Deploying Applications using RemoteApp

Using RemoteApp to deploy applications, can save time and effort. RemoteApp, is part of Windows Server 2008 R2, and allows you to publish a single application, and deploy it to end users. The end user will see a seamless window, just as if it was installed locally. This is done using Terminal Services or Remote Desktop Services, as it’s know today.

To begin, you will need to install and perform a fresh install of Windows Server 2008 R2. When using Terminal Services, it is important that you always configure the Server before installing any programs, otherwise they might not work correctly.

Once you have you server set up, we can continue to configure it to run RemoteApp. We will need to add the “Remote Desktop Services” Role, this is done through the Server Manager Console. After you have selected the required Role, you will be asked to select the Role Features. We will need to add the “Remote Desktop Session Host”, this will enable users to connect remotely.

The Setup wizard will ask several more questions, about how you wish to configure your server.

“Authentication Method” The improved security features of Windows Server, you can enable “Network Level Authentication” which adds greater security. But requires that you are running the latest RDP Client and have an OS that supports it. If you are unsure if you clients support this, its best not to enable it.
”Licensing Mode” To use Remote Desktop Services, you must purchase separate licenses, and have a license setup. If you choose to to configure it at this point, you can run it for 120 days.
”Client Experience” This enable you to enable features to enhance user experience. Such as Audio Recording, or Windows Aero. The use windows Aero your clients must be running Windows 7. You will need to select the options you with to enable.

One you have answered all questions in the setup wizard, you will see confirmation of your selections. If you are happy, click install. You will need to restart you server to complete the setup.
After the reboot, you should receive a confirmation that the installation was successful, if so we are ready to install the applications.

When installing applications, you should always enter the following command “Change User /Install”, this will change the way programs are installed, to allow multiple users to run them at once. Once the program is installed enter “Change User /Execute”.

To start deploying the applications, open the “RemoteApp Manager” this can be found under Administrative Tools. This will display the console for managing the applications.
On the right hand side you will see a list of frequently used actions, click on the “Add Remote App Programs”, this will launch the wizard to publish the application.
Click next to display a list of installed programs, This will allow you to choose the programs to deploy. In this example I will deploy Microsoft Word 2007. Select the program you wish to deploy and click next, then click Finish to confirm.

In the RemoteApp Console you should now see the application you have just installed. If you right click on the application we will be presented with several options. We are going to create a “Windows Installed Package”, this will allow you to deploy it using Group Policy, or by asking users to run the file.
When creating the installer, you have several option to choose from.
”Server Address” This would be set to the Server Name or IP Address.
”RD Gateway Settings” If you are using a RDP Gateway, you may need to change some of these settings.
”Shortcut Icons” This allows you to place a link to the program on the users Desktop or Start menu.
”Client Extensions” This will associate the file extensions on the client, to use the RemoteApp program.
Once happy click finish to create the file.

You can now run the Setup file on the client computers, to enable to to access the remote program. When a user open the program, they will be prompted for their username / password, unless Pass Though Authentication is configured.
The Application is now ready to use. You can repeat the steps to publish a program, to deploy more applications.