Catalog/Delivery Group compatability mode is a new concept introduced with XD7 which essentially allows us to support older 5.x VDAs as per our support policy (n+1/n-1: major versions) in a very clean and seamless way.

In XD7.x, Delivery Groups can be set to one of two modes defined by the parent catalog and in turn the MinimumFunctionalLevel value as returned when running Get-BrokerDesktopGroup through the PoSH SDK:

1. XD5 compatibility mode (L5): In this mode, some new XD7.x features are disabled but VDA 5.x can be used.

2. XD7 mode (L7): All XD7.x features are available, but you must be using the VDA 7.x.

In the screenshot below you can see each Deliver Group is running in XD7 mode:

Click on screenshot to view full image:

So what does this mean? Well if a Delivery Group is running in L7 mode then some new XD7.x features including Support for pass-through Storefront integration are available.

This is reflected in the UI with the Storefront option available for L7 mode Delivery Groups ONLY.

Storefront integration is just not supported with 5.x VDA’s and therefore rather then confusing admins with visible option(s) that are not even supported we have decided to only display what is supported.

Click on screenshot to view full image:

Click on screenshot to view full image:

To change the Compatability mode of a specific Delivery Group you can use the following command:

Set-BrokerDesktopGroup -Name <String> -MinimumFunctionalLevel <FunctionalLevel>

Click on screenshot to view full image:

Final Notes:

1.L7 mode is the default for all new manually created catalogs in XD7.x unless the following highlighted option is selected during catalog creation. By selecting the option below any Delivery Group created from this catalog will be set to L5 (XD5 Compatability mode):

Click on screenshot to view full image:

2.VDA 5.6 is available on the installation media for XD7.x for legacy support purposes and can be found under the following location:

\x64\XP XenDesktop Setup

\x86\XP XenDesktop Setup

Note: The XD7.x meta-installer will recognize that it is running on XP or Vista and offer the correct VDA installation…

3. When upgrading from XD5.x to XD7.x the VDA version installed on the machines is unknown, so the safe option is taken and the existing Catalog’s/Delivery Groups are set to L5 mode. The “Upgrade Catalog” option seen below simply changes the flag discussed above i.e. MinimumFunctionalLevel within XenDesktop  from L5 to L7 mode:

Click on screenshot to view full image:

Update: 30th June 2014
For more Information re: new features Introduced with XD7.x and supported with L7 Mode delivery groups see eDocs Unsupported features for VDAs running Windows 7 with 5.6 Feature Pack 1

Best Regards
Mick Glover (aka XD Tipster)
Senior Readiness Specialist,
Worldwide Support Readiness [EMEA]
Citrix Systems, Inc