of delivery group. Click Next

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XenApp will automatic scan the Windows Server hard disk for applications and will display a list of it. To customize a application or to limit the visibility of the application for a specific security group select the application and click Application Properties

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Optionally. edit the Identification of the application, click on Delivery

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Optionally. edit the icon or the category of the application (Visible within Storefront), click on Location

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Optionally. edit the Locations of the application or add a command line argument, click on Limit Visibility

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If you want to publish the application only to a specific user group add the users or security group and click OK

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Edit and select all the applications you want to publish and click Next

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Optionally you can configure the Citrix Receiver (if installed on the server) with the correct StoreFront server. Click Next

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Fill in the Delivery Group name, Display name and Delivery Group description for users (anything you like) and click Finish

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You are now ready to add the XenApp 7.5 delivery controller to your Citrix StoreFront store.

Logon to StoreFront to see the published desktop and application(s).

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The Shared Desktop from XenApp 7.5.

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The published app Adobe Reader XI within the Readers and Viewers catacory.

Robin Hobo works as a Technical Consultant with main focus on Mobility and Application & Desktop delivery. He is specializes in Citrix, Microsoft and AppSense products.