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Using Application Deployment Tools : Deploying Applications Using RDS (part 2) - Packaging RemoteApp Applications

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9/12/2013 3:06:05 AM

4. Packaging RemoteApp Applications

After you have designated your applications as RemoteApp programs, you can package them for deployment to your clients. The Remote Desktop Connection client program can provide workstations with an RDS desktop, but not with individual RemoteApp applications. To deploy RemoteApp applications to your workstations, you can use any one of the following three methods:

  • Package the program as an RDP file

  • Package the program as an MSI file

  • Add the program to an intranet Web page

The following sections discuss these methods.

Creating RDP Files

A Remote Desktop Protocol package is a file with an .rdp extension, which contains all of the settings needed for the client computer to connect to a specific RemoteApp program on a specific RDS server. Creating an .rdp file is simply a matter of selecting one of the entries in the RemoteApp Programs list in the RemoteApp Manager console and choosing Create .rdp File from the Action menu. This launches the RemoteApp Wizard, in which you can configure the package settings shown in Figure 3.

The Specify Package Settings page in the RemoteApp Wizard

Figure 3. The Specify Package Settings page in the RemoteApp Wizard

By default, the wizard creates RDP files in the C:\Program Files\Packaged Programs folder, but you can modify the path to create them anywhere. After you have created the file, you can use any method to get it to your client computers. You can copy the file to a shared network drive to which your users have access, copy it to a workstation’s local drive, send it via e-mail to a user, or deploy it using a software distribution product such as SCCM 2007. All the user has to do is execute the file, and the process of connecting to the RDS server begins. After the user authenticates, the computer establishes a connection to the server, and the application appears on the user’s desktop in a standard window.

Creating Windows Installer Packages

The RemoteApp Manager console is also capable of packaging RemoteApp program information as a Windows Installer (MSI) package. Selecting a RemoteApp program and clicking Create Windows Installer file launches the same RemoteApp Wizard, which creates an RDP file in the same way, The only difference here is that the wizard then packages the RDP file in a Windows Installer (MSI) file.

Using RD Web Access

The other method for deploying RemoteApp programs, and RDS desktops as well, is Remote Desktop Web Access (RD Web Access), an RDS role service that uses Internet Information Services (IIS) to provide users with client access to RDS servers. When you install the Remote Desktop Web Access role service, the Add Role Services Wizard also installs the Web Services (IIS) role and creates a secured intranet Web site for RDS.

Users connecting to the intranet site must first authenticate themselves, after which an RD Web Access page appears, as shown in Figure 4.

The RD Web Access page

Figure 4. The RD Web Access page

For a RemoteApp program to appear on the RD Web Access site, you must select the RemoteApp Program Is Available Through RD Web Access check box on the program’s Properties sheet. You can also select an entry in the RemoteApp Programs list and click Show in RD Web Access in the Action pane.

Note

PUBLISHING A DESKTOP IN RD WEB ACCESS

In addition to publishing RemoteApp programs in the RD Web Access intranet site, you can also provide users with access to a full RDS desktop. Clicking RD Session Host Server Settings in the Action pane opens the RemoteApp Deployment Settings dialog box, as shown in Figure 5.

The RemoteApp Deployment Settings dialog box

Figure 5. The RemoteApp Deployment Settings dialog box

When you select the Show A Remote Desktop Connection To This RD Session Host Server In RD Web Access check box, a Remote Desktop icon appears on the Web page as well. This provides users with the same access as the Remote Desktop Connection client, without the need to configure that client and establish a connection manually.

Practice: Deploying Applications Using RemoteApp

To deploy server-based applications to network workstations, the RDS RemoteApp feature requires a minimum of setup and little or no end user reeducation.

EXERCISE 1 Creating RemoteApp Programs

RemoteApp itself requires only the RDS Remote Desktop Session Host role service.

  1. Click Start. Then click Administrative Tools | Remote Desktop Services | RemoteApp Manager. The RemoteApp Manager console appears.

  2. In the Actions pane, click Add RemoteApp Programs. The RemoteApp Wizard appears.

  3. Click Next to bypass the Welcome page. The Choose Programs To Add To The RemoteApp Programs List page appears, as shown in Figure 6.

    The Choose Programs To Add To The RemoteApp Programs List page

    Figure 6. The Choose Programs To Add To The RemoteApp Programs List page

  4. Select the check boxes for the Calculator, Paint, and WordPad programs.

  5. With the WordPad program selected, click Properties. The RemoteApp Properties sheet for the WordPad program appears.

  6. Select the Allow Any Command-Line Arguments option and click OK. A message box appears, warning of the danger of allowing command line arguments.

  7. Click Yes to close the message box.

  8. Click Next. The Review Settings page appears.

  9. Click Finish. The three programs you selected appear in the RemoteApp Programs list.

EXERCISE 2 Connecting to the RD Web Access Site

After you have selected programs for RemoteApp, you can access them using your intranet Web site.

  1. Open Server Manager. Click Configure IE ESC, and in the Internet Explorer Enhanced Security configuration dialog box, click the Off option for Administrators. Then click OK.

  2. Click Start. Then click Internet Explorer. The Windows Internet Explorer window appears.

  3. In the address box, type https://127.0.0.1/rdweb. If a Certificate error page appears, click Continue To This Website. An RD Web Access page appears.

  4. If an information bar appears, prompting you to run an add-on, click the bar and select Run Add-on. A Security Warning message box appears.

  5. Click Run.

  6. In the Domain\User Name and Password text boxes, type the credentials for an administrative account and click Sign In. A page appears with icons for the three programs you selected.

  7. Double-click the Calculator icon. A dialog box appears, confirming that you want to connect to a program from an unknown publisher.

  8. Click Connect. A Windows Security dialog box appears.

  9. Enter your credentials again and click Connect. A Calculator window appears.

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