Mobile SDK for Windows Apps

A developer tool kit to mobilize your XenApp / XenDesktop-hosted Windows applications

The Mobile SDK for Windows Apps provides a rich toolkit for enterprise Windows / .NET developers to mobilize existing line of business Windows applications or write new touch-friendly, mobilized applications that are hosted on Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop and delivered to any mobile device with Citrix Receiver. These mobilized Windows applications are able to leverage a wide variety of mobile device functionality including GPS, sensors, cameras, local controls, and device buttons in the same way that native applications running locally on the mobile device do.

Enterprises, ISVs, and Systems Integrators can all benefit from the Mobile SDK for Windows Apps to keep sensitive data secure in the datacenter and not stored out on easily lost, misplaced, or stolen mobile devices:

  • Enterprises and government agencies who have custom-developed Windows applications or enterprise client/server applications with publicly available APIs can use the SDK to make these apps much more user and touch-friendly when published on XenApp or XenDesktop and delivered to smartphones and tablets with Citrix Receiver.
  • ISVs whose commercial applications are routinely hosted on XenApp or XenDesktop by their customers can use the SDK to create mobile-friendly versions of their applications to achieve a more satisfying end user experience when used on a touch-based mobile device.
  • Systems Integrators who have a software development practice can use the SDK to create mobile-friendly, device-independent versions of their clients’ mobile line of business Windows applications that are hosted on XenApp or XenDesktop and delivered to mobile devices with Citrix Receiver. These applications can incorporate access to mobile device functionality such as GPS location services, phone system, SMS, sensors, and the device camera.

The SDK has over 100 APIs and out-of-the-box support for a number of programming language bindings. These APIs allow developers to produce mobile-friendly user interfaces for new and existing enterprise applications that match the capabilities of smartphone and tablet devices.

Version 2 now available

Version 2 of the Mobile SDK for Windows Apps includes support for XenApp 6.5 HRP02 and above and the following features:

  • Audio, video and improved picture capture, enabling rich multimedia from within your applications
  • Improved device rotation properties
  • Multiple mobile application support, allowing multiple hosted applications to simultaneously access mobile device resources
  • Mobile Device Emulator, allowing developers to simulate mobile device environments on their development machines without the need for mobile hardware or Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop

Key capabilities

With the Mobile SDK for Windows Apps, developers can now write XenApp or XenDesktop hosted, touch friendly applications that bring the mobile user experience to a new level, making it a very similar experience to that of a native application running locally on a mobile device.

The Mobile SDK for Windows Apps addresses the following areas:

There is rarely the concept of changing display orientation in typical Windows applications. Mobile devices on the other hand do not have a fixed orientation and can be rotated in any direction... users expect that the application will automatically adjust its position and size. The aim of the SDK is to ensure that applications are aware of orientation when hosted on XenApp or XenDesktop and can decide automatically what the proper orientation and layout should be.

Mobile devices typically do not have physical keyboards and rely on an on-screen keyboard (OSK), which is hidden until required. The SDK enables an application to decide when the device’s on-screen keyboard should be present and the type of layout that is appropriate.

Mobile device displays are typically more advanced than PC displays and support multi-touch with a higher pixel density. Windows applications need to be adjusted to correctly display on these smaller, but usually higher Pixel-Per-Inch (PPI) screens. With the SDK, display metrics are retrieved from the device and change notification events are made available to the application, making it aware of the device resolution and pixel density. Using this information the application can ensure that text is easy to read, buttons and widgets are big enough to touch, and UI Layouts can be re-arranged to fit the screen properly.

The iPhone and iPad have one button to control the application, while an Android device can have four or more buttons. A touch-friendly application will want to know when certain buttons are pressed. For example, in a page hierarchy the application will want to go back one level when Back is pressed. This type of functionality is made available via the SDK API.

The SDK API enables the Native Device Experience technology on the XenApp or XenDesktop server to map a list box in a windows application to a local mobile device Picker Control. Similarly a Scroll Bar in a Windows application can be mapped to a local Slider Control.

With the Mobile SDK APIs, many mobile device features can be integrated with applications running on XenApp or XenDesktop. For example, developers can build functionality into a mobilized application that allows it to:

  • Make phone calls based on contacts list on a server
  • Send an SMS from content on a server
  • Capture pictures, video and audio from a device’s remote locations and store them in the datacenter
  • Integrate email, phone, SMS and photos in one suite

Many mobile devices provide the ability for applications to retrieve the location of the device - either in the form of latitude and longitude coordinates, or through geocoding the address of the device. The SDK APIs enable Windows applications running on XenApp or XenDesktop to utilize the location information of the device.

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