Application Streaming – How to run local installed apps isolated
In fact it’s easy to run a local installed application isolated. The much more important question is why I should run applications isolated and last but not leased what is the impact of running a local application isolated.
Let’s start with an application Citrix is using that way: Internet Explorer. When Application Streaming is used to run an Internet Explorer Add-on, it does exactly what I want to do: Running a local installed Internet Explorer isolated to make the add-on available for the user.
So the question is now, are there other applications where you want to run an add-on isolated/streamed. Yes there are! The first time I run into that question, was the day I isolated 7-Zip. It is an easy task to profile 7-Zip, but because Explorer is not “aware” of the streamed “zip utility” the explorer context menu does not contain the 7-Zip Add-on.
But if you run Explorer isolated the context menu contains the 7-Zip extensions. Now there is the question. How can I run Explorer inside an isolation environment of a streamed application?
Simply by “calling” Explorer or any other installed executable from inside the isolation. There are many ways to do so: I like to do everything possible inside the Citrix Profiler, so I created a run_Explorer.cmd file, but you can also define a start script starting explorer (with option /e,). With the Profiler I added the cmd script to the target and also defined it as an application shortcut.
When now running the CMD file as an streamed application on the client, 7-Zip is shown in the context menu of Explorer.
As a side effect now the 7-Zip installation files are “visible” to Explorer. If you need details on how to do it step by step look here: Blog from Joseph Nord: AIE on Desktop and AIE via App Streaming
Now it looks like everything is done. Isn’t it? No it is not. Running Explorer locally has a lot more impact: When using Explorer you change settings, you create files, copy files and all this tasks are running isolated, controlled by the Isolation rules.
So the last thing you have to do is consider in which way the isolation rules impacts the application behavior and how to change them.