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Amyuni PDF Converter not working on client network when application accessed via Citrix

Posted on 2014-07-18
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Last Modified: 2014-07-31
My application uses the Amyuni PDF Converter software to generate PDF files from reports generated within the application.  The Amyuni software provides the ability to "initialize" a "temporary" print driver on-the-fly and delete it as soon as the PDF file has been created.  Recent client upgrade requests require that my application generate a PDF file from a report, name it (based on a generic "template"), save it and then send it out as an email attachment, all without any user intervention.  This functionality in the Amyuni product requires "run as administrator" authorization and I have been able to incorporate this into my application by embedding a "manifest" file within the application.  This is working on a database server (on client's network) that I have direct access to.  However, the exact same version of my application does NOT work on the client's network when accessing my application via Citrix (on an application server that I have NO access to).  According to the tech support from Amyuni, this should work under Citrix.  Since I don't know much about what Citrix does (or doesn't) do to the operating environment, I'm looking for some help to try and understand why this may be happening and any insight into Citrix that anyone might be able to share with me to help resolve this dilemma.  I put up a Citrix question a while back and "Coralon" appears to be at least one of the resident experts on Citrix, so hopefully he/she sees this question and has some suggestions.
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Question by:Jim Klocksin
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by:joharder
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If you can get some help from someone that's an admin on the Citrix servers, please ask them to check which Amyuni printer driver is installed on the servers.  Just enter printui /s and look at the drivers tab.  

If the Amyuni driver isn't the platform and/or version you require, that could explain your issue.  I once saw that an NT4 kernel-based Amyuni driver had gotten installed, and that was the cause of some issues.

Assuming all is well there, the script or procedure that you outline would likely require admin privileges in the Citrix environment as well.  It's highly unlikely that standard users will be given admin rights in the Citrix environment, but it may be possible to write a script that performs these activities with elevated privileges (maybe a service account that has admin privileges?)

If all else fails, you should ask a Citrix administrator to run a Process Monitor trace when this activity is initiated in order to find which specific action is failing.  Keep the ProcMon as short as possible so that you have fewer entries to review.
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by:Jim Klocksin
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Based on your profile, you are obviously well versed in Citrix and I appreciate your response.  Problem is, I don't think you understood my situation (maybe I wasn't clear enough!?).  At any rate, I CAN NOT get any help from anyone in my client's IT department AND my approach is to NOT install any permanent Amyuni PDF Print Driver, which basically makes your suggestions moot!  Since my application works fine on my client's network from a "remote desktop" that I have control over, the program has the necessary "administrative" rights to "create" and "delete" the "temporary" Amyuni Print Driver that allows my application to perform the requested functionality update.  My real question here is what in the Citrix setup could "override" my application's ability to elevate the user's rights to cause this not to work.  In a nutshell, in order to "initialize" the temporary Amyuni Print Driver, the user must have "administrative level" access.  My application grants this to all the standard users (using the "embedded manifest" file...).  It appears (to me) that something in Citrix is NEGATING my application's efforts.
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by:joharder
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First, the Amyuni driver must be installed on the Citrix server for this to work.  And, there may be a requirement for a specific version of the driver.

Depending on the setup on the Citrix side, even if the Amyuni printer is installed, the user may not have rights to use it.  So, in answer to your question, yes, the Citrix setup could override your configuration, and that's likely what's happening.

Because the data within Citrix sessions is not visible to the user, you don't have a good way to tackle this from the client side.  If you have access to a published/hosted desktop, you may be able to see some additional data points.  However, access to those data points is almost always locked down.
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by:Jim Klocksin
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I still don't have any clear idea as to what I can or cannot do to resolve this situation.  I'm getting slightly different responses from Amyuni Tech Support vs. Experts Exchange, so I can't really accept any answer as a solution at this point.  The latest that I received from Amyuni Tech Support is the following:
I went over your situation with a number of people here and this is what we have come up that may assist you.
I need to point out that our specifications clearly state that in order to install the printer (PDFDriverInit() basically does this), the logged in user needs to be have administrator  privileges on the system.  This being said, the comments below may help you with your situation. If they don’t then is unfortunately nothing else we can offer.
Our printer drivers are certified “Citrix Ready” and this means that the printer driver can be installed on both the Citrix client and Citrix server. What we suggest is that you add the Amyuni printer driver to both the client and server.
By printer driver we are referring to “Print Server Properties => Drivers=> Add” ands not installing the printer using install.exe. This process will only add the printer driver to the system and the printer will only be visible during the duration of PDFDriverInit() being executed.

Based on their response, I'm really not sure whether or not I can use the PDFDriverInit() function and I'm not clear on how I should implement it if I can (in fact) use it!?  So, at the moment, for me this is still an open issue.  If there's a way to put this question "on-hold" for now, please let me know, since I don't think I'm going to have the time to pursue this (due to other business committments).
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joharder earned 500 total points
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I know you stated previously that getting help from the Citrix admin wasn't possible, but without the assistance of that person, you can't install that driver on the Citrix server.  The driver is required in order to use PDFDriverInit().
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by:Jim Klocksin
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My client that needs this functionality has "lowered" his priority on this specific change, so I would rather "table" this question/problem and "re-submit" it whenever the client's priority on this changes.  That being said I would like to be able to provide this functionality which would essentially require an all-out battle with the corporation's IT department.  With the right support, I may be able to get some cooperation, but I've decided to fight that battle when this becomes more of a priority for my client (basic problem is that their SOP has already installed Adobe as their PDF generator, but I can't do the totally automated process that my client is looking for using Adobe, and corporate IT is NOT willing to install another PDF generating package on their application server desktops...).  For now, it "appears" that the most recent response from "joharder" is true and I would have to (in one way or another, based on Amyuni Tech Support's response) have to install the driver on the Citrix server to get this functionality to work.  For that reason, I'm accepting his last response as "a solution"...
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jim Klocksin
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Since I'm still getting some conflicting information on this issue, I really don't know what will or will not work.  Nevertheless, at this point, I have to go with this resolution for now at least.
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