Using 2X ApplicationServer to Publish Applications, Part 2

by [Published on 1 Aug. 2007 / Last Updated on 1 Aug. 2007]

How 2X ApplicationServer can be used to host individual applications in a Terminal Service environment.

If you would like to read the other articles in this series please go to: 

In the first part of this article series, I walked you through the process of deploying 2X ApplicationServer. In this article, I will continue the discussion by walking you through the initial configuration process. This involves telling 2X ApplicationServer which terminal servers you want it to work with, and then configuring those servers to work with 2X Application Server.

Before I Begin

Before I get started, I want to quickly mention that the installation technique discussed in Part 1 is only one of several different methods that you can use to install 2X ApplicationServer. If by chance that installation method does not meet your needs, then I recommend consulting the 2X ApplicationServer manual for alternate deployment techniques.

Verifying Installation

Once 2X ApplicationServer has been installed, the first thing that I recommend doing is to perform a quick check to make sure that the necessary services have been installed and are running. To do so, select the Services command from your server’s Administrative Tools menu to open the Services console. When the console opens, the 2X related services should appear near the top of the list, as shown in Figure A.


Figure A: 2X Application Server installs four different services

The actual number of services that get installed will vary depending on the way that you installed 2X ApplicationServer. In this particular case, I performed an enterprise configuration, and four services were installed. Notice that two of these services (the 2X Client Gateway and the 2X Publishing Agent) are not initially started even though their startup type is set to Automatic.

Selecting Terminal Servers

Now that you have verified that the necessary services have been installed, your next task will be to choose the terminal servers that 2X ApplicationServer will be configured to work with. Again, this technique will vary depending on the way that you installed 2X ApplicationServer. If you performed a single server installation (in some versions of the software this is listed as a small or medium sized business installation), then you won’t have to perform this step. 2X ApplicationServer simply assumes that the server that it is installed on is the only terminal server in the organization.

If you have performed an enterprise installation then you will see the screen shown in Figure B when 2X ApplicationServer opens the 2X ApplicationServer and LoadBalancer Console for the first time. As you can see in the figure, you are given the option of having 2X ApplicationServer automatically search for terminal servers in your organization.


Figure B: 2X ApplicationServer can automatically search your organization for terminal servers

If you do not want 2X ApplicationServer to perform an automatic search, or if you just need to make the software aware of other terminal servers later on, you can add terminal servers manually. If you look at Figure C, you can see the main 2X ApplicationServer and LoadBalancer console with the Terminal Servers icon selected. This screen lists terminal servers that 2X ApplicationServer is presently configured to work with. If you click the Add button you will be given the opportunity to manually add terminal servers to the list. As an alternative, you can click the Find button to force 2X ApplicationServer to search your organization for terminal servers.


Figure C: The Terminal Servers portion of the 2X ApplicationServer and LoadBalancer Console allows you to manually add terminal servers to the console

It is worth noting that terminal servers will not be able to participate in 2X load balanced farms unless you install the Terminal Service Agent . This is easier to accomplish than it sounds. When you attempt to add a terminal server to the list of servers that 2X ApplicationServer is configured to work with, the software will display the terminal server’s status. If by chance the agent has not been installed then the status message will indicate that the agent did not reply, and will ask you to please install the agent. Just to the right of this message is an Install button that you can use to automatically install the required agent.

Configuring Terminal Servers

After you tell 2X ApplicationServer which terminal servers you want it to work with, you must configure the terminal servers so that they will work correctly with 2X ApplicationServer. Begin the process by selecting the Terminal Service Configuration command from your server’s Administrative Tools menu. When the console opens, the first thing that 2X recommends doing is restricting each user to a single terminal session. This helps to simplify reconnections to disconnected sessions.

To set this limitation, select the console’s Server Settings container and then double click on the Restrict Each User to One Session option found on the console’s details pane, as shown in Figure D. When you do, you will see a dialog box that gives you the option to restrict each user to one session. Select the necessary checkbox and click OK.


Figure D: 2X Recommends limiting each user to a single session

The next thing that you must do is to configure each terminal server’s RDP-TCP listener so that it does not prompt the user for a password. The reason for this is that the 2X ApplicationServer client saves the necessary credentials so that hosted applications can be opened seamlessly. If the server were to be configured to prompt the user for a password, then the client’s saved credentials would be rejected.

To remove the password requirement, select the Terminal Services Configuration console’s Connections container. Now, right click on the RDP-TCP connection found in the console’s details pane, and select the Properties command from the resulting shortcut menu. When you do, you will see the RDP-TCP Properties sheet.  Now, go to the properties sheet’s Logon Settings tab and make sure that the Use Client Provided Logon Information option is selected, and that the Always prompt for Password check box is not selected, as shown in Figure E.


Figure E: The Terminal Services must be configured not to require a password

Since our goal is to use the terminal services to seamlessly host applications so that it appears to the end user that the applications are running locally, care must be taken to make sure that the Terminal Services do not interfere with 2X ApplicationServer. One important step in doing so is to select the properties sheet’s Sessions tab and make sure that the Terminal Services are not configured to override settings from user profile and Remote Desktop connections. To do so, simply make sure that the Override User Settings check boxes are not selected.


Figure F: The Override Settings check box must not be selected

Conclusion

In this article, I have explained how you can tell 2X ApplicationServer which terminal servers you want to use it with. I then went on to show you how to configure the individual terminal servers to work with 2X Application Server. Before a terminal server can begin hosting applications though, there are a few more parameters that need to be set through the 2X ApplicationServer and LoadBalancer Console. I will show you how to set the RDP port, maximum number of sessions, and more in Part 3.

If you would like to read the other articles in this series please go to: 

Featured Links