Local App Access seamlessly integrates 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 the 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 a 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 large amounts of data from a user device to a server and back to the user device, such as DVD burners and TV tuners.
In XenApp and XenDesktop, hosted desktop sessions use URL redirection to launch Local App Access applications. URL redirection makes the application available under more than one URL address. It launches a local browser (based on the browser's URL blacklist) by selecting embedded links within a browser in a desktop session. If you navigate to a URL that is not present in the blacklist, the URL is opened in the desktop session again.
URL redirection works only for desktop sessions, not application sessions. The only redirection feature you can use for application sessions is host-to-client content redirection, which is a type of server FTA. This FTA redirects certain protocols to the client, such as http, https, rtsp, or mms. For example, if you only open embedded links with http, the links directly open with the client application. There is no URL blacklist or whitelist support.
When Local App Access is enabled, URLs that are displayed to users as links from locally-running applications, from user-hosted applications, or as shortcuts on the desktop are redirected in one of the following ways:
- From the user's computer to the hosted desktop
- From the XenApp or XenDesktop server to the user's computer
- Rendered in the environment in which they are launched (not redirected)
To specify the redirection path of content from specific Web sites, configure the URL whitelist and URL blacklist on the Virtual Delivery Agent. Those lists contain multi-string registry keys that specify the URL redirection policy settings; for more information, see the Local App Access policy settings.
URLs can be rendered on the VDA with the following exceptions:
- Geo/Locale information — Web sites that require locale information, such as msn.com or news.google.com (opens a country specific page based on the Geo). For example, if the VDA is provisioned from a data center in the UK and the client is connecting from India, the user expects to see in.msn.com but instead sees uk.msn.com.
- Multimedia content — Web sites containing rich media content, when rendered on the client device, give the end users a native experience and also save bandwidth even in high latency networks. Although there is Flash redirection feature, this complements by redirecting sites with other media types such as Silverlight. This is in a very secure environment. That is, the URLs that are approved by the administrator are run on the client while the rest of the URLs are redirected to the VDA.
In addition to URL redirection, you can use File Type Association (FTA) redirection. FTA launches local applications when a file is encountered in the session. If the local app is launched, it must have access to the file to open it. Therefore, you can only open files that reside on network shares or on client drives (using client drive mapping) using local applications. For example, when opening a PDF file, if a PDF reader is a local app, then the file opens using that PDF reader. Because the local app can access the file directly, there is no network transfer of the file through ICA to open the file.