Optimize the user experience

StoreFront includes features designed to enhance the user experience. These features are configured by default when you create new stores and their associated Citrix Receiver for Web sites, Desktop Appliance sites, and XenApp Services URLs.

Workspace control

As users move between devices, workspace control ensures that the applications they are using follow them. Users can keep working with the same application instances across multiple devices rather than having to restart all their applications each time they log on to a new device. This enables, for example, clinicians in hospitals to save time as they move from workstation to workstation accessing patient data.

Workspace control is enabled by default for Citrix Receiver for Web sites and connections to stores through XenApp Services URLs. When users log on, they are automatically reconnected to any applications that they left running. For example, consider a user logging on to a store, either through the Citrix Receiver for Web site or the XenApp Services URL, and starting some applications. If the user then logs on to the same store using the same access method but on a different device, the running applications are automatically transferred to the new device. All the applications that the user starts from a particular store are automatically disconnected, but not shut down, when the user logs off from that store. In the case of Citrix Receiver for Web sites, the same browser must be used to log on, start the applications, and log off.

Workspace control for XenApp Services URLs cannot be configured or disabled. For more information about configuring workspace control for Citrix Receiver for Web sites, see Configure workspace control.

Use of workspace control on Citrix Receiver for Web sites is subject to the following requirements and restrictions.

  • Workspace control is not available when Citrix Receiver for Web sites are accessed from hosted desktops and applications.
  • For users accessing Citrix Receiver for Web sites from Windows devices, workspace control is only enabled if the site can detect that Citrix Receiver is installed on users’ devices or if Citrix Receiver for HTML5 is used to access resources.
  • To reconnect to disconnected applications, users accessing Citrix Receiver for Web sites through Internet Explorer must add the site to the Local intranet or Trusted sites zones.
  • If there is only one desktop available for a user on a Citrix Receiver for Web site that is configured to start single desktops automatically when the user logs on, that user’s applications are not reconnected, regardless of the workspace control configuration.
  • Users must disconnect from their applications using the same browser that was originally used to start them. Resources started using a different browser or started locally from the desktop or Start menu using Citrix Receiver cannot be disconnected or shut down by Citrix Receiver for Web sites.

Content redirection

Where users have subscribed to the appropriate application, content redirection enables local files on users’ devices to be opened using subscribed applications. To enable redirection of local files, associate the application with the required file types in XenDesktop or XenApp. File type association is enabled by default for new stores. For more information, see Disable file type association.

User changed password

You can enable Citrix Receiver for Web site users logging on with Microsoft Active Directory domain credentials to change their passwords at any time. Alternatively, you can restrict password changes to users whose passwords have expired. This means you can ensure that users are never prevented from accessing their desktops and applications by an expired password.

If you enable Citrix Receiver for Web site users to change their passwords at any time, local users whose passwords are about to expire are shown a warning when they log on. By default, the notification period for a user is determined by the applicable Windows policy setting. Password expiry warnings are only displayed to users connecting from the internal network. For more information about enabling users to change their passwords, see Configure the authentication service.

Users logging on to Desktop Appliance sites can only change expired passwords, even if you enable users to change their passwords at any time. Desktop Appliance sites do not provide controls to enable users to change their passwords after they have logged on.

When you create the authentication service, the default configuration prevents Citrix Receiver for Web site users from changing their passwords, even if the passwords have expired. If you decide to enable this feature, ensure that the policies for the domains containing your servers do not prevent users from changing their passwords. StoreFront must be able to contact the domain controller to change users’ passwords.

Enabling users to change their passwords exposes sensitive security functions to anyone who can access any of the stores that use the authentication service. If your organization has a security policy that reserves user password change functions for internal use only, ensure that none of the stores are accessible from outside your corporate network.

Citrix Receiver for Web site desktop and application views

When both desktops and applications are available from a Citrix Receiver for Web site, the site displays separate desktop and application views by default. Users see the desktop view first when they log on to the site. Regardless of whether applications are also available from a Citrix Receiver for Web site, if only a single desktop is available for a user, the site starts that desktop automatically when the user logs on. You can configure which views appear for your sites and prevent Citrix Receiver for Web sites from automatically starting desktops for users. For more information, see Configure how resources are displayed for users.

The behavior of the views on Citrix Receiver for Web sites depends on the types of resources being delivered. For example, users must subscribe to applications before they appear in the application view, whereas all the desktops available to a user are automatically displayed in the desktop view. For this reason, users cannot remove desktops from the desktop view and cannot reorganize them by dragging and dropping the icons. When desktop restarts are enabled by the XenDesktop administrator, controls that enable users to restart their desktops are provided in the desktop view. If users have access to multiple instances of a desktop from a single desktop group, Citrix Receiver for Web sites differentiate the desktops for users by appending numerical suffixes to the desktop names.

For users connecting to stores within Citrix Receiver or through XenApp Services URLs, the way in which desktops and applications are displayed, and their behavior, is determined by the Citrix client being used.

Additional recommendations

When delivering applications with XenDesktop and XenApp, consider the following options to enhance the experience for users when they access their applications through your stores. For more information about delivering applications, see Create a Delivery Group application.

  • Organize applications into folders to make it easier for users to find what they need when browsing through the available resources. The folders you create in XenDesktop and XenApp appear as categories in Citrix Receiver. You could, for example, group applications according to type or, alternatively, create folders for different user roles in your organization.
  • Ensure that you include meaningful descriptions when you deliver applications, as these descriptions are visible to users in Citrix Receiver.
  • You can specify that all users have a core set of applications that cannot be removed from the Citrix Receiver home screen by appending the string KEYWORDS:Mandatory to the application description. Users can still use the self-service UI to add more applications or remove nonmandatory applications.
  • You can automatically subscribe all users of a store to an application by appending the string KEYWORDS:Auto to the description you provide when you deliver the application. When users log on to the store, the application is automatically provisioned without users needing to manually subscribe.
  • To automatically subscribe all users of a store to a web or software-as-a-service (SaaS) application managed by App Controller, select the App is available in Citrix Receiver to all users automatically check box when you configure the application settings.
  • Advertise XenDesktop applications to users or make commonly used applications easier to find by listing them in the Featured list in Citrix Receiver. To do this, append the string KEYWORDS:Featured to the application description. Note: Multiple keywords must be separated by spaces only; for example, KEYWORDS:Auto Featured.
  • By default, XenDesktop and XenApp hosted shared desktops are treated like other desktops by Citrix Receiver for Web sites. To change this behavior, append the string KEYWORDS:TreatAsApp to the desktop description. The desktop is displayed in the application views of Citrix Receiver for Web sites rather than the desktop views and users are required to subscribe before they can access the desktop. In addition, the desktop is not automatically started when the user logs on to the Citrix Receiver for Web site and is not accessed with the Desktop Viewer, even if the site is configured to do this for other desktops.
  • For Windows users, you can specify that the locally installed version of an application should be used in preference to the equivalent delivered instance if both are available. To do this, append the string KEYWORDS:prefer=”application” to the application description, where application is either one or more complete words in the name of the local application as given by the shortcut file name, or the absolute path including the executable file name to the local application from the \Start Menu folder. When a user subscribes to an application with this keyword, Citrix Receiver searches for the specified name or path on the user’s device to determine whether the application is already installed locally. If the application is found, Citrix Receiver subscribes the user to the delivered application, but does not create a shortcut. When the user starts the delivered application from Citrix Receiver, the locally installed instance runs instead. For more information, see Configure application delivery.
Optimize the user experience