This Week’s Interview: Http Streaming

Http Streaming on v6.0

Starting today I am going to use what I call as the conversational format to write a few of my blog posts. The conversational style makes the blog interesting and at the same time imparts the required technical knowledge without adding boredom. But the technical seriousness of the post should not be undermined and it still remains a serious technical post. I hope you enjoy reading.

So lets go ahead and meet our guest tonight, Http Streaming. (Virtual drum roll here)

XenApp: Hi Http Streaming, who are you and what do you do?

Http Streaming: Greetings, I am a part of the Offline Plugin for Streamed Apps and I help administrators deliver their streamed applications over the Http protocol. The AppHub gets routed over the Web Server and all application content is accessed through the web server.

XenApp: That sounds cool. I heard you have a twin sister too. Tell us about her.

Http Streaming: Yeah, she is named Https Streaming. She is a bit more paranoid about things and the AppHub really has to show her its authenticity to get along. Else she won’t let you access your applications on the AppHub without the valid SSL certificate.

XenApp: We’ll interview her another day. For today we’ll ask you some more questions. Is there a place where we can read in detail about you?

Http Streaming: Yes off-course, the streaming architect: Joseph Nord, has authored my biography. You can read it here.

XenApp: You’ve been in the news recently for the latest XenApp streaming client. What is that all about?

Http Streaming: Well, as you might have already heard, the offline plug-in v6.0 has changed its profile data format from CAB to DIR, so I also had to rework my contract with them. Now the data hosted on the WebServer AppHub is the directory format. For me to work well, the web servers like IIS, Apache etc. , now must make some adjustments to their settings.

XenApp: What are the adjustments and are they really important?

Http Streaming: Well there are different web servers which can host the AppHub. All of them have their own settings but I’ll work fine if all of them follow one rule of the thumb. All profile content that is present on the webserver must be downloadable to the client machine.

XenApp: Hmm.. I am getting to what you are saying. Do you mean to say that none of the profile content present on the webserver should get executed on the server side?

Http Streaming: Yeah, that is exactly what I mean. Earlier with the CAB format, it did not matter as everything was packed in this single file. But with the new DIR format, there are a variety of files present in the DIR. Some of these files might be configured by default to run on the server side. For me to work well, the web servers should configure themselves so that none of such content gets executed on the server side, and all files go down to the client side. This is important since these streaming profile files are required on the client side for the streamed applications to run properly. If web servers follow this simple rule of thumb, we shall be at peace. The configurations might be different for different types of web servers.

XenApp: Can this be achieved by just making all the content in the virtual directory that hosts the profile content downloadable?

Http Streaming: Yes, as long as none of the files in the profile run on the server side, it will work. Since setting it on the virtual directory serves our purpose, it is good enough.

XenApp: Is there a way to check if my webserver is configured properly?

Http Streaming: There is no standard way as such but if you have doubts that a particular file type might get executed on the server side, you can use the services of my friend , the Internet Browser. Just open the Http path to the AppHub in the browser and browse through the directory listing. Click on that particular file. If you get a download box for that file type, it means that all files of that type will successfully get downloaded to the client side. Other errors/messages will probably mean that an attempt was made to run the file type on the server side, which is wrong.

XenApp: Thanks a lot for finding time for us today HS. Will see you around soon.

Http Streaming: You are welcome. I just hope the web servers come to the party and configure themselves properly, else I shall be forced to withdraw my services. Bonne Nuit.

Aman Sethi
I Isolate, Therefore I Am.