As summer approaches here in the Northern Hemisphere we start to see the big blockbuster movie releases roll out. While we can debate which film will be the biggest hit, there will be no doubt what the hottest release of summer will be: XenApp and XenDesktop 7.18!

You may be asking, “Why is this the hottest release of the summer?” Because Citrix has dedicated this release to improving the overall experience for both the user and the IT admin. Let’s take a look at some of the enhancements coming to a Citrix deployment near you:

New HDX Enhancements for the User

For the active workforce, we are working hard to continually improve the overall end user experience. Here are some of the recent enhancements that version 7.18 will bring to the user:

Intuitive Webcam Plug-n-play

Enable your workforce to stay productive when using peripherals. Users are now able to plug-in a webcam during an active application or desktop session with instant recognition and activation — there is no need to close the virtual application or desktop as in the past.

Battery Status Visibility in Virtual Desktops

Battery status of your physical device will now display within your virtual desktop. This enables you to view the remaining battery life of your device without navigating away from the virtual desktop, providing another step toward a robust desktop experience for end users.

Improved Microsoft Surface Pro and Book Pen Performance (Tech Preview)

Provide true pen functionality — pressure sensitivity and cursive characters — while using a stylus within a virtual app session. This enables you to use virtual INK-based apps that enable stylus editing in their true form (Tech Preview available on Citrix Insiders).

Faster Smart Card Performance

This update improves smart card logons and in-session usage for field workers in challenging network conditions, enhancing their user performance.

Progressive Display Enhancements

This enables your workforce to continue to be productive despite challenging network conditions. Automatically detect instances of high latency or low bandwidth and intelligently reduce image quality to improve user interactivity and responsiveness. The system will continue to monitor network availability to enhance image quality once the associated network capacity is available.

New HDX Enhancements for the IT Admin

For IT administrators, we continue to enhance Citrix Director’s monitoring and reporting features to help you troubleshoot and keep your deployment performing with maximum efficiency. Here are some enhancements with this release:

Automate System Health Checks with Application Probing and Reporting

Platinum edition admins can install multiple probes in branch offices to periodically test app launches and assess overall site performance.  The results are then showcased within Director. Probes are configurable for on-demand and scheduled runs.

Browser Content Redirection Support for Authentication Websites

Give IT admins the ability to whitelist websites that require SSO via Identity Providers (like Okta). With this enhancement, the entire authentication process to a website happens locally on the endpoint’s HDXOverlay browser.

Interactive Session Enhancement Within Citrix Director

Director gives admins great insights into the overall user login; however, in the past, a majority of the login process typically fell within the ‘interactive session’ phase. Now Director will provide an additional breakdown of the interactive session details to help IT admins keep login times to a minimum.

Machine Creation Services for Linux App and Desktop VDAs

Customers looking to incorporate Linux apps and desktops into their sites are now able to utilize either Machine Creation Services or Provisioning Services to rapidly deploy Linux resources to their users.

Built-in Default Alert Policies for Citrix Director

Proactive notification and alerting functionality in Director allows admins to set warning and critical thresholds for various conditions; however, there are no defaults to help admins get started. With this release Citrix will now provide default alert policies that an admin can simply turn-on to set warning and critical thresholds for various conditions.

App-V Support for Dynamic Configuration Files

With this release Citrix now supports the use of User Configuration Files to customize an App-V package when applications are launched using the single admin management method. This allows you to easily change the App-V package characteristics for a specific set of users on a computer, or to make changes that will be applied to local user locations without the need to re-sequence the package. This support adds the use of user-specific User Configuration Files to applications in App-V packages managed by XenApp 7.18’s single admin management method.

Get XenApp and XenDesktop 7.18 today

If you have active Customer Success Services (CSS) as of August 1, 2017, your ticket is already punched to download XenApp and XenDesktop 7.18 right now. For customers looking to move off XenApp 6.5, which reaches End-of-life on June 30 2018, now is a great time to migrate to XenApp 7.18! We have dedicated support services to help you get started. Get your free, step-by-step guide at the Citrix XenApp Upgrade and Migration Page and start today.