published applications

Published applications are virtual software programs that function as if they were installed locally.

The process of delivering published applications is known as application remoting, where the application is physically installed on a separate device, such as a server in a data center, and virtualization software displays it on an endpoint. This software, such as Citrix XenApp or VMware Horizon, can deliver both Windows and Linux published applications, depending on the endpoint operating system in use.

Users can access and launch published applications in the same way they do with native applications. IT can deliver published applications to users' Windows and Linux desktops as well as their mobile devices. Windows PC users can access the published applications through the Start menu or shortcuts. Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) and VDI technologies both have application remoting capabilities, but published applications are more common with RDSH. They may also be available through desktop as a service offerings.

How to install published applications

IT has two options for how it delivers published applications to users. One approach is to publish an individual app. An IT professional can do so using the command line on the machine on which the application lives. The other option is to publish more than one application selecting a folder of applications to deliver.

The exact process IT pros must go through to install published applications to Windows PCs varies slightly depending on the virtualization software they use, but there are some common denominators in terms of the steps they must take.

The basic process starts with turning on published apps on users' devices, which involves something as simple as clicking a check box or moving a slider to the on position in the application virtualization software. Next, IT selects a display name and description of the app. IT must then run a command to run the application from its local location and decide whether or not to make the app appear in the Start menu.

To publish apps as menus, IT follows the same basic steps, except the menus automatically appear in the Start menu. IT pros can use the shortcuts folder to change a menu's name in the Start menu.

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, VMware Horizon and Microsoft RDSH all offer the ability to deliver published applications.

This was last updated in July 2017

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