Citrix XenApp 6.5 integration with ConfigMgr 2012 – part 1

A little bit more than a month ago Citrix released the Citrix XenApp connector for Configuration Manager 2012. Before I was able to have a look at the connector, I had to configure a Citrix XenApp 6.5 server in my lab environment. A little challenge but it is working like a charm! 😉 In this series of blogs I will try to show you what is possible with the connector. In this first blog we will look at the architecture and the installation process of the connector.

The connector that is released is a Technology Preview released late August, and will extend the application model with a Citrix XenApp deployment type and you are able to orchestrate the process of deploying applications to XenApp servers, farms or worker groups from the Configuration Manager 2012 console. The connector consists of a part that needs to be installed on the XenApp server and a part that needs to be installed on the Configuration Manager 2012 server.

Before installing the connector let’s quickly look at the architecture of the connector and how it is working together with Configuration Manager 2012 and XenApp 6.5. The XenApp Connector for Configuration Manager 2012 consists of the following components;

  • XenApp Connector service
  • Configuration Manager console extension
  • XenApp Agent service
  • XenApp deployment type handler

The XenApp Connector interacts with the following related components;

  • XenApp Group Policies
  • Provisioning Services (PVS) Agent
  • Power and Capacity Management (PCM) Concentrator and Agent
  • Citrix Receiver, Receiver for Web sites, and other XenApp services sites
XenApp connector for Configuration Manager 2012 architecture

The XenApp Controller service will take care for the publishing of applications, synchronization of farm and worker group device collections and software orchestration.

The Configuration Manager Console Extension enables to Configuration Manager Console to work with XenApp. The Configuration Manager Console Extension adds Citrix XenApp Farm collections, XenApp Publications, Client Settings options and a Citrix XenApp Deployment Type.

The XenApp Agent Service runs on each server in a XenApp farm, it coordinates application and software and updates via the integration. The XenApp Agent service can work with the Configuration Manager idle policy feature to postpone software installs. This allows the XenApp agent service to trigger the installation of applications and software updates.

The XenApp deployment type handler detects and manages publications associated with an application configured with a XenApp deployment type. You can find more information about the connector here.

Before installing the connector, let’s have a look at the relevant portion of my lab environment that I used to install and configure the XenApp connector for Configuration Manager 2012;

ConfigMgr 2012 RTM lab with Citrix XenApp 6.5
  • CM01: Configuration Manager 2012 RTM Site Server, Software Update Point, Distribution Point, Application Catalog website
  • DC01: Domain Controller, DHCP, DNS, Citrix Licensing Server
  • CTX01: Citrix XenApp 6.5, Web interface
  • WS01: Windows 7 SP1

The connector can be downloaded from Citrix here. After extracting the downloaded file you will see three folders and a file called XenAppConnectorConfigMgr2012.exe like shown in the figure below.

Folder structure

So let’s have a look at the installation process of the connector;

  1. Installed the CitrixGroupPolicyManagement_x64.msi on my Citrix XenApp server called CTX01 (found in the XenApp Server Components folder)
  2. Installed the XenAppAgent_x64.msi and XenAppDTHandler_x64.msi on my Citrix XenApp server called CTX01. To be able to install the XenApp Deployment Type handler you need to first install the Configuration Manager 2012 Client on the XenApp 6.5 server.  (found in the XenApp Server Components folder)
  3. Installed the XenAppConnectorConfigMgr2012.exe on my Configuration Manager 2012 Site Server. This will install the extensions and the connector to the Configuration Manager 2012 server.

I don’t have any XenApp Power and Capacity Management (PCM) role configured in my lab environment, so I skipped all the PCM related installation steps.

Installing the XenApp Connector for Configuration Manager 2012

After installing the XenApp Connector on the Configuration Manager 2012 Site Server, a wizard is started to which allows you to configure the connector.  In my the next blog we will have a look at the configuration of the Citrix XenApp connector for Configuration Manager 2012. Stay tuned!


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