Subscribed apps in Citrix Receiver on various devicesWhen users add apps in Citrix Receiver, StoreFront ensures that these subscribed apps follow them from device to device, providing a consistent roaming experience. The previous versions of StoreFront used a Microsoft SQL Server database to store details of users’ app subscriptions. StoreFront 2.0, however, does not require a separate, external database, making it a lot easier for you to deploy and support.

Subscription store service

In StoreFront 2.0, users’ app subscription data are stored locally and automatically propagated to other StoreFront servers in the group by the subscription store service. The service provides a replicated, persistent store for app subscriptions without the cost and complexity of an external database. The subscription store service is created and configured for you automatically when you install StoreFront and does not require any administration.

StoreFront uses the Windows Extensible Storage Engine, the technology that powers Microsoft Access and Microsoft Exchange, to create a data store that saves and indexes app subscription data. These data are replicated around the server group on a peer-to-peer basis. This removes the app subscription database as a single point of failure in a deployment and makes StoreFront more resilient to temporary losses of communication within a server group. Because the data store is automatically replicated on all the StoreFront servers in a deployment, you don’t need to make any special arrangements to back it up. Although, you can export app subscription data from the data store if you want to make your own external backups.

Synchronizing app subscriptions across server groups

If your users can access the same apps from similar stores in different StoreFront server groups, you might want to synchronize app subscriptions between stores in different deployments. For example, if you have separate StoreFront deployments serving offices in America and Europe, identical stores in each server group will maintain separate app subscription data stores. So, an American user visiting the Europe office and logging on to the European store for the first time would have to resubscribe to apps to which they had already subscribed in the American store. You can provide a seamless experience for these roaming users by synchronizing app subscriptions between the American and European stores.

In previous versions of StoreFront, synchronizing users’ app subscriptions between server groups could prove challenging, as it involved replicating SQL Server databases. But with StoreFront 2.0, the subscription store service makes it much easier. You simply configure periodic synchronization of app subscriptions between the stores according to a defined schedule; every day at midnight or every 12 hours, for example. More information about setting up app subscription synchronization between StoreFront server groups is available on eDocs.

Upgrade to StoreFront 2.0 and lose the database

If you are running an older version of StoreFront, you are probably wondering by now what will happen to all your users’ existing app subscriptions when you upgrade. Well, the StoreFront 2.0 upgrade process includes a mechanism to transfer existing app subscriptions from the SQL Server database to the subscription store service. Once you have upgraded all the StoreFront servers in your server group, you can migrate users’ app subscription data for individual stores or for all the stores in a deployment with a single click in the Citrix StoreFront management console. More information about upgrading is available on eDocs.

By removing the dependency on SQL Server in StoreFront 2.0, we have simplified your administration experience and improved resiliency while also adding capabilities that enable you to provide a seamless roaming experience for your users. So why not upgrade your existing StoreFront or Web Interface deployment to StoreFront 2.0? It’s a great time to make the move to the cloud era!