StoreFront 2.0 released a few days ago at the same time as XenDesktop 7…but it is not just for XenDesktop 7. It’s a great time to upgrade your existing StoreFront or Web Interface to this new version. It’s a great time to create an enterprise app store, mobilize your apps, improve security, simplify your deployment, optimize and scale out XenDesktop, and in general future proof your environment.
While built into XenApp 6.5 and XenDesktop 7.0, StoreFront 2.0 can be used with any XenApp or XenDesktop version 5.0 and above to enable mobile work styles and work-life balance with self-service, follow me applications and data. Features, system requirements, and configuration are covered in StoreFront eDocs.
Here are highlights of what StoreFront 2.0 can do for you:
That Enterprise app store you’ve been wanting
StoreFront 2.0 enables a one-stop enterprise app store that works across desktops, tablets, smart phones and even thin clients. Like app stores from Android or Apple, StoreFront is about self-service and personalization. Users choose the applications and desktops they want to use every day and can easily search the store for new applications when needed.
Mobilize your Windows Apps and Desktops
Users are bringing with them an ever more divergent set of devices. StoreFront allows you to deliver the best device oriented user experience across a breadth of devices. It enables user choice, IT control, and use of virtually any device with a host of existing and new features including automatically provisioned applications, follow me subscriptions, XenMobile App Controller integration, account discovery, and Receiver provisioning. Like Web Interface, StoreFront provides native Receiver access to applications and desktops as well as browser based access. Native access is available over a broad range of devices including Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac devices as with previous StoreFront versions. In terms of browser based access, the updated StoreFront 2.0 Receiver for Web adds desktop restart and auto launch, desktop groups, elective password change and Remote FX access. Fall back to Receiver for HTML5 has been enhanced with additional browser support and more configuration options, giving users more flexibility and a better experience for basic applications from Mac, Windows, and Chromebook devices.
Improve Enterprise Security.
StoreFront enables claims based authentication and access control as well as secure remote access without a VPN client and roaming for all Receiver users, a substantial jump in security over Web Interface. If you use smart cards, StoreFront 2.0 adds native smart card authentication from Windows end points. Users don’t have to open a browser to access applications…they can do so directly from their Start Menu…without a browser involved. And we expect to add native smart card use to other Receivers in the coming months. Finally, StoreFront 2.0 now enables Smart Access policies to be applied across every Receiver connection.
Simplify XenApp and XenDesktop Management
StoreFront 2.0 goes beyond Web Interface to simplify the management of both XenApp and XenDesktop deployments. You can manage multiple StoreFront servers in a server group from a single console. You can even use Citrix Studio to configure StoreFront server groups including the Storefront URL and the member servers. Once StoreFront is configured, you can publish the StoreFront server address to the VDAs when you create delivery groups. Importantly StoreFront 2.0 no longer requires an external database to maintain its own data. Data storage and replication is built in. And we added IPv6 support to enable StoreFront deployments in IPv6 networks.
Since StoreFront can be installed astride an existing Web Interface deployment, you can migrate users to StoreFront in phases.
Optimize XenDesktop Deployments
StoreFront 2.0 introduced built in tools for scaling XenDesktop deployments across geographically distributed data centers, branch offices, and multiple XenDesktop farms. Home site management by user groups, Cross-farm aggregation and de-duplication, Farm-Based Optimal HDX Connection Routing, and Geographic Redundancy & Disaster Recovery are all built in not bolted on.
And lastly, StoreFront is designed around cloud era technology with a highly modular design that includes claims-based authentication and access controls, an extensible service architecture, and independently customizable Receiver for Web site. Its build to last.
Check out the related blogs below, share your experiences, and let us know what you’d like to see in the future.
David Coleman, Director of Product Management