Where do I begin? There is so much that’s new and improved. Citrix Storefront is the successor to Citrix Web Interface for XenApp and XenDesktop and helps IT enable enterprise mobility – work and play from anywhere, from virtually any device. It also helps IT improve enterprise security and simplify XenApp and XenDesktop deployments. StoreFront is essential for managing multi-site XenApp and XenDesktop deployments. It’s built on a modern, flexible and powerful framework  and now provides innovative tools for IT customization for XenApp and XenDesktop deployments.

Introduced in conjunction with XenApp/XenDesktop 7.5, transitioning to StoreFront 2.5 has never been easier or more rewarding.

Here are the highlights and look for accompanying blogs with more detail:

An updated Receiver for HTML5 engine adds  breakthrough performance for zero install access to business applications and desktops from popular browsers as well as Google Chrome devices. The new HTML 5 Receiver also enhances the graphics experience for both 2D and 3D applications and provides a very good audio-video experience at significantly lower bandwidth than before. It also includes an improved in-session toolbar for clipboard and windows security desktop.

Pass-through Authentication to Receiver for Web enables users on a domain joined end points to open Internet Explorer and access resources using Receiver for Web without an additional authentication step. One of the most asked for features. Feng Huang explains how simple it is!

Smart Card Authentication to Receiver for Web enables Linux, Mac OSX, or Windows users to access Receiver for Web using their smart cards for authentication. Domain-joined Windows users with the SSON service configured enter their pin only once. Mac, Linux, and non-domain Windows users enter their PIN for each app/desktop launch.

NetScaler Gateway single smart card sign-on to Receiver for Web. Storefront 2.0 introduced support for native Receivers to sign in with a Smartcard via NetScaler Gateway. Storefront 2.5 enables users to access Receiver for Web via NetScaler Gateway using their smart card. Domain-joined Windows users arranged for pass through authentication (SSON) enter their PIN only once. In all other cases, users will need to enter their PIN for each app/desktop launch.

Mandatory Applications automatically makes a specific set of apps or desktops available to all users. Mandatory resources are silently added for each user. Works similarly to the existing “auto-provisioned apps” functionality but does not offer a way for Receiver for Web users to remove them.  Administrators can mark individual resources as mandatory (using the existing keyword mechanism in the XenApp/XenDesktop admin console) with the keyword “mandatory” or configure a Store to make all the resources mandatory.

Anonymous (Unauthenticated) enables StoreFront to provide access to XenApp 6.5 sessions without authenticating. Generally this is used where applications themselves require their own authentication. Allows administrators to optionally make a specific Store support anonymous (unauthenticated) access.

Parallel resource enumeration.  Where Web Interface and earlier Storefront releases enumerate resources by contacting each Delivery Controller in turn. Storefront 2.5 communicates to all providers at the same time and aggregates responses when all have responded.

Resource filtering by types or keywords enables you to filter which applications were shown to a user by adding an artificial description element to the application name. In Receiver for Web, it has been possible to filter out the display of either Applications or Desktops but the same level of control was not available at the Store level. Again Feng Huang explains how its done!

And last but not least the Store Customization SDK enables you to expose only apps or desktops to users or selectively restrict access based on the user’s location, the type of devices the user has, or smart access policies. While most simple filtering requirements should be handled by simple configuration changes, some customers have complex business requirements that require custom logic to be applied to the decision making process of showing resources to users and adjusting launch parameters. Stay tuned for more details and example projects.

See eDocs for details.

Download StoreFront 2.5 today and share your experiences!