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Welcome back to our Launch Series. It’s Day Fourteen which means that there’s just over a week to go! Today we’re continuing on with our look at various Remote Desktop Services components. Our subject: RemoteApp and Desktop Connection. In Windows Server 2008, RemoteApp was introduced to deploy RDS applications to users, and to seamlessly integrate those applications into the users’ desktops so they would appear as if they were running locally. In addition, TS Web Access provided a single web page to access all RemoteApp applications and session-based desktops. Those capabilities have been expanded in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 into a new framework for deploying RemoteApps, session-based desktops, and virtual machine-based desktops to users called “RemoteApp and Desktop Connection.
With RemoteApp and Desktop Connection, administrators can create an aggregated and customized view of RemoteApps and desktops and assign them to users. Users can then access the RemoteApps and desktops from the RD Web Access portal, or subscribe to a web feed which will seamlessly integrate them into a Windows 7 Start menu and automatically update the list as published applications and desktops change. Additionally, administrators can deploy the RemoteApps and desktops directly to users using a variety of methods.
There is no single component that provides RemoteApp and Desktop Connection functionality. Rather, various aspects of RemoteApp and Desktop Connection functionality are provided by specialized RDS role services and other components including:
Let’s walk through the configuration of a RemoteApp and Desktop Connection web feed via the control panel.
Alternatively, administrators can configure a Workspace Configuration File (.wcx) from an RD Connection Broker server and distribute it to Windows 7 users in their organization. The .wcx file can be distributed in a number of ways, including via login scripts. Let’s quickly walk through the process to create a configuration file. A quick note here - you will need to either be a member of the local Administrators group (or have equivalent privileges) on the RD Connection Broker server. OK, let’s go through the steps:
After the RemoteApp and Desktop Connection web feed has been configured, a new Program Group – RemoteApp and Desktop Connections – appears in the Start menu.
So that’s how you configure the connection – let’s go over how you assign applications to users. To assign users to a RemoteApp program, the Remote Desktop Session Host server on which the RemoteApp program is configured must be a member of an Active Directory domain. You will need Administrator privileges on the RD Session Host server in order to configure the RemoteApp assignments. In addition – to run the RemoteApp program the user’s account must be a member of the Remote Desktop Users group on the RD Session Host server. OK – so here’s the breakdown:
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, RDC 7.0 provides a new notification area icon that shows the connectivity status to all of the active RemoteApp and Desktop Connections for a user. The icon itself only appears when the users is currently connected to at least one RemoteApp and Desktop Connection.
Users can use the new icon to identify when they are connected to a RemoteApp and Desktop Connection, to disconnect from one or all of their RemoteApp and Desktop Connections, or to launch the control panel applet for RemoteApp and Desktop Connections as shown below:
And with that, we’ve come to the end of our post. It looks like a long post, but there’s lots of screenshots! Don Geddes will be here tomorrow with a look at RD Connection Broker. See you tomorrow!
- Dane Smart
I recently attended one of the "New Efficiency" events in which this feature was demoed and thought it would be quite useful for some of the applications we use. But they didn't really go through the licensing details...would you be able to elaborate on this? Is a Windows 2008 license all that's necessary to run it or do we need Terminal Services licenses for every user that connects?
Is it necessary to enable virtualization on the R2 Server if I am only providing RemoteApps? Will there be any performance hits if it is disabled?
Great writeup. Are there any Webcasts that deal with this? You can reach me at email@example.com
I have a connection broker and two session hosts (identically configured). A hardware load balancer is front-ending the VIP for the farm. The certs used for signing the apps are the same as the cert installed on the broker. SSO is working great when using RDWeb, however, when I select an app from a Windows 7 machine using the Start-> "Remote App and Desktop Connections" shortcuts, I am prompted for credentials.