Can the Delaware level Application Streaming client be used with PS 4.5 level servers? 

Quick answer: Yes.

Long answer:…I get this question alot.  So much so that this blog will serve a useful reference so I don’t have to type the same information over and over.  Part of this is my own fault, having just returned from Citrix Synergy conference where the first question I received AFTER the App Streaming breakout was: Can I use the IIC enabled Streaming Client on PS 4.5 servers?  Argh!  How did I forget to mention that to the room full of hundreds of people?

“Delaware” is Citrix codename for the Presentation Server release targeting Windows Server 2008 as an execution platform.  The Delaware level Streaming Client is the one that will have Inter-Isolation Communication (IIC) and HTTP based streaming, so its a hot item.   The Delaware level Streaming Client is better described as Streaming Client 1.2

Since Delaware is specific to Server 2008, the question is really one to say: Do I have to go to Server 2008 to get IIC? 

Answer: No.  You can install the 1.2 Streaming Client on PS 4.5 servers and you get the 1.2 level function on the older PS platform.

Streaming Profiler/Client – Version history 

  • 1.0 Presentation Server 4.5 GA
  • 1.1 Presentation Server 4.5 HPR1
  • 1.2 Delaware (not yet released…)

Hey Joe: IIC is pretty compelling stuff, why isn’t the version number 2.0?  Answer: There’s no good reason.  2 was bigger than 1 and it makes the numbers different, so that’s all we did.  I’m not a huge fan of bumping version numbers just for entertainment.   I have a long history of major.minor changes causing troubles, so I tend to just bump one of the numbers.

The 1.2 Streaming Client can be installed separately from the server (Stream to client).  This concept is easy. 

The 1.2 Streaming Client CAN also be installed on top of PS 4.5 HRP1 Servers (32 and 64 bit). 
This will bring 1.2 streaming client function to PS 4.5 servers!  This is important.

More important: Yes, we intend it to work that way.  Yes, we are even testing it and YES, it works!

The Streaming Client is a client.  Think “ICA Client”.  The client does not REQUIRE a Presentation Server release for the client to be updated.  So far, we’ve shipped the streaming client only when using the ship vehicle of the Presentation Server; but this isn’t required.  Also consider that ICA Client can be installed on top of Presentation Servers – enabling pass through.  The same concept applies to Streaming Client. 

What about the data??  (profiles) 

Profiles created with Streaming Profiler 1.0 and Streaming Profiler 1.1 CAN be used with the 1.2 Streaming Client.  This “forward compatibility” works as would be expected.  Performance enhancements were added in 1.1 and additional enhancements added in 1.2 so there is value in “updating them”.  But, if 1.0/1.1 profilers are in the field and working the cost of doing the update is probably bigger than the value of the performance boost so this alone isn’t a big enough reason to go update everything. 

“Older profiles” can also be Inter-Isolation Communication enabled via IIC function of Streaming Profiler 1.2 with no need to reprofile the existing applications.  That is, 1.0, 1.1 created profiles can participate in IIC – which is pretty cool!

Going backwards, it gets trickier: Streaming Profiler 1.2 created profiles that do not use IIC *CAN* be consumed by the 1.1 Streaming Client.  This is conceptually, forward compatibility, but forward compatibility has limits.  A 1.1 level Streaming Client has no idea what is “IIC”, so it cannot consume an IIC enabled profile created by the 1.2 Streaming Profiler.   Well, technically it can consume it enough to figure out that it can’t handle it.

Where a streaming client (old) “lacks” capabilities to run applications from a profile (e.g. IIC), the old streaming clients include a polite error message to describe this and recommend an upgrade to a newer streaming client.  This has existed from the beginning (1.0) and will only now be exercised in 1.2 and only where IIC is enabled.  Generally it doesn’t come up because admins upgrade the clients, but its there none the less. 

Update: After writing this, one of the streaming developers commented that the HRP1 level AMC will not understand an IIC enabled Streaming Profile.  True.  Solution: Use Delaware level AMC to publish into 4.5 farm.  Hopefully that works.

Joe Nord
Product Architect Application Streaming, Citrix Systems Fort Lauderdale, FL