Using 2X ApplicationServer to Publish Applications, Part 4

by [Published on 19 Sept. 2007 / Last Updated on 19 Sept. 2007]

How to fine tune published applications.

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

In the previous article in this series, I walked you through the process of using 2X ApplicationServer to publish an application. Although the technique that I have already shared with you is sufficient for publishing applications, there may be times when you wish to exert a bit more control over the publishing process. Fortunately, there are some advanced settings that you can use to fine tune published applications. In this article, I will walk you through those settings.

If you look at Figure A, you can see the basic settings that you must enter in order to publish an application. As you can see in the figure, publishing an application largely consists of entering the application’s name, path, and startup folder.


Figure A: Publishing an application largely consists of entering the application’s name, path, and startup folder

As you can see in the figure though, there are two buttons located on this dialog box. The first of these buttons is the Change Icon button. If you click this button, Windows will allow you to select a different icon to be used with the published application. Many applications include several different icons that you can choose from, but Windows also includes quite a few icons of its own, as shown in Figure B.


Figure B: Windows includes a wide variety of icons

The other button found on the Application dialog box is the Advanced Settings button. If you click this button, you will see the Application Advanced Settings dialog box that’s shown in Figure C. As you can see in the figure, the first option found in this dialog box allows you to place a shortcut to the published application on to the workstation’s desktop. You can enable or disable the desktop shortcut by selecting or deselecting the Create a Shortcut on Desktop check box.


Figure C: The Application Advanced Settings dialog box allows you to fine tune hosted applications

The next option found on this dialog box is the Create Shortcut in Start Folder check box. This option allows you to control whether or not a shortcut to the application should be included on the workstation’s Start menu. Notice in the figure that the default Start menu path is \2X Published Items\%Groups%.

You can enter any path that you want. For example, if you wanted to place the application in a Start menu folder named 2X Published Items | Graphics, you would simply enter 2X Published Items\Graphics. The %Group% portion of the Start menu path that is used by default is designed to organize shortcuts to published applications by published group.

The final option on the Application Advanced Settings dialog box is the Associate File Extensions setting. As the name implies, this option is used to associate various file extensions with the published application. For example, the application that I am publishing is a graphics editor. As such, I could associate file extensions such as .JPG, .BMP, and .GIF.

In many cases, 2X ApplicationServer is smart enough to automatically detect the file extensions that should be associated with the application. In this particular case though, no file extensions were automatically selected. If this happens to you, or if you need to make changes to the file extensions that were automatically associated with the application, you can use the Add and Delete buttons to add and remove file extensions as is necessary.

Publishing a Predefined Application

As you have seen so far, publishing an application isn’t an overly complicated process, but it can be a lot of work if you happen to have a lot of different applications that you need to publish. Fortunately, 2X ApplicationServer comes preconfigured to publish applications that are included as a part of the Windows operating system. This can be a real time saver if you end up needing to publish things like Windows Explorer or the Control Panel.

To publish a preconfigured application, open the 2X ApplicationServer and LoadBalancer console, and then click on the Publishing icon. Next, click the Add button, and 2X ApplicationServer will display a list of several different types of resources that you can publish, as shown in Figure D.


Figure D: 2X ApplicationServer will display a list of several different types of resources that you can publish

Select the Predefined Application option, and click Next. At this point, 2X ApplicationServer will display a dialog box listing several predefined applications. Select the check boxes that correspond to the applications that you want to publish, as shown in Figure E. Click Finish to publish the applications that you have selected.


Figure E: 2X ApplicationServer allows you to publish various preconfigured applications

Filtering Published Applications

So far, I have shown you a couple of different methods for publishing applications. In the real world though, you can’t always publish applications and make them globally available to all of your users. Sometimes licensing issues restrict the number of users who can access an application. Other times, the nature of an application dictates that only a specific department have access to it. For example, only the Finance department should typically have access to the payroll application.

In 2X ApplicationServer, the primary method of regulating access to published applications is through filtering. To filter a published application, select the application, and then select the application’s Filtering tab, as shown in Figure F.


Figure F: The Filtering tab allows you to control access to a published application

Notice the Select Filtering Drop Down list, shown in the figure. This drop down list allows you to filter the application by user, client, or IP address. In case you are wondering, filtering by client is the same as filtering by computer name.

Implementing a filter is fairly straightforward. To do so, choose the filter type from the drop down list. For the purposes of this example, I will filter by user, but the procedure for filtering by client or IP address is very similar to what I am about to show you.

Next, select the Allow the Following Users check box. Next, select the desired Default Object Type from the drop down list. You can choose users, groups, or both. Finally, click the Add button and select the users or groups who should have access to the application. The user or group that you have selected will be added to the list of users who are allowed to use the application, as shown in Figure G.


Figure G: The filtering tab lists users who are allowed to use the published application

In case you are wondering, you can filter published applications by user, client, and IP address simultaneously. The publishing tab is only capable of displaying one type of filter at a time.

Conclusion

In this article, I have shown you how you can fine tune the applications that you have already published. This includes controlling icons, desktop shortcuts, Start menu locations, and even registered file extensions. I then went on to show you how to control access to published applications. In the next article in the series, I will show you how to publish application groups and entire windows desktops.

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

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