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Windows 2008 R2 - Remote App - making it available through an RDP link

I have taken the following from the following link:
ttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc730673(WS.10).aspx

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Create an .rdp file from a RemoteApp program
You can use the RemoteApp Wizard to create an .rdp file from any program in the RemoteApp Programs list.

To create an .rdp file
Start TS RemoteApp Manager. To do this, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, point to Terminal Services, and then click TS RemoteApp Manager.

In the RemoteApp Programs list, click the program that you want to create an .rdp file for. To select multiple programs, press and hold the CTRL key when you click each program name.

In the Actions pane for the program or selected programs, click Create .rdp file.

Note
If you selected multiple programs, the settings described in the rest of this procedure apply to all of the selected programs. A separate .rdp file is created for each program.
On the Welcome to the Remote App Wizard page, click Next.

On the Specify Package Settings page, do the following:

In the Enter the location to save the packages box, accept the default location or click Browse to specify a new location to save the .rdp file.
In the Terminal server settings area, click Change to modify the terminal server or farm name, the RDP port number, and the Require server authentication setting. (For more information about these settings, see Configure terminal server settings.) When you are finished, click OK.
In the TS Gateway settings area, click Change to modify or to configure whether clients will use a TS Gateway server to connect to the target terminal server across a firewall. (For more information about these settings, see Configure TS Gateway settings.) When you are finished, click OK.
Note
For more information about TS Gateway, see the TS Gateway Step-by-Step Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=85872).
To digitally sign the .rdp file, in the Certificate Settings section, click Change to select or to change the certificate to use. Select the certificate that you want to use, and then click OK. (For more information about these settings, see Configure digital signature settings (optional).)
When you are finished, click Next.

On the Review Settings page, click Finish.

When the wizard is finished, the folder where the .rdp file was saved opens in a new window. You can confirm that the .rdp file was created.
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Questions:

1) It seems if I use TS Web Access to 'publish' apps per earlier sections of the above document, I need XP SP3. Do I need XP SP3 if I use the RDP method outlined above?

2) Also after I've created the RDP link, how do I distribute it to the clients? That's not clear here.

a) Do I copy the various RDP files that get created - one for each app - to each user's desktop? If so will they have appropriate names e.g. Office? Adobe?

or

b) Do I make shortcuts on everybody'd desktop and name them  appropriately  e.g. Office, Adobe - and point them to the specific  RDP files that were created in the process outlined above?

3) If there is any choice I want it so that I can manage centrally what shows up on different people's desktops - I don't want to go to each desktop and customize separately? Can I distribute and manage RDP apps from a singe point?
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lineonecorp
Asked:
lineonecorp
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8 Solutions
 
Glen KnightCommented:
Yes, you will need XP SP3 as the newer RDP client is required.

You can distribute the RDP files however you like, manual copy, shared drive, download from website etc.
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick response.  How would the shared drive work? Shortcuts on the desktop? Example: there is an RDP file created for Word and I put it on a network share. I then create a shortcut on the desktop labelled 'Word' pointing to the RDP file on the network share? Is there any more elegant way of distributing such shortcuts?
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Glen KnightCommented:
That's about the size of it.

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upalakshithaCommented:
this virtual lab will helpfull to you
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/bb512925
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I will go through the lab. One final question/clarification before I sign off that I asked above. Is there a more elegant way of distributing the RDP file/shortcut link to individual desktops than individual manual insertion?
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upalakshithaCommented:
this page is little long...able to deploy in two ways. there are all things you need  
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc730673(WS.10).aspx
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Thanks I've read this article. But it doesn't actually talk about distributing the RDP file/link to multiple users in an automated fashion. It only talks about creating the original RDP file.
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Still responding?
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upalakshithaCommented:
did you read whole article ?
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
I thought I did. If there's a part in there that explains how to distribute it and I missed it, please point it out for me. There's reference to putting it on a network share but then I still need the link on each desktop to that share.
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Still on this?
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upalakshithaCommented:
•via a Windows Installer (.MSI) package that can be deployed to users with GPO and will create a program icon on the user's Desktop or Start Menu
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
I wrote:

" There's reference to putting it on a network share but then I still need the link on each desktop to that share."

None of the responses have answered this question. How do I get the shortcut onto everybody's desktop I don't want the MSI install, I don't want to distribute the RDP file itself, I want a shortcut to the share that has the RDP file.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
I recommend the MSI assigned to machines via group policy because it also creates document associations so you can double click on a Word document and have Word open. Otherwise, double-clicking on a document will bring up a Windows dialog asking you which program to use, and Winword won't be one of them.

Otherwise, if you really want to use the RDP files you can use a startup script to copy them to the all users desktop, or a login script to copy to users desktops.
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the distinction. As far as the MSI goes, when a user logs on for the first time does that mean they will have to go through an install and possibly have to respond to prompts?
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kevinhsiehCommented:
No, not is you assign the application to machines in group policy. It does require a reboot of the workstation. Here is the Microsoft article.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816102

If you have a multisite environment, (and even if you don't) I suggest using a domain based DFS namespace for file paths, and DFS replication for deploying the software to mutiple sites. From a DFS namespace perspective, the path would be something like \\domain.local\dfs\software\RemoteApps . That would then point to shares such as \\mainserver1\software\remoteApps and \\remoteserver1\SoftwareRemoteApps . The clients would pick the closest available server to conserve bandwidth and improve the experience when accessing the files for installation. These files are small, so it isn't a big deal, but it is when deploying bigger software packages and distributing other files.
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upalakshithaCommented:
& you can use group policy preference to put .rdp shortcut file on the desktop
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tips.

kevinhsieh:

You write:

"The clients would pick the closest available server to conserve bandwidth"  

I would rather not have the client 'pick' the closest server but it to be automated - based on who the client is they get the app from a specific server. How would I program that?
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kevinhsiehCommented:
When I say pick the closest server, that is selecting the closest file server from which to grab the .msi file for doing the installation. It has nothing to do with RemoteApp.

The RemoteApp installation would be specific to a session host or session host farm.
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the further clarification. I think I might have been confusing when I used the word client - I meant user.  I don't want the user to somehow manually have to choose the closest file server.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
Okay. The user doesn't get to choose servers either.
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lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Great. Thanks.
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