The Connector enables you to use Configuration Manager to:
Watch this video for a high-level overview of the value the Citrix Connector can bring to your organization.
After the Connector publishes an application to a Citrix Delivery Site, moving it in Citrix Studio to a different administrative folder prevents the Connector from maintaining the desired state of the publication and any changes made to the publication through Configuration Manager will fail. The Connector publishing task throws an exception for that publication only. To work around this issue, do not use Studio to move an application after the Connector publishes it. [#500630]
To work around these issues, install the missing console extension.
This section summarizes the XenApp and XenDesktop infrastructure concepts which are essential to understanding how Citrix Connector works and how it differs from XenApp 6.5 Connector.
Supported versions of XenApp and XenDesktop use a combination of machine catalogs and Delivery Groups to organize resources. XenApp 6.5 uses folders and worker groups to organize applications and servers.
Machine catalogs are a collection of machines that share the same configuration, including operating system, applications, or desktop mode.
The Connector synchronizes each machine catalog into Configuration Manager as a device collection so you can deploy applications to them.
The machines in a machine catalog are the XenApp or XenDesktop workers, also referred to as session machines. For Provisioning Services and Machine Creation Services (MCS), machine catalogs include the VMs for the master images and the machine clones.
Delivery Groups define the applications and virtual desktops that a set of users can access. Delivery Groups also control which machine catalogs provide applications and desktops to users. The relationship between machine catalog types and Delivery Groups is described in the documentation for XenApp and XenDesktop.
The Connector synchronizes each Delivery Group into Configuration Manager as a user collection.
The following figure shows how the machine catalogs and Delivery Groups managed by XenApp and XenDesktop relate to Configuration Manager when used with the Connector.
XenApp and XenDesktop provide centralized image management, enabling you to manage a single master image and provision from it many session machines, also referred to as machine clones.
A master image is a virtual hard disk that contains the OS. A master image is used by a provisioning technology to create the machines that provide applications and desktops to your users. Depending on the provisioning technology used, the master image can also be used to create a machine to host applications and desktops.
A Citrix administrator selects a provisioning method when creating a machine catalog in XenApp or XenDesktop. The Connector supports each of these methods.
The following diagram shows the relationships between provisioned assets, Configuration Manager, and XenApp or XenDesktop.
The following diagram shows the components used in a Citrix Connector solution. The topics in this section describe each component.
Citrix Connector service is the bridge between a XenApp or XenDesktop (Citrix) Delivery Site and Configuration Manager. The Connector service:
The Configuration Manager console extension enables the Configuration Manager console to work seamlessly with XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 or 7.5, as well as with XenApp 6.5. The Connector adds items to the Configuration Manager console such as:
The Connector also adds a Citrix Delivery Sites node under Assets and Compliance > User Collections. That node includes Citrix Delivery Groups.
The Citrix Connector agent runs on Desktop OS and Server OS machines that are members of Citrix machine catalogs. The Connector agent handles application and software update installation by coordinating with the Configuration Manager idle policy feature. The Connector agent also orchestrates deployments for Server OS machines that are managed by Provisioning Services or manually.
The Citrix deployment handler is an optional component that is required only to deploy Citrix hosted applications to the Configuration Manager Application Catalog or Software Center on devices managed by Configuration Manager. In that scenario the Citrix XenApp 7.5 and XenDesktop 7.5 deployment type must have the highest priority.
The Citrix deployment handler works with the Configuration Manager client as follows:
Citrix policies configure how the Connector agent handles items such as advanced warning messages and forced logoff messages for Server OS machine catalogs that are managed by Provisioning Services or manually. There is also a policy that configures the Connector agent maintenance frequency.
All Connector policies have default settings. Be sure to review the defaults to verify that they are appropriate for your environment. For setting descriptions and defaults, see Connector for Configuration Manager Policy Settings.
The XenApp or XenDesktop VDA communicates with Delivery Controllers that manage user connections. The VDA enables Connector to obtain information about an image, such as its provisioning type, whether it is a master image, and whether the OS image is out of date.
Provisioning Services allows computers to be provisioned and re-provisioned in real-time from a single shared-disk image. The Connector agent running on a production vDisk image detects when a new vDisk image is available and delivers the new image during the next maintenance window. The Provisioning Services agent is required only for shared images and must be installed on the master vDisk image.
On devices that are not managed by Configuration Manager, users access virtual desktops and applications in Receiver from stores managed by StoreFront. The Connector works with Receiver on all user devices supported by XenApp or XenDesktop. The Connector also works with the Web Interface version supported by XenApp or XenDesktop.
On devices that are managed by Configuration Manager, users can access applications from the Configuration Manager Application Catalog and Software Center. Although users will not see Receiver in this scenario, the Connector requires StoreFront use with Receiver on managed devices. StoreFront provides application icons to Configuration Manager Application Catalog and Software Center.