Citrix XenApp

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: A complete guide to XenApp and XenDesktop vs. Horizon
Contributor(s): Jack Madden

Citrix XenApp is a product that extends Microsoft Remote Desktop Session Host (formerly known as “Terminal Services”) desktop sessions and applications to users through the Citrix HDX protocol.

Citrix XenApp and Remote Desktop Services allow Windows applications and computing resources to be centrally managed in a secure data center. Users can access the applications from anywhere and from non-Windows clients.

A XenApp environment consists of three parts:

  • A multi-user operating system: Microsoft Windows Server with the Remote Desktop Session Host feature allows multiple users to independently access a server. Users can connect to individual applications or session-based desktops.
  • XenApp software: Citrix XenApp extends the Remote Desktop Services applications and desktops to client devices via the HDX protocol. HDX provides remote display capabilities, multimedia redirection, USB redirection, and a variety of other capabilities, depending on the client device.
  • Client devices: XenApp sessions and applications can be accessed by client devices using a software client called Citrix Receiver. Citrix Receiver is available for a very large array of client form factors and operating systems.

Citrix XenApp is available in multiple editions, each with different features and prices. Edition names include Citrix XenApp Fundamentals, XenApp Advanced, XenApp Enterprise, and XenApp Platinum. Citrix XenApp has had many names during its life time, including MetaFrame, MetaFrame XP, MeteFrame Presentation Server, and Presentation Server.

This was last updated in November 2011

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Thumbs up to the developers of Citrix XenApp. The different features in multiple editions make it more fun. Dr. Paul Perito


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