Citrix plans to extend Citrix Receiver and Dazzle to deliver App-V apps too!

Citrix announced today that they would be extending the Citrix Receiver and Citrix Dazzle client software so that it can also provide "one client" access to applications delivered via Microsoft App-V.

Citrix announced today that they would be extending the Citrix Receiver and Citrix Dazzle client software so that it can also provide “one client” access to applications delivered via Microsoft App-V. This will be in addition to the products’ current ability to deliver XenApp hosted (via ICA) and XenApp streamed apps. Citrix is planning for this functionality to be rolled out before the end of the year.

When released, the Citrix clients will be extended so they recognize the Microsoft App-V client. The whole process will be completely transparent to the end user, leveraging the “plug in” architecture of the Receiver and Dazzle clients.

Is this the death of Citrix XenApp streaming?

This is the million-dollar question.

Citrix XenApp already has a streaming feature which pretty much competes head-on Microsoft App-V. Quite frankly the only reason that anyone would use XenApp streaming over Microsoft App-V was that XenApp streaming was free (well, “built-in” to XenApp), while Microsoft App-V required the MDOP package which required an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft with Software Assurance. (In other words, while App-V is a better product, it’s harder to get.)

It looks like that might be changing, with Microsoft mentioning that App-V will be a key feature of Windows 7 at their worldwide partner conference. (The same event where Citrix made today’s announcement.) So if App-V is more tightly integrated and/or easier to get, then does it even make sense for Citrix to continue with XenApp Streaming?

I talked to Citrix’s new CTO for XenApp, Harry Labana about this, asking him point blank: “Is XenApp streaming going away?” (I think this was officially his fifth day on the job!) He answered, “No, XenApp streaming is still being invested in.” When asked why, he said, “We know customers use both [App-V and XenApp streaming], so right now we have to support both.”

Did you catch that? He said “right now” they have to support both. ;)

It’s clear to me that things are aligning so that XenApp streaming goes away, with Microsoft App-V built-in to Windows for isolation, virtualization, and delivery of all local applications. And you know what? That’s fine with me!

And I’ll bet it’s fine with Citrix too. I don’t think they actually wanted to sit down and build XenApp streaming. It was just something they had to do to ensure they had access to that kind of technology. So if it’s tightly-integrated or just flat out built-in to Windows, I’m sure Citrix would be happy to put their XenApp streaming product folks to work on more valuable capabilities elsewhere.

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To me the most intriguing comment from Harry's blog (linked by appdetective above) is this:


"This will also enable more intelligent options, where via policy or connectivity one can determine the best place to determine application execution for a user, streamed or hosted"


This is something I've been hounding Citrix since I've been involved in the CTP program.  Simply analyze the network transport between the client and a specified backend piece of infrastructure and then determine based on real network performance metrics which way a specific app should be launched.  Of course all of this needs to be admin defined, but it opens up so many possibilities.


Shawn


@appdetective - you have mail :)


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I like that whole idea...


@Shawn: Harry's comment implies to have an app deployed in both worlds, XenApp + App-V, IMHO this would work out if it doesn't increase system overhead.


What we do is streaming App-V to Terminalservers, so an app is deployed once in the backend and can thus be used either via XenApp or directly via the HTTP address of the app's OSD file. Actually, we do support the latter by having a customized Web Interface with managed links to our App-V application servers integrating the OSDs next door to XenApp, however, we don't run this "client to App-V" currently as the App-V client is missing on most of our user's workstations. Also down to present day, we are missing control & monitoring features in App-V and uncontrolled spread is not an option.


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Am i right in saying that you dont need any licences for Dazzle?


Just thinking about shops without citrix infra.


I wonder how the connector will work... will this be for App-V standalone servers only... what about APP-V integrated SCCM R2?


Maybe SCCM App V support will only come when they make the xenapp SCCM connector.


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I think Shawn pulled out the best line of Harry's blog post.  


Citrix is playing a dance with Microsoft where Citrix says "Microsoft is good, we just make it better".  This works for XenApp, and (for now) it works for VDI.  Citrix App Streaming doesn't really fit this modle, but Microsoft doesn't seem to mind.  This vision of policy based application delivery that also uses real-time decisions of things like connectivity (and probably "security") is a big value add that Citrix can have to offer in the future.


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I hope they build something to migrate the thousands of apps that have been profiled over the past few years by the Citrix Streaming Profiler into App-V. The Citrix customers that are doing App-Streaming are in way too deep...and will cause a major riot if this ever goes EOL.  


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@Faisal, I am sure if customers really want the Citrix features then they will keep it some form longer term. I don't understand why you would use their stuff if you have App-V. Perhaps MS should build migration tools to encourage people to move to App-V..... I see no reason for Citrix to do this.


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@appdetective - Or better yet have someone like Acresso build this migration facility into Admin Studio considering that they can already convert MSIs to Citrix profiles and App-V SFTs.  Shouldn't be that hard to engineer a .profile -> .sft converter.


Shawn


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@Shawn agree, let the package studio guys add value to their $$$ products :-)


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