Home » Cloud client SW platforms » Chromebook / box with Citrix Receiver going against Microsoft

Chromebook / box with Citrix Receiver going against Microsoft

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– “Asus is more hesitant about another new entrant to the notebook space: Google Chromebooks. Google introduced these lightweight Web-centric devices in May with Samsung and Acer’s support. Asus works with Google on its tablets and smartphones but Shih said the manufacturer is still assessing the Chromebook market.
Asus: Super-Thin ‘Ultrabooks’ Can Capture 50% Of Notebook Market [July 29, 2011]
– “Chromebooks work best for people who live on the web – spending most of their time in a browser using web applications. We expect many consumers as well as many businesses and schools to greatly value the speed, simplicity and security this operating system provides.
Internet at the heart of everything: Q&A with Chrome OS [July 15, 2011]

Chromebooks Are Doomed to Fail [PCWorld, May 15, 2011]

The Chromebook is not any lighter or smaller than a standard netbook. It boots up faster, and has longer battery life than a full notebook, but so do most netbooks. The difference between the Chromebook and a standard netbook is that with a netbook you can do everything you can do with a Chromebook, and you can still do all of things you normally do with a PC.

Essentially, buying a Chromebook is like buying a television that is only capable of delivering some of the channels, even though there are televisions available for the same price that can give you all of the channels. The Chromebooks are going to retail from $350 to $500. Funny thing about that–at BestBuy.com there are 15 netbooks listed that range from $230 to $530.

Google, Intel set to upgrade Chromebook performance [July 20, 2011]

Google plans to upgrade the Chromebook design from originally adopting Atom N570 processors to mainstream Core i series processors to significantly boost system performance, while strengthening the machine’s security. The plan has already received support from Intel with the company giving a 10-20% discount for related processor quotes, according to sources from notebook players.

In addition to Samsung and Acer, there are already several notebook vendors including Asustek Computer, already considering to join the upcoming Chromebook upgrade project and are set to launch related products after the fourth quarter, the sources noted.

The sources pointed out that despite the 12-inch Chromebook is mainly being pushed for its cloud computing capability, with most work being done by the back-end servers, since their hardware specifications are the same as a netbook, while being US$50-100 more expensive than a Windows 7-based netbook, and having an unattractive industrial design, the overall price/performance ratio is disappointing.

Therefore, Google has recently started notifying its partners that Chrome OS already has an obvious upgrade path for its hardware specifications and related security, while the company is also providing assistance with marketing and is aiming to push the product’s price range to above US$500 and increase its attractiveness in the market.

However, some notebook vendors believe Android’s success in smartphones and tablet PCs does not guarantee the success of Chromebook, and Microsoft still has an un-touchable position in the PC industry. Since most consumers are already used to Windows, while Windows has great software compatibility, if Chromebooks cannot outmatch Windows products on pricing, while maintaining standard performance demands, consumers are unlikely to accept a brand new operating system in the short term.

New computers for the browser-based world [May 11, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

For businesses and schools, we’re offering a subscription that includes the Chromebook, a web-based management console and 24/7 support from Google starting at $28 per month for businesses and $20 per month for schools. … to date the innovation has stopped at the PC. We still worry about crashes, long boot times, software incompatibilities, endless program updates, outdated hardware, viruses, and all the other headaches associated with a personal computer. What’s more, managing a PC is expensive when you include setup, maintenance and security – not to mention the lost productivity when things break. According to Gartner Research, the total cost for a desktop computer is between about $3,300 and $5,800 per year and laptops can cost even more.

Chromebooks relieve these pains. They boot in 8 seconds, resume instantly and have WiFi and optional 3G so that users can always stay connected. Since Chromebooks update automatically, the software gets better over time, delivering the latest features as soon as they are released. Chromebooks are the first PCs designed with ongoing security threats in mind, which is critical for businesses. Chromebooks employ the principle of “defense in depth” to provide multiple layers of protection, including sandboxing, data encryption, and verified boot – to help keep your organization safe.

We also recognize that organizations want to centrally manage their Chromebooks, so we’re happy to announce we’re making this easy, with the ability to control accounts, applications and devices from a single web-based console. The new Chromebooks pricing model and simple, central maintenance means that Chromebooks are far more cost-effective than traditional PCs. Companies can save thousands of dollars per employee each year!

… 85% of new software vendors will be focused on developing web-based apps by next year … Chromebooks work with your existing web apps, browser-based apps behind the firewall and we even have a solution for your desktop applications via our collaboration with Citrix. By navigating to an HTML5-based version of Citrix Receiver, users can access virtualized applications such as Adobe® Photoshop® right from the browser.

We believe that a combination of web and virtualized apps will suit most business users today; in fact, a recent survey we commissioned found that two-thirds of companies could already switch the majority of their employees to an exclusively browser-based computing environment.

Learn more about Chromebooks for Business and how pilot customers are using them.

Update: Another step in the browser-based desktop revolution [May 25, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Today we’re excited that Citrix has announced Citrix Receiver for Chromebooks, based on HTML5 standards – coming soon to the Chrome Web Store. This is great news for businesses and schools that want to take advantage of a modern browser-based operating system while preserving access to their existing desktop applications. At I/O for instance, we demonstrated Citrix Receiver running on Chromebooks and accessing a virtualized version of Adobe® Photoshop® right from the browser.

Now Chromebook users can not only access the huge number of business web apps and browser-based applications behind the firewall, but through Citrix Receiver they can also access an exhaustive set of desktop applications. This means that organizations don’t have to repurchase or rewrite existing applications when moving to Chromebooks, and they can offer Chromebooks to a wider range of users. We’re working to make the browser the platform for business computing, and we’re happy to be collaborating with Citrix on this transformation.

Update: Citrix Receiver Now Helps Business say “Yes” to More than 1 Billion End User Devices — Self-Service Access to Any SaaS, Web and Windows App [May 25, 2011]

Today at Citrix Synergy™, where virtual computing takes center stage, Citrix Systems announced multiple new updates to Citrix Receiver™, its universal software client that allows companies to deliver corporate apps, desktops and data to any device, whether corporate or employee owned. With today’s announcement, Citrix Receiver is now verified to support more than 1,000 different PC and Mac models, 149 different smartphones, 37 tablets, 10 different classes of thin clients, and all major device operating platforms, including new environments like iOS, Android, webOS and Google ChromeOS. With consumer devices flooding the workplace, Citrix Receiver now gives businesses around the world the power to say “yes” to more than 1 billion end user devices, knowing that they can deliver a secure, high-definition experience to virtually any device in the world.

In addition to offering complete choice and flexibility to use the devices they choose, Citrix Receiver gives end users full self-service choice of the apps they want to run, when Windows, web or SaaS based. The ability to seamlessly interact with all their desktops, apps and data on any device, from any location, effectively gives users 24×7 access to a “personal cloud” where anything they need is just a click or touch away.

By delivering this level of choice and flexibility, customers can achieve increased business productivity and transform IT from managing internal systems to on-demand service delivery. When combined with key Citrix infrastructure products like Citrix XenDesktop®, Citrix XenApp™ and the new NetScaler® Cloud Gateway™, Citrix Receiver provide the essential components to embrace this shift and allow employees to work anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Supporting Partner Blogs

Expert Blogs

A new kind of computer: Chromebook [May 11, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

A little less than two years ago we set out to make computers much better. Today, we’re announcing the first Chromebooks from our partners, Samsung and Acer. These are not typical notebooks. With a Chromebook you won’t wait minutes for your computer to boot and browser to start. You’ll be reading your email in seconds. Thanks to automatic updates the software on your Chromebook will get faster over time. Your apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever you are and you won’t need to worry about losing your computer or forgetting to back up files. Chromebooks will last a day of use on a single charge, so you don’t need to carry a power cord everywhere. And with optional 3G, just like your phone, you’ll have the web when you need it. Chromebooks have many layers of security built in so there is no anti-virus software to buy and maintain. Even more importantly, you won’t spend hours fighting your computer to set it up and keep it up to date.

Chromebooks will be available online June 15 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain. More countries will follow in the coming months. In the U.S., Chromebooks will be available from Amazon and Best Buyand internationally from leading retailers.

Day 2 kicked off with the announcement that Chrome is now at 160M active users, up from 70M last year. Watch for more announcements from the Chrome Web Store, Angry Birds, Chromebooks and Chrome In-App Payments.

There is a 30”+ talk about “the power of the web” till [39:00] (with most emphasis on WebGL based things including hardware accelleration) then going to Chrome OS and fast [40:35] moving to Chromebook, then again to Chrome OS which is ending at [52:20], then the use case of using Chromebooks disconnected, hundred of apps on Chrome webstore already working offline, Google Apps coming in June 15, then [54:10] Samsung, Acer (with price starting at $349), Intel etc. partners. From [57:40] the businesses and education institutions part. Along Citrix mentioning VMware as well. At [1:01:30] showing Chromebox as well. Complete End-to-End Offering for businesses. $28/month price complete, changing fundamentally the way computing is … Order directly from Google. … every of our attendee gets a free Chromebook. Ending at [1:08:10]. But no Chrome In-App Payments.

Samsung Chromebook Series 5

Intel® ATOM Processor N570 [1.66Ghz]
2GB Standard System Memory [DDD3]

White / Titan Silver
WiFi / 3G
$429 / $499

SuperBright 12.1” LED display [1280×800]

Battery Hour Life: Up to 8.5 hours (Google Chrome Battery Test)

image image

SlashGear 101: Google Chromebook [May 11, 2011]

This summer, Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs will all get “offline support” for Chrome OS – i.e. you’ll be able to use them without a data connection. Netflix and Hulu streaming video support will also be added, though you’ll obviously need to be online for those.

Google is also readying a desktop version, the Google “Chromebox”, about which little is known but that we’re assuming will bring the same Chrome OS experience to users not concerned about mobility. Since part of Chrome OS’ charm is that users can log in on any machine and get the same experience, schools and businesses could have a combination of Chromebox and Chromebook hardware and staff/students share them depending on where they were going to be working.

Google Chrome OS “Chromebook” Detailed [May 11, 2011]

Hands On With Google’s New Chromebook [May 12, 2011]

Citrix, VMware Bringing Enterprise Apps To Google Chromebooks [May 11, 2011] (emphasis is mine)

Citrix Receiver acts as a front door for enterprise applications stored on XenDesktop and XenApp servers in the customer’s data center, delivering them to notebooks, tablets and mobile devices.

Citrix Receiver For Chrome, currently in beta and slated for launch this summer, will do the same for Chromebooks, Google’s new Web optimized PCs, according to Gordon Payne, senior vice president and general manager of Citrix’s Desktop Division.

Payne says his company has plenty of relevant experience in delivering enterprise applications to Google Chromebooks. “For the past 10 years we’ve been lifting apps up off the desktop, centralizing them in the data centerand delivering them as a service,” he said.

Citrix is looking forward to introducing Chromebooks to its customer base, Payne said. During the Q&A, Payne was asked how this might affect Citrix’s Windows business, a fair question since Citrix is one of Microsoft’s largest partners.

“Users should be able to use whatever device makes sense to them,” Payne responded. “Bring Your Own Device feeds into this philosophy. Chromebooks are a compelling argument for a new class of hardware, and we at Citrix love diversity.”

VMware, meanwhile, is building a similar version of VMware View that works in the browser, Rajen Sheth, group product manager for Chrome For Business, said in the Q&A. While Citrix has a timetable for its release of Receiver For Chrome, VMware is still in the midst of working on its implementation, Sheth said. VMware did not have a representative at the Q&A.

The virtualization partnerships show that Google is stepping up its efforts to crack into enterprise accounts. Most companies can switch 75 percent of their users to Chromebooks today by using Web applications and virtualization, Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, said in a Wednesday keynote at Google I/O in San Francisco.

New Citrix Receiver Lets Chrome Notebook  Users Run Windows Business Apps [Dec 7, 2010]
Citrix joined Google on stage at its live Google Chrome event in San Francisco to preview the new Citrix Receiver for Chrome Notebooks.

Today, Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) joined Google on stage at its live Google Chrome event in San Francisco to preview the new Citrix Receiver™ for Chrome Notebooks (see today’s related announcement blog). Available soon as a free app on the Google Chrome Web Store, Citrix Receiver will allow Google customers to run their existing Windows business applications directly on the new web-based Chrome notebooks with a native user experience, fast performance, and full enterprise security. As a result, Google customers will be able to enjoy all the benefits of a fast, lightweight, web-based notebook computer for personal use, and still have easy, secure access to their Windows-based work applications, desktops and data at any time (see visuals).

Citrix Receiver also represents a win for corporate IT departments, allowing them to deliver existing enterprise applications and desktops as a secure, on-demand service to Chrome notebook users with no new support requirements – and no compromise in security or user experience. Because Citrix Receiver supports all popular security standards, corporate data is safe at all times. End users also enjoy a rich, high-definition experience for all apps and desktops, thanks to the built-in Citrix HDX™ technology.

Citrix Receiver is a key part of the Citrix end-to-end virtual computing strategy, designed to simplify computing for IT, and give end users more choice and flexibility in how and where they work. It is available today for a wide variety of end user devices, including PCs, Macs, laptops, thin clients, tablets and smartphones.

Pricing and Availability
Citrix Receiver for Chrome Notebooks is scheduled to be available as a free app from the Google Chrome Web Store in the first half of 2011. Citrix Receiver works by connecting to the Citrix XenDesktop® or Citrix XenApp™ servers already running in the datacenters of most corporate customers. Every day, XenDesktop and XenApp deliver virtual desktops and applications to 100 million corporate employees at more than 230,000 enterprises worldwide, including 99 percent of the Fortune 500.

Sundar Pichai, Vice President of Product Management for Google
“The web has become an incredibly powerful platform for innovation, allowing users to do much more online than ever before. We’re happy to work with Citrix to give Chrome notebook business users a way to enjoy all the benefits of the web, while still having the flexibility to access important business applications in their work environments.”

Gordon Payne, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Citrix
“The new Chrome notebook breaks new ground in simplifying end user computing devices. Citrix is pleased to be working with Google on this exciting new technology and promise it holds for our joint customers.  Together, we can ensure that these new devices are enterprise-ready, allowing our customers to securely run their existing corporate applications on their Chrome notebooks. Extending Citrix Receiver support for Chrome notebooks will provide virtual computing solutions that simplify computing for IT, and enable productive, virtual workstyles for users.”

Related Links and Announcements:

Google Search Finds Citrix Receiver for Chrome Notebooks [Dec 7, 2010] (emphasis is mine)

Citrix has just announced Citrix Receiver for Chrome Notebooks. The new Google OS and reference design for notebooks is designed to run apps entirely from the web. That’s relatively easy for web and SaaS apps, but for the thousands of corporate Windows apps Google needed another answer in order to make the new platform useful as a business tool or even a consumer device with casual access to work apps. The answer came from talking to CIO’s and IT Pros at companies who would need to endorse the device, ” add Citrix Receiver ” was an obvious solution. ( You can also find the answer by Google searching run windows apps from any device or any variation of that )

Google’s announcement today included a keynote demonstration of Citrix Receiver accessing a number of Microsoft applications hosted on XenApp. This Receiver for Chrome Notebooks is also unique in that it’s based on HTML5 and requires no download and install like most Receivers. It’s very cool, just click the icon, log-on and everything required comes down from the web. The new Web Receiver interface is presented including the ability to search, subscribe and select favorite apps. The apps launch as expected and the performance is great. What’s different is the apps run maximized inside the Browser vs conventional windowing, and task switching is accomplished through the browser tabs. Check out the demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xjb5kFLOz_Q&feature=channel fast forward to Minute 21 [ending at 39:00].

Video footage from the Chrome event on 12/07/10. Sundar Pichai, Product Management Lead for Chrome gives update on Chrome OS and announces the pilot program.

Some screen shots of Citrix Receiver for Chrome Notebooks:

The Citrix Receiver will also be included in Google’s Chrome Web Store when its available in 1H2011. Users will only need a company provided link to get to a log-on page making app delivery simple for IT.

Google’s entry into the OS market is interesting and fits well with their vision to host everything on the web. Users get device independence, and IT meets the objective to minimize support for distributed end point devices. With Google Chrome for Notebooks, Google will provide automated updates to the OS as required, and security exposures are minimized because nothing can be installed locally. Add Citrix Receiver and IT should be happy. I think user adoption will depend on the devices that hardware vendors come up with. These new Notebook devices will compete with Tablets in the limited task mobility segment and full function Windows 7 Netbooks & Laptops on the other side, time will tell…

Embrace the consumerization of IT – Citrix Receiver gives you the power to say ‘yes’ [Dec 7, 2010] (emphasis is mine)

Today Citrix demonstrated Citrix Receiver for Google Chrome Notebook at Google’s launch event in San Francisco (watch the replay). Citrix Receiver gives people access to their enterprise apps using any device, anywhere – enabling IT to embrace consumerization and make their employees more productive.

Consumerization will force more IT change over the next few years than any other technology or trend. The phrase “consumerization of IT” stems from people’s experiences as consumers of technology at homesuch as using simple online self-service applications, or using mobile devices to instantly access their information and it is changing the way all of us think about computing. Computing has become integrated into our everyday life and is not just for work activities, and it is changing our expecations of what computing at work should be. This is a big trend – something that none of us as individuals can control. As an IT industry, we have no other option but to embrace this trend, and plan for how consumerization will impact computing for people at work.

If you are unsure about what consumerization of IT means for computing at work, here are few things that you need to know:

  1. End users will have a choice of device – they will be able to use a device of their convenience to get access to their apps. They may be company owned or may be employee owned. You may have users using their corporate Windows device and have other devices that you do not have full control over.
  2. Users will be able to use the same device for their personal and corporate appssimultaneously.
  3. Users will prefer a self-service experience to access their apps

These three requirements are almost impossible to address with traditional distributed computing within IT environments. Instead, IT needs to do something different.

Google’s announcement regarding the Chrome OS notebook and Chrome OS Web store is a good example of the choice that people have for computing at home. I attended the Google’s launch event live and found the demos quite interesting – seeing how end users can add their apps to their notebook and run them on-demand. It means that there will be another device that someone at work will show up alongside their corporate PC to access their Windows applications.

This is a problem for IT. Enterprise apps and data were never built for the kind of flexibility and security challenges this kind of user choice and mobility introduces. Many IT teams are now struggling to embrace this “consumerization of IT.”

Citrix’s solution to this problem is virtual apps and desktops along with Citrix Receiver – both designed to deliver any enterprise app or desktop to any user, anywhere. The Majority of these are Windows based apps and soon to be adopted Windows 7 desktops. Citrix Receiver, which is available for virtually every device – Windows PCs/laptops, Macs, iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones/tablets, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile, offers users a high performance access to any enterprise app, anywhere.

Today, Citrix demonstrated an early version of Receiver for Chrome OS Notebook at the Google launch event, showcasing access to enterprise Windows based applications securely with a high definition experience. As with all versions of Citrix Receiver, customer demand is strong, making Receiver a “must have” app for new consumer devices. Google’s enterprise customers asked them to partner with Citrix Google Notebooks can have access to enterprise apps & desktops – most of them based on Microsoft Windows. Citrix Receiver for Chrome Notebook will be available in first half of 2011. Users will be able to download it from Google Chrome Web Store.

So, the next time when an employee says they wish to use one of their devices to access the enterprise apps, you no longer have to say ‘no’. With Citrix Receiver, you have the ability to say ‘yes’ to any device – offering a rich high definition application access to all your employees anytime, anywhere.

Citrix Receiver, XenApp and the Windows Application Delivery Infrastructure

Citrix Receiver is a lightweight software client that makes accessing virtual applications and desktops on any device as easy as turning on your TV.

Much like a satellite or cable TV receiver in a broadcast media service, Citrix Receiver allows IT organizations to deliver desktops and applications as an on-demand service to any device in any location with a rich “high definition” experience.

As long as employees have Citrix Receiver installed, IT no longer has to worry about whether they are delivering to a PC in the office, a Mac at home, or an iPhone on the road. This approach radically simplifies desktop management for IT and gives end users far more flexibility and independence in how and where they work.

XenApp is the central software component of the Citrix Windows Application Delivery Infrastructure. The goals of XenApp and the Citrix Windows Application Delivery Infrastructure are to deliver on-demand applications to both physical and virtual desktops, and to determine and provide the best method of delivery. XenApp offers three methods for delivering applications to user devices, servers, and virtual desktops:

  • Server-side application virtualization: applications run inside the Data Center. XenApp presents each application interface on the user device, and relays user actions from the device, such as keystrokes and mouse actions, back to the application.
  • Client-side application virtualization: XenApp streams applications on demand to the user device from the Data Center and runs the application on the user device.
  • VM hosted application virtualization: problematic applications or those requiring specific operating systems run inside a desktop in the Data Center. XenApp presents each application interface on the user device and relays user actions from the device, such as keystrokes and mouse actions, back to the application.

A typical deployment is shown below. Delivery Services 1.0 provides the infrastructure that enables the next generation of Receiver functionality. The figure shows the architecture of Delivery Services and the interactions between the components in a typical environment.

Citrix Receiver—manages plug-ins, including the Self-service Plug-in, on the user device:

  • Online Plug-in/Offline Plug-in—enable users to access their subscribed resources. These plug-ins are used for application streaming when executables for applications are put in profiles and stored on a file server or Web server (the App Hub) which simplifies application delivery to users by virtualizing applications on client devices. To support streaming applications to the server, install either the online plug-in or Web plug-in on user devices. These applications must be published as “stream to server.” The Citrix offline plug-in is the new name for the Streaming Client. To support streaming applications to the user’s desktop (“stream to desktop”), as well as offline access to applications and dual-mode streaming, install both the offline plug-in and online plug-in on user devices. With dual mode streaming (“streamed if possible, otherwise accessed from a server”) XenApp is configured to stream software to client devices; otherwise, virtualize from a XenApp server. If launching a streamed application fails on the client device, XenApp seamlessly streams the application to the server and virtualizes the application on the client device from XenApp.
  • Self-service Plug-in (formerly Dazzle)—presents the resources and services available across the configured stores. Enables users to subscribe to and organize their resources. Corporate employees get 24 × 7 self-service access to the applications and content that they need to work productively. The Citrix Receiver self-service view offers a rich, intuitive user experience that requires no training. Citrix Receiver and the Self-service Plug-in make self-service IT a reality, giving users instant access to their resources and bringing the economics of the Web to enterprise IT.

Merchandising Server—delivers plug-ins and configuration updates to Citrix Receiver. Uses the Authentication Service to identify users and provides the administrative interface for configuring, delivering, and upgrading plug-ins for your users’ computers..

Delivery Services—integrates with your existing XenDesktop and XenApp infrastructure and employs Microsoft .NET technology running on Internet Information Services (IIS) and, optionally, Microsoft SQL Server to provide authentication and resource delivery infrastructure for Citrix Receiver and the Citrix Self-service Plug-in. Delivery Services consists of three services:

  • Authentication Service—authenticates users to the Citrix servers using explicit authentication and stores user credentials. Once a user’s credentials have been validated, the Authentication Service handles all subsequent interactions with the servers to ensure that users do not need to log on again.
  • Stores—retrieve user credentials from the Authentication Service to authenticate users to the Citrix servers. Enumerate the resources currently available from the configured servers and send the details to the Self-service Plug-in so the resources can be displayed to users.
  • Database—stores details of user subscriptions plus associated shortcut names and locations. When a user accesses a store with application synchronization enabled, the subscribed resources on the user device are automatically reconfigured so that the configuration is the same as that stored in the Delivery Services database.

Citrix Delivery Services Management console—enables administrators to create and manage stores and the Authentication Service.

Citrix servers—provide desktops, content, and online and offline applications.

The interactions that take place between the components in the environment shown above are described below.

  • A user logs on to a device; Citrix Receiver starts automatically.
  • If the user has not yet subscribed to any resources or if the user opens Citrix Receiver, the self-service view is displayed.
  • The user logs on to the stores that the Self-service Plug-in is configured to contact.
  • The Self-service Plug-in sends the user’s credentials to the Authentication Service.
  • Merchandising Server uses the Authentication Service to identify the user and sends any configuration updates specified by the administrator to Citrix Receiver.
  • The Authentication Service authenticates the user to the Citrix servers that provide the resources in the stores.
  • Using the Authentication Service to provide the user’s credentials, the stores contact the Citrix servers, obtain details of the available resources, and send this information to the Self-service Plug-in.
  • The Self-service Plug-in aggregates the resources from all the stores, but only those resources that the administrator has made available for this particular user are displayed in Citrix Receiver.
  • When application synchronization is enabled for a store, the store queries the Delivery Services database and sends details of the user’s subscribed resources and associated shortcuts to the Self-service Plug-in as part of the resource enumeration process.
  • The Self-service Plug-in compares the configuration received from the store with the configuration of the current device to determine whether the user has subscribed or unsubscribed from any resources, or modified any shortcuts on any other devices.
  • If any differences are detected between the user’s subscriptions on the current device and the configuration stored in the database, the Self-service Plug-in automatically adds and removes resources and moves or renames shortcuts to resolve the differences.
  • The user subscribes to and organizes resources in the self-service view of Citrix Receiver.
  • Shortcuts to the subscribed resources are added to the user’s device.
  • Any offline applications to which the user subscribes are downloaded from the XenApp farm to the user device by the Offline Plug-in. Once downloading is complete, the applications are available for use.
  • If the user subscribes to a Citrix Online product, the associated client application is installed locally on the device. If configured by the administrator, the user may also be prompted to create a Citrix Online account or request an account from the IT department.
  • When application synchronization is enabled for a store, the Self-service Plug-in notifies the store of any changes to the user’s subscribed resources and associated shortcuts. The store updates the database with the new configuration.
  • The user clicks on a shortcut to a subscribed resource.
  • For offline applications, the application starts and runs locally within an isolation environment.For desktops, content, and online applications, the Online Plug-in initiates a session with a XenDesktop or XenApp server providing the selected resource.

More information:

Designing a XenApp Deployment (inside XenApp 6 for Windows Server 2008 R2) [April 11, 2011] where detailed architecture diagrams and explanations are provided as well:


A XenApp deployment consists of three deployment groups: user device (represented in this diagram by Citrix Receiver and Citrix Dazzle), Access Infrastructure, and Virtualization Infrastructure.

  • On the left of this diagram are Citrix Dazzle and Citrix Receiver, which represent the set of devices on which you can install client software. Citrix Dazzle provides your users with a selection of applications you have made available to them. Citrix Receiver manages the client software plug-ins that enable your users to interact with virtualized applications. When designing a XenApp deployment, you consider how your users work, their devices, and their locations.
  • Access Infrastructure represents secure entry points deployed within your DMZ and provide access to resources published on XenApp servers. When designing a XenApp deployment, you provide secure access points for the different types of users in your organization.
  • Virtualization Infrastructure represents a series of servers that control and monitor application environments. When designing a XenApp deployment, you consider how applications are deployed based on your user types and their devices, the number of servers you need, and which features you want to enable in order to provide the support, monitoring, and management your organization requires.

The following diagram shows the access infrastructure in greater detail.


In this access infrastructure diagram:

  • All of your users use Citrix Dazzle to choose applications they want to run. Citrix Receiver plug-ins run them.
  • Onsite users within your corporate firewall interact directly with the XenApp Web and Services Site.
  • Remote-site users access applications through sites replicated by Citrix Branch Repeater.
  • Off-site users access applications though secure access, such as Access Gateway.
  • The Merchandising Server makes available self-service applications to your users through Citrix Dazzle.
  • EasyCall Voice Services enables your users to initiate telephone calls by clicking on telephone numbers displayed in their applications.
  • The XML Service relays requests and information between the Access Infrastructure and the Virtualization Infrastructure.

The following diagram shows the virtualization infrastructure in greater detail.


In this virtualization infrastructure diagram:

  • The XML service relays information and requests.
  • Based on Active Directory profiles and policies, the XenApp servers invoke the correct application delivery type for the user. The XenApp servers provide server-side application virtualization and session management. Session and deployment configuration information are stored in data collectors and a central data store represented by the deployment data store.
  • The App Hub provides Streamed Application Profiles, which are client-side virtualization applications housed in your enterprise storage.
  • The VM Hosted Apps server isolates problematic applications inside a seamless desktop, which, depending on the user profile, can be virtualized on the user device or on the server. The desktop images are provisioned through Provisioning Server. Session and server configuration information are stored in the deployment data store.
  • Provisioning Services delivers desktops to servers, which are stored as desktop images in your image repository.
  • SmartAuditor provides session monitoring. Recorded sessions are stored in your enterprise storage and configuration information is stored in the deployment data store.
  • Service Monitoring enables you to test server loads so you can estimate how many servers you need for your deployment and to monitor those servers once they are deployed.
  • Power and Capacity Management enables you to reduce power consumption and manage server capacity by dynamically scaling the number of online servers.
  • Single Sign-on provides password management for virtualized applications. Passwords are stored in the account authority.

Delivery Services & Self Service Plug-in Video Series [March 21, 2011]
– Part 1 – Merchandising Server component, concentrating on what’s new in Merchandising Server 2.1
– Part 2 – Receiver component, concentrating on what’s new in Receiver for Windows 2.1
– Part 3 – Delivery Services component, overview of what Delivery Services 1.0 is all about and how to configure it
– Part 4 – Self Service Plug-in component, covering an overview of Self Service Plugin 2.0, what’s new and how to configure it



  1. Adam says:

    Why wait for Citrix Receiver? There’s already a solution for accessing Windows apps from Chromebooks. Ericom AccessNow, a pure HTML5 RDP client, enables students and staff to connect to any RDP host, including Terminal Server (RDS Session Host), physical desktops or VDI virtual desktops – and run their applications and desktops in a browser.

    This means that you can use AccessNow for instant, turnkey web-enablement of most any Windows application. Running entirely within a browser, AccessNow works natively with Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer (with Chrome Frame plug-in), Firefox and any other browser with HTML5 and WebSockets support.

    Ericom‘s AccessNow significantly reduces IT overhead in key ways:
    1. It does not require Java, Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX, or any other underlying technology to be installed on end-user devices
    2. IT staff do not have to manage / maintain separate product versions and updates for multiple clients (end-point operating systems) – an HTML5 browser is all that is required

    For more info, and to download the beta of Ericom AccessNow please visit:

    For a video demo:

    • nacsa says:

      That is fine and great thanks for the additional information. However your version is Beta and Citrix will deliver their product version very soon. See: Ericom Announces AccessNow – First High-Performance Pure HTML5 RDP Client for Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and VDI – Beta Version Available Now [May 23, 2011] as well as Google’s recent Another step in the browser-based desktop revolution [May 25, 2011] in which it is stated that:

      Today we’re excited that Citrix has announced Citrix Receiver for Chromebooks, based on HTML5 standards – coming soon to the Chrome Web Store. This is great news for businesses and schools that want to take advantage of a modern browser-based operating system while preserving access to their existing desktop applications. At I/O for instance, we demonstrated Citrix Receiver running on Chromebooks and accessing a virtualized version of Adobe® Photoshop® right from the browser.

      In addition Citrix has a widely used and comprehensive solution as described in my article.

      • Adam says:

        It’s true that Citrix is a widely used solution. However, please note that Citrix Receiver must be used in conjunction with XenApp and/or XenDesktop. For existing Citrix customers, that’s no problem. However, what about organizations that are not Citrix shops, that only use Terminal Server, or Hyper-V.

        Ericom AccessNow is a standalone product that connects to Windows apps running on Terminal Server, or to virtual desktops running on hypervisors such as Hyper-V.

      • nacsa says:

        That is indeed a plus for some customers.

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