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TS RemoteApp Programs and Local Ms Office Suite

Posted on 2013-01-09
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Hello All,
 
We intend to deploy a new 3rd party application to both Office based users and Remote home based users.
 
If possible we would like to have a single deployment solution that appears seamless and just another icon on the local desktop.  We intend to have the application installed on a Windows 2008 R2 server and the clients will be Windows 7.
 
The new application is a Legal system and part of the functionality is that it interacts with your MS Office Suite, e.g. you can drag an email from your local Outlook session and drop it on a screen in the Legal application and the email will be copied (or moved) and stored within the Legal application.  I believe the same can be done with other files that you simply browse to using your Local Windows Explorer and then drag & drop.
 
We intend to use TS (RDS) for the remote users and are currently resigned to the fact that for the Remote users we will need to launch a full Remote Desk Top and for the Office users they will use a locally installed Thick Client solution.  The thinking is that if the Office users also used the RDS they would have 2 Outlook sessions running (one locally and one on the RDS session) and this could become untidy and confusing.
 
Having read about TS RemoteApp I am thinking that this could be used to launch the new application in a seamless manner for both remote users and office users giving us the single solution we are looking for?
 
As far as I am aware the new Legal application interacts with the MS Office Outlook Client and not the Exchange end and I also assume it interacts directly with the local Windows Explorer.  I am asking this same question to the supplier of the application but I am not optimistic they have ever tried deploying with TS RemoteApp.
 
The bit I do not fully understand is if it is possible for a TS RemoteApp program to interact with local running apps such as Outlook and Windows Explorer in the way we want it to?  Is it only presented in a seamless manner and appears to be a local app but in fact is in its own little world (like a full remote desktop session) or is it as good as it sounds?
 
If RemoteApp is not going to do what we want is there another solution that could give what I have described; preferably not Citrix based as this is not a solution we have any expertise in.
 
Thank you all for your time.
 
Mark
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Question by:MarkLine
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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have you considered TSPlus?

http://tsplus.net/
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by:Tony1044
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RemoteApp applications share a users session so once they're logged onto one application, providing others are available on the same RDS server they will share the same login.

You seem to say you are planning on using a full desktop? If so normal OLE (sharing data between applications) work as you would expect.

If not then the session sharing should still work between then applications. I say should because there can sometimes, still, be quirks with some apps - I'd do a test if I were you, just to be sure.

A cheaper option than Citrix is 2X - whilst I have no direct experience of them, they get good feedback from colleagues.

I get warnings that the tsplus.net site is malware ridden when I try to go there (different sites, different AV/border products) so you may want to exercise caution.
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by:MarkLine
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Tony1004, Thank you for the input.

Thinking of it more from a Office Users point of view, they are at their desktop logged in as usual and have their Local Outlook up and running.
If they had an Icon on their desktop that launched the Legal application as a RemoteApp they may not be aware they have even started a RDS session and it will only be the Legal app that is running for them in this RDS session.
If they then tried dragging an email from their local Outlook and dropping it on a page in the Legal app, would the Legal app be aware of this and be able to take it like it would in a standard Thick Client installation and in a full Desktop RDS installation (i.e. the RDS session has the Legal app running and the MS Office running).
I hope that clarifies things a little?

I appreciate this would need testing thoroughly but to begin with I am wondering if it is a non-starter to begin with?

I have seen the 2xAppServer mentioned before but again I have no idea if it is capable of the required functionality?

Thanks,
Mark
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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2X Application server provides the same functionality as Citrix (using RDP), but much cheaper, but you still need RDS CALs.

TSPlus is also cheaper, but there is NO REQUIREMENT for RDS CALs!
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Tony1044 earned 500 total points
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Ah yes that does clarify things - no there's no real way with current versions of RDS/RemoteApp that I am aware of, of doing what you want.

I am not sure about 2012 as haven't had a chance to thoroughly sit down and play with it yet.

Citrix - I know you said you wanted to avoid it - can do this kind of thing though, but on the down side it does tend to require complexity and is expensive.

Unfortunately, I can't comment on the 2X offerings as, like I said, I don't have hands on with it, sorry.
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by:MarkLine
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Thanks to Tony1044 for the quick response and follow up.
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