As we near the Q1 2014 release of XenApp 7.5, interest is mounting as evidenced by the thousands of Citrix customers and partners who attended the “What’s new in XenApp 7.5” webinar in person or on demand over the past few weeks. Given the high demand for XenApp 7.5 information, I wanted to highlight some of the commonly asked questions we captured during the various “What’s New in XenApp 7.5” webinars. If you didn’t attend the “What’s new in XenApp 7.5” webinar, I highly recommend you check it out a recording of the webinar. As a member of the Citrix Desktop and Apps Product Marketing team, I’ve picked out the top dozen questions to provide quick answers regarding this exciting, upcoming release of XenApp:
1. Why is XenApp 7.5 the latest version of XenApp, when the last release was XenApp 6.5?

  •  Answer: With the release of the XenDesktop 7.0 product line, Citrix introduced a new architecture for app and desktop delivery that combines the functionality of XenApp and XenDesktop into a single platform known as the FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA). FMA is a fundamental improvement over the previous XenApp architecture, known as IMA (Independent Management Architecture), that among other things simplifies app and desktop delivery with a unified deployment console and a powerful helpdesk and operations console for the service support team. FMA also decouples the underlying operating system from the XenApp/XenDesktop infrastructure making it easier to support multiple operating systems within a single environment and increases single-server density and top-end scalability to simplify the process of expanding to larger environments. FMA is built to be cloud-ready enabling virtual app and desktop workloads to be hosted on private or public cloud infrastructure. While XenDesktop licenses have always included the ability to deliver apps and desktops, the growth of app-centric use cases demanded that the XenApp product line and brand was critical for describing the market-leading app delivery software and bringing that core functionality forward into the mobile and cloud-era. The new XenApp 7.5, built on the FlexCast Management Architecture, is a cloud-enabled application virtualization solution designed for the mobile era.

2. With the release of XenApp 7.5, Citrix has stated that Web Interface will be supported. Will Web Interface support be only for 7.5?

  • Answer: All 7.x versions of XenApp and XenDesktop now support the use of Web Interface 5.4. Citrix has extended support of Web Interface for XenApp 7.5, XenDesktop 7.5, XenDesktop 7.1 and XenDesktop 7.0 to allow more time for planning and transition to StoreFront. Note, no new features will be added to Web Interface and its end-of-life remains August 2016.

3. When will there be training for the new XenApp 7.5 product?

  • Answer: There will be an online training class available when the product is released with more Instructor lead options following shortly thereafter. Stay tuned to training.citrix.com for more information.

4. With both the XenApp 7.5 and XenDesktop 7.5 product lines available, can I still use XenApp 7.5 for hosted shared desktops (also called server-based desktops) even though XenDesktop is the virtual desktop solution?

  • Answer: Yes, XenApp 7.5 will provide virtual applications and virtual server-based, shared desktops. For side-by-side comparison, please visit the XenApp and XenDesktop feature matrix (*MyAccount login is required)

5. In previous versions of XenDesktop, Citrix provided a VDI, App, Enterprise and Platinum edition. In XenDesktop 7.5 the App edition, which was more closely aligned to XenApp, is no longer available. What should I do if I’m an App edition customer?

  • Answer:  Although the XenDesktop App edition is being discontinued, it is equivalent to the XenApp Enterprise edition. XenApp 7.5 is available in Advanced, Enterprise or Platinum edition. If you are an existing XenDesktop App edition customer, Citrix will provide you with several options to ensure that you have a smooth transition to either XenApp or XenDesktop based on your desired licensing model (concurrent or user/device). Please contact your Citrix sales representative to discuss available options.

6. Is XenApp 7.5 built on the FMA (FlexCast Management Architecture) that XenDesktop uses, or does XenApp 7.5 rely on IMA (Independent Management Architecture) that was used in XenApp 6.5?

  • Answer:  XenApp 7.5 uses the same FlexCast Management Architecture that XenDesktop 7.x uses. The FMA architecture is more scalability, simpler to deploy, and decouples the management layer from the physical operating system making it easier to manage multiple versions of Windows servers, apps, and desktops.

7. If I’m a XenApp 6.5 customer, will I have access to XenApp 7.5 when it is released by Citrix?

  • Answer: If you are a XenApp 6.5 customer with active SA (subscription advantage), you will be able to login to MyAccount and access XenApp 7.5 when it’s released to the web in 2014 Q1.

8. I’m a XenApp 6.5 customer. Do I need to upgrade immediately to XenApp 7.5?

  • Answer: No. You can stay on XenApp 6.5 and continue to leverage that investment while you begin to plan your gradual transition to XenApp 7.5 or its follow-on releases. Citrix will be releasing a tech preview version of a XenApp 6.5-to-7.x migration tool that will provide insight on re-use potential and the steps needed to complete the transition. More information regarding migration guidance and best practices will be available shortly after XenApp 7.5 is released.

9. Is the promotion Citrix is running for XenMobile available only to new XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum customers?

  • Answer: No, the Mobility promotion that entitles XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum customers to either free XenMobile MDM edition or 20% off XenMobile Enterprise edition is available to both new and existing Platinum customers. More information regarding the promo is available here.

10. How will existing XenApp and XenDesktop Platinum customers access the new AppDNA entitlement?

  • Answer: Once XenApp 7.5 and XenDesktop 7.5 are released, the latest version of AppDNA for use by Platinum customers will be included in the download area and on the product Media Kit. New and existing Platinum edition customers (need active SA) can access the latest version of AppDNA as part of the XenApp and XenDesktop components and then install AppDNA with a new or existing environment.

11. As a customer, if I install XenApp 7.5, but decide to migrate to XenDesktop 7.5 later do I have to uninstall XenApp 7.5 before installing XenDesktop 7.5?

  • Answer: No. XenApp 7.5 and XenDesktop 7.5 have the same installation software. Once a customer installs either XenApp 7.5 or XenDesktop 7.5, they can simply change the environment from a XenApp license file to a XenDesktop license file to enable all the features of XenDesktop.

12. By far the most popular question, when is XenApp 7.5 going to be available?

  • Answer: SOON! is the only answer I can give right now, but stay tuned to the XenApp blogs as more information is released later this week and next.

Thank you for all your interest and excitement regarding the next generation XenApp which will be available for download on Citrix.com (MyAccount) later this month. Hope you found these Q&A beneficial and thanks for reading my blog!