New Features and Changes in XenApp 5

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XenApp 5 is designed to bring world-class application delivery to Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 and optimize and enhance the Microsoft platform. To learn more about XenApp 5 for Windows Server 2003, see CTX113699 and CTX116622.

Below are the new features and benefits added in XenApp 5.

Performance Improvements

XenApp 5 includes these significant overall performance improvements:

  • Farm scalability: Reductions in Independent Management Architecture (IMA) service start time, discovery time, application resolution and enumeration time, and server enumeration time.
  • Data store sizing: Reductions in installation time and XenApp Advanced Configuration start time.
  • Single server scalability: With over 50 users launching applications simultaneously, application launch time decreases by over 50 percent.
  • Application streaming: Significant improvements in application launch time on both servers and laptops
  • Single sign-on: Significant reductions of plug-in logon time for Active Directory and file server central stores and of plug-in response time for Windows, Web, and Java applications.

Enhanced Security

XenApp 5 provides the following security enhancements:

  • Support for Windows Server 2008 security enhancements, including Microsoft User Account Control (UAC).
  • Citrix XenApp Plugin for Hosted Apps now supports IPv6 via the Secure Gateway feature of XenApp. It provides the ability to connect to published applications from a pure IPv6-only based network using the XenApp Plugin. It also improves connectivity and mobility by supporting a higher number of client devices and their unique static IPv6 addresses.
  • Enhanced security (or “hardening”) of XenApp services. For example, new functionality adds extended command-line parameter validation for applications launched by file type association.
  • Support for Microsoft Data Execution Prevention (DEP) hardware and software technology.

User Access and Experience

XenApp 5 provides the following enhancements to improve the experience of end users.

  • The XenApp Plugin for Hosted Apps and the Web Interface offer new features such as Special Folder Redirection and ClearType font smoothing.
  • XenApp supports the Windows Vista Security Guide, including its Enterprise Client (EC) and Specialized Security-Limited Functionality (SSLF) templates.
  • The Web Interface now supports any device that authenticates using the RADIUS authentication protocol, including RADIUS servers.
  • The Web Interface application presentation has been redesigned to provide more functionality and an enhanced user experience. For details, see the Web Interface Administrator’s Guide.
  • XPS Printing support. XenApp uses this printing specification in addition to the current Enhanced Metafile Format (EMF) protocol.
  • Support for Philips SpeechMike USB devices. When setting up for digital dictation devices, you can enable support for Philips SpeechMike USB devices.

Optimized Support for Media Software

XenApp 5 optimizes the latest releases of the following software:

  • SpeedScreen Flash Acceleration now supports Adobe Flash Player, Versions 8 to 10
  • Multimedia Acceleration now supports Windows Media Player 9, Windows Media Player 10, Real Player, and any DirectShow Based Media Players
  • SpeedScreen Browser Acceleration now supports Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Outlook 2003, and Windows Mail

Enhanced Documentation

XenApp 5 provides improved documentation:

  • A handy reference page, the Welcome to Citrix XenApp at CTX113391 (or Read_Me_First.html on the installation media ), with links to PDF guides on the Web. This page is available from the Start menu. Alternatively, go to the Quick Links for product documentation at CTX116089.
  • All documentation is now installed on your system by default in a searchable centralized help system, known as the XenApp Document Library. From the Access Management Console, use the Help menu to open the library. (Citrix eDocs may contain more current information.)

Changes to Installation

For details about changes to Setup, see the XenApp installation documentation..

  • The XenApp Media Kit, which contains the installation media, is now on a DVD.
  • The XenApp Plugin for Hosted Apps is now an explicit option in the XenApp Setup (mps.msi); it is no longer silently installed by XenApp Setup. If you are performing installation using any method other than Autorun, you must install the plugin before Setup; Setup fails without the plugin and you might not get a warning prompt if you are performing a silent install.
  • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is no longer installed by default or included in the Support folder of the XenApp installation media. See the Citrix XenApp Installation Checklist for details.
  • For unattended installations, the sequence of installation options has changed and some Setup programs are no longer part of mps.msi.
  • The Access Management Console uninstaller now lets you uninstall all Access Management Console components in a single removal task.

Changes for Resource Publishing and Delivery

For more detailed information, refer to the XenApp administration documentation.

  • The Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system is no longer supported for virtualizing or streaming applications and resources.
  • Isolation environments are no longer configured in the Publish Applications wizard. The application streaming feature is the recommended solution for delivering applications that must be isolated. In particular, applications that are not compliant with Terminal Services and applications that cannot socialize with others should be streamed so that application isolation can be used. The application streaming feature allows you to profile these applications individually and then publish them so they run in isolation environments on user desktops or from a server. for more information about application streaming enhancements, see the application streaming documentation.
  • Specifying CPU priorities exclusively for applications is no longer supported when publishing applications. This option has been replaced by an application importance level setting, which is used with the session importance policy setting to determine the Resource Allotment for Preferential Load Balancing.

Changes to Features and General Changes

Before you install XenApp, note the following changes, which may change your farm deployment or the operating systems of the servers on which you publish applications.

  • The English version of XenApp is now supported on Russian language operating systems. The installation for the XenApp Plugin for Hosted Apps and the user interface for the plugin and Web Interface include Russian language support.
  • Network Manager is no longer available to manage vendor-specific snap-ins for SNMP network monitoring; the snap-ins for third-party products and instructions for their use are now provided by the product vendors. You can continue to enable the SNMP agent on supported platforms and use the Access Management Console to enable or disable traps to be reported.
  • Installation Manager has been rewritten based on Windows Server 2008 Task Scheduler.
  • Conferencing Manager is no longer included as part of Citrix XenApp. Citrix recommends using Citrix GoToMeeting instead.
  • Citrix has replaced its former Resource Manager monitoring and reporting tools with Resource Manager powered by EdgeSight (Enterprise Edition) and EdgeSight for XenApp (Platinum Edition).
    • If you are familiar with Presentation Server 4.5 monitoring and reporting functionality, see Finding EdgeSight Documentation. This guide directs users to documentation for their EdgeSight equivalent, where one exists.
    • For monitoring in a mixed farm environment, use Resource Manager in XenApp Advanced Configuration as well as the Dashboard and Report Center features in the Access Management Console to monitor computers running Presentation Server 4.5.
  • HP ProtectTools is not currently supported on XenApp 5 for Windows Server 2008.
  • Downgrading a server in your farm from XenApp 5 to Presentation Server 4.5 is not supported.

Posted in Citrix eDocs

Now that Citrix System Inc.’s XenApp 5.0 has been out for a few months, organizations that aren’t early adopters are beginning to migrate away from Presentation Server 4.0.

XenApp 5.0 adds three features that warrant a closer look:

  1. Special Folder Redirection (SFR)
  2. Preferential load balancing (PLB)
  3. The new Citrix Universal XPS Printer driver

Special Folder Redirection

Having been around since Windows 95, Special Folders such as My Documents, My Computer, Desktop, etc., are very familiar to administrators. Centralizing the data in these folders is a method typically used to redirect them via group policy to a network location. This process is simple for a LAN environment, but difficult when laptops and remote users are brought into the equation.

Special Folder Redirection allows users to see the contents of special folders on their local machines via their XenApp 5 session. When SFR is enabled and a user opens the Documents folder in their session, the data they see actually resides on their local machine and not on a file server.

SFR is installed by default (Windows Server 2008/XenApp 5 only), configured via Citrix policies and requires version 11 of the XenApp Plugin (client). Before you can begin configuration, you still need to enable SFR at the Web Interface level under Manage Session preferences.

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