Product Documentation

Seamless local app integration

May 06, 2015

Because you work with a variety of applications on a day-to-day basis, many of which are installed on individual workstations, you might want your users to access certain, locally installed applications instead of hosting them.

Local App Access seamlessly integrates users' locally installed Windows applications into a hosted desktop environment without changing from one computer to another. With Local App Access, you can:

  • Access applications installed locally on a physical laptop, PC, or other device directly from their virtual desktop.

    Provide a flexible application delivery solution. If users have local applications that you cannot virtualize or that IT does not maintain, those applications still behave as though they are installed on a virtual desktop.

  • Eliminate double-hop latency when applications are hosted separately from the virtual desktop by putting the shortcut to the published application on the user's Windows device.
  • Use applications such as:
    • Video conferencing software such as GoToMeeting.
    • Specialty or niche applications that are not yet virtualized.
    • Applications and peripherals that would otherwise transfer huge amounts of data from a user device to a server and back to the user device, such as DVD burners and TV tuners.

Limitations

  • Local App Access is only designed for full-screen, virtual desktops spanning all monitors as follows:
    • User experience could be confusing if Local App Access is used with a virtual desktop that runs in windowed mode or does not cover all monitors.
    • For users with multi-monitors, if one monitor is maximized, it becomes the default desktop for all applications launched in that session, even if the subsequent applications typically launch on the other monitor.
    • The feature is designed for use with one VDA; there is no integration with multiple, concurrent VDAs.
  • Some applications have unexpected behavior, which could impact users:
    • Some applications have licensing agreements that allow them to run only on workstations and cannot be hosted.
    • Some applications need to access local devices such as bar code scanners or card readers to function.
    • Users might be confused with drive letters, such as local C: rather than virtual desktop C: drive.
    • Printers available in the virtual desktop are not available to local applications.
    • Applications that require elevated permissions cannot be launched as client-hosted applications.
    • No special handling for single-instance apps (such as Windows Media Player).
    • Local applications appear with the Windows theme of the local machine.
    • Full-screen applications are not supported. This includes applications that open to the full screen, such as PowerPoint slide shows, or photo viewers that cover the entire desktop.
    • Local App Access copies the properties of the local application, such as the shortcuts present on client's desktop and the Start menu on the VDA. However, it does not copy other properties, such as shortcut keys and read-only attributes.
    • Applications that do customize the manipulation of the order of overlapping windows can have unpredictable results. For example, some windows might be hidden.
    • Shortcuts are not supported, including My Computer, Recycle Bin, Control Panel, Network Drive shortcuts, and folder shortcuts.
    • The following file types and files are not supported: custom file types, files with no associated programs, zip files, and hidden files.
    • Taskbar grouping is not supported for mixed 32-bit and 64-bit client-hosted applications or VDA applications, such as grouping of 32-bit local applications with 64-bit VDA applications, and vice versa.
    • Applications cannot be launched using COM. For example, if you click an embedded Office document from within an Office application, the process launch cannot be detected, and the local application integration fails.
    • Resource-intensive applications such as video conferencing or CAD/CAM software are difficult to host efficiently.
    • Some applications are tied to hardware markers such as MAC addresses or are integrated into other corporate infrastructure such as telephony.
  • URL Redirection supports only explicit URLs (that is, those appearing in the browser's address bar or found using the in-browser navigation, depending on the specific browser).
  • The URL Redirection feature only works with desktop sessions and currently does not work with application sessions.
  • The local desktop folder in a VDA session does not allow users to create new files.

System requirements

To use Local App Access, the hosting environment must have the following components:
  • Citrix XenApp 6.5
  • Web Interface 5.4
  • Citrix StoreFront

For more information about XenApp system requirements, refer to the topic "System Requirements for XenApp 6.5" in Citrix eDocs.

User device requirements

To enable Local App Access, the hosting environment must include the following components:
  • Operating systems for hosted desktops:
    • Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Windows Server 2012
    • Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
    • Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
    • Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Operating systems for client:
    • Windows XP SP3 (32-bit)
    • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
    • Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
    • Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Web Browsers (only the following are supported):
    • Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10
    • Mozilla Firefox 3.5 through 21.0.
    • Google Chrome 10
  • Citrix Receiver 4.x
Note: When connecting to hosted desktops, local app access supports only one connection per user device. Additionally, hosted desktop connections are supported only when using Citrix Desktop Viewer in Full-screen mode across all monitors attached to the user device.

Security considerations

Before enabling local app access, consider whether or not this feature is a required element in your XenApp deployment and install only if necessary. When using local app access, consider the following:
  • Use SecureICA in your XenApp deployment to encrypt ICA traffic and employ ICA file signing to protect against unauthorized application launches.
  • Servers should be locked down according to security best practices and clients should connect only to trusted servers.
  • URL redirection is disabled by default. Consider enabling this feature only if required.