If you’ve ever wanted to use the full-blown Windows version of your office productivity apps on your tablet, or to get access to your internal Windows/Linux Desktop without complex VPN and innumerable prompts for credentials, you are not alone. Here at Citrix, we hear you, and we’ve got some great news for you.

Citrix XenMobile enables “no-prompt” SSO for your SaaS apps, virtual apps and desktops from your mobile phone or tablet.

What that means is that any app—Windows legacy or not—running on any platform, can now run on your tablets or mobile phones without having to authenticate to each one. This is true to our Citrix Workspace Suite vision of any app, any device, any platform.

The advantages and use cases from a mobile productivity standpoint are tremendous. Here are a few:

  • IT doesn’t need to develop LOB applications to support each mobile platform. They can simply deploy a windows app to any device running XenMobile without any development effort.
  • End users don’t need to carry bulky laptops everywhere. Just carry a sleek tablet (or device of your choice) and access your virtual desktop, save your content when you are done, and pick up where you left off, even on a different device.
  • The Citrix X1 Mouse brings the desktop mouse experience to your tablet!
  • XenMobile provides a unified app store. All corporate apps are in one place, regardless of the type of app.
  • A XenMobile user can access productivity apps, such as WorxMail integrated with ShareFile, SaaS apps, virtual desktops, and virtual apps, all without separate logins.
  • IT speaks with a single vendor for licensing, billing, and support for their complete EUC (end user computing) solution. Reduces shadow IT.

Without going into too many technical details, here is the XenMobile console configuration and end user experience:

XenApp XenDesktop Integration with XenMobile

Once your XenApp and XenDesktop environment is set up, you need to add StoreFront host information into the XenMobile Server. This simple integration of StoreFront and XenMobile allows virtual apps and desktops to be available from the mobile device in a seamless fashion while delivering a great user-experience.

xm2

Note that a Citrix Receiver mobile app is added to the application catalog. The app needs to be installed on the device, but does not need to be configured. The addition of Receiver allows virtual apps and desktops (HDX) to automatically launch when selected from the XenMobile store or the device springboard.

Take a look at these screenshots of launching a Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual desktop.

XenMobile Screenshots

In the background, the HDX application sends a login request that is intercepted and completed by NetScaler. In a few seconds, the user sees their virtual desktop or virtual app depending on the request. For the end user, this experience is smooth, consistent and is delivered without any login prompts.

screenshot_20160819-084814
Notice that I am logged in with my corporate credentials without having to enter them again.

This is one of the less-explored, but still top-notch integrations between XenMobile and the rest of the Citrix product family. 

None of the pure-play EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) players out there can implement this, simply because they have neither the breadth of solutions that Citrix offers nor the depth of product integration that Citrix has built into all of their products. Other EMM providers might claim SSO, but what they really mean is SSO to just their native mobile apps (apps that have an EMM SDK or are wrapped with the EMM provider’s wrapping engine). Citrix provides SSO onto not just native mobile apps but also SaaS apps, virtual apps, and virtual desktops.

By comparison, VMware AirWatch’s Workspace ONE hinges on VMware Identity Management (a completely different product than AirWatch, and in fact a rebrand of VMware Horizon suite) and promises to deliver the SSO onto any app any device sometime in future. But this means purchasing a new solution and upgrading the current bundle. Moreover, SSO onto Horizon and XenApps would require an on-premises installation of new hardware and software in your network and managing another admin portal. Citrix has been able to deliver the any app, any device, any platform vision for over two years now by leveraging customers’ existing investments in NetScaler; no new installation or new licenses are required.

Our goal is to continue to delight our admins and end users with more integrated product workflows. Please feel free to leave feedback and stay tuned for more exciting stories. For more details on how to set up the SSL bridge, set up NetScalar and configure StoreFront, please refer the here.

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