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Recommendations on helping users with the changes in Citrix receiver 3.X to Receiver 4.X

Posted on 2014-02-16
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Last Modified: 2014-03-09
We recently encountered a number of issues with HDX and a few other minor components in our XenApp 6.5 farm. All of which has since been rectified by upgrading to Receiver 4.1 and applying some limited hotfixes from Citrix support.

I have also been advised to deploy the new Storefront Host to replace our CWI 5.2 host.

My challenge now is that with changes in the 2 receiver versions (3.x & 4.x) and the changes between the old CWI & the new Storefront, there is no more PNAgent, meaning no more desktop/ start menu shortcuts. It's all done through the Dazzle interface. So to me it's as big of a change as when Citrix replaced the old program neighbourhood with the PNAgent.

For anyone with half a brain that's not such a big deal. But unfortunately there is that other half who do not appreciate change. Meaning people like me need to either find a way to educate the new way, or find a work-around to minimise the impact to the user.

FYI, 90% of our users run thin clients (receiver 3.4) non are connected to the domain. They all have the URL to our CWI in their registry. When they turn on, the users enter their credentials and it publishes their published Desktop link to the client.

They users launch their published desktop and are connected to any of 8 desktop hosts.
Each of these hosts has the Receiver 3.4 installed. pass through authentication then publishes the links to any role specific apps into the users start menu. These role specific apps are hosted on 4 XenApp 6.5 hosts dedicated to running the apps only.

I have installed receiver 4.1 on a test XenApp host. The most obvious thing is that the shortcuts to any role specific apps disappear due to no more PNAgent. Is there any way to replicate how this used to appear with the new receiver? From what I can tell, you can only launch them from the Dazzle window when you launch the receiver. I am hoping I am wrong.
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Question by:Howzatt
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8 Comments
 
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by:compdigit44
compdigit44 earned 500 total points
ID: 39866095
I feel you pain...

I have heard that in version XenApp 7.5 Citrix brought back the CIW!!!

If you cannot upgrade to 7.5 you could setup a GPO to create a shortcut on users desktop that would bring them to the web interface of your citrix farm...
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by:Howzatt
ID: 39866365
Serious? Doesn't say much for the Storefront then. Now I am wondering if I should use the storefront at all.

I think I will hold back on 7.5 for a while. It's taken long enough for Citrix to resolve the bugs in XA65. It was the same with XA6. If I see good feedback from customers then I'll have a look at it.

Do you know when 7.5 is due for release?
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by:compdigit44
ID: 39868812
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39869104
Cool, I thought it was still a few weeks away. Perhaps it's another few weeks until the the SA on our licensing kicks in and I can see it in our Citrix account. As it's not in there yet.

As mentioned though, I wont me moving to XA75 anytime soon. I have spent a large chunk of the past 6 months designing and migrating users to the XA65 farm (from XA5). I would probably lose my job if I decided to scrap it all and start again already :)

Also I will wait to see what other customers experience with XA75 before I jump in.
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by:compdigit44
ID: 39870136
I hear what you are saying about waiting and seeing how things work out with XenApp 7.5...

For now I think your best bet is to train you users to use the web interface only...
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39881619
If the users have launched their published desktop from the WI on their client, then log into the WI again when inside their published desktop to access their published apps, then wouldn't the WI kick the original WI session off the users client? hence closing the published desktop?
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Author Comment

by:Howzatt
ID: 39881639
If I decided to keep Receiver Enterprise 3.4 installed on the XenApp Hosts (to publish the role specific apps to the users published desktop), what is the disadvantage of using this over Receiver 4.1?

I will be keeping Receiver 4.1 installed on all of the client devices as its the only way to resolve some previous HDX issues.
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compdigit44 earned 500 total points
ID: 39882889
You are going to need to test this in a lab but I believe you can set Citrix to allow multiple connections from a users...

In regards to loading an older Citrix Reciver on your servers this *shouldn't* be an issue but each environment is unique and each setting must be tested...

http://www.jasonsamuel.com/2013/02/05/how-to-launch-multiple-sessions-of-a-xenapp-6-5-application-without-stealing-the-original-session/
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