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Publishing a app with Windows 2003 Terminal Services?

Posted on 2008-10-02
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This may be a really bad question, but is it possible to publish just a application with Windows 2003 Terminal Server?  I already have users set up to get a desktop session when they log in but we are testing out a new app and the question came up if its possible to not give the user a desktop but just access to a application only?  I know Citrix will do this but will Windows 2003 Terminal Server and if so, how?  Thanks
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Question by:orlandotommy
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by:cammj
ID: 22630642
You could do what you are trying to achieve with Group Policy

Now from your message I imagine that you are trying to achieve one of these:

You want the user to only see the application they require: It is possible to set the user's shell in Group Policy to be just the application you require for them to use. This wouldnt provide them the usual "explorer" interface.

You want to deploy them an application: You can do this in Group Policy, under User/Software you can deploy/publish an .msi to the user.
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by:Herrmannator
ID: 22631331
I use Citrix for published apps, but here are some ideas:  To start, you could use a mandatory profile with highly restricted access, then:
check out the options under Admin Tools-->Terminal Services Configurations-->Connections-->RDP-tcp-->Properties-->Environment Tab.   Notice there are options to lauch a program if that would meet your needs.
You could similarly use "Remote Desktop Connections" interface to configure which program launches, so could have 10 entries each pointing at same server but a different app.
Another option (if using a published desktop) is to use a logon script to build a Start Menu on the fly each time someone logs in.  This way user only get start menu options for the programs for which they are AD group members, for example.  You would also restict file system access using the same AD groups for those apps.
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tigermatt earned 2000 total points
ID: 22631608
No. Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services does not allow you to virtualise and push single applications out to users. I think cammj has got the wrong impression from what you are trying to do here, because Group Policy won't work either. It simply isn't possible in 2003 unless you use Citrix.

Windows Server 2008, on the other hand, DOES have the ability for you to virtualise and remotely launch single applications. It's known as Terminal Services RemoteApp, and when combined with its Terminal Services WebAccess feature, you get a nice interface where users simply go to a website and choose the RemoteApp program they wish to launch. This then means that program is virtualised from the TS and behaves as if it were run on the TS, but the user sees it as just another program which appears to be running local on their system.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753844.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771908.aspx

-tigermatt
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by:Herrmannator
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by:Bart-man
ID: 24984067
You can configure an RDP session to the Terminal Server to automatically launch a program on connection. Then, when the user exits the application, the TS session is logged off automatically. The user never sees a desktop.
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