I was intrigued and waiting anxiously for the announcement about XenApp Express which is effectively the replacement for RemoteApp in Azure. Some organisations loved the simplicity of RemoteApp in Azure especially some small businesses, but with the recent announcement that it is no longer going to be offered from late 2017 meant we all gasped and asked well what do we do now?
RemoteApp was also integrated with Azure AD which made user administration very easy for smaller customers who were just using Office 365 and needed access to some Windows apps. In essence they could continue to use the same username & password across both 365 and RemoteApp.
Now since RemoteApp is set dissapear off the end of the Azure black hole, XenApp Express will offer a migration program to migrate existing customers. This will be interesting to see.
I have some serious questions though.
- Will it integrate with Azure AD like RemoteApp did?
- Is there a minimum user count like RemoveApp had (20 users)?
- Will it have the hybrid option as RemoteApp had which was cool?
- Will we be able to manage it from the Azure Portal or will we have to use Citrix Cloud Portal?
- How much is it going to cost? $$$
A Technical Preview is set for Q4 2016 but details have not been disclosed as of yet. There was a very interesting session at Ignite which showed the steps for setting up XenApp Express — https://myignite.microsoft.com/videos/2792?es_p=2724000
XenApp Express be available in the Azure Marketplace and when a users activates the feature they will then be redirected to the Citrix Cloud management portal (Booooooo), we then create an App Collection where you can choose a pre defined image or you can upload your custom image with Line of Business applications. The machine can be domain or non-domain joined, but it created resources within a Resource Group and a VNet.
Lets hope its going to be as simple as RemoteApp was.