Giving Windows apps a mobile-native look and feel with HDX Mobile
HDX Mobile improves the experience of Citrix Receiver users working in supported Windows applications and server-based desktops on mobile devices. HDX includes a native interface control channel allowing Windows apps to be re-factored for a touch experience while leveraging device features such as multi- touch gestures, native menu controls, camera and GPS device functions. Many touch features are available natively in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and do not require any application source code changes to activate.
Native touch features include:
- Automatic display of the keyboard when a text field has focus
- Larger picker control to replace Windows combo box control
- Multi-touch gestures such as pinch and zoom
- Inertia-sensed scrolling
- Touchpad or direct cursor navigation
Additional capabilities can be implemented using the HDX Windows Mobile Application SDK. It enables enterprise developers to update Windows applications just once for mobile devices using familiar Windows programming languages. The SDK includes more than 50 APIs. Following are examples of programmable mobility enhancements:
- Control how buttons are used on the mobile device; use local user interface controls instead of Windows controls
- Autosense display size and re-factor apps to use available resolution and horizontal layout on a tablet or smaller mobile device screen
- Integrate device functions such as telephone, SMS, GPS and camera with Windows app workflows
Accelerating printing and scanning
Citrix supports both local and network printer types. Locally-defined printers on endpoint clients are redirected into sessions as required. Network printers may be assigned to user sessions based on Active Directory group membership, user physical location or other criteria. Admins can leverage the Citrix Universal Print Drivers and Citrix Universal Print Server for simplicity and stability along with native printer functionality.
Citrix developed these print driver and print server technologies from the ground up. They provide many of the features needed for daily printing while taking into consideration the amount of bandwidth a print job requires. Using a single driver to manage hundreds or thousands of printers greatly simplifies management of print drivers in the Citrix Workspace or Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops environment. With the Universal Print Server, the print engine is moved to a Windows print server which prevents the need to install device-specific drivers in the server or desktop image. Firewall-friendly printing protocols provide greater bandwidth efficiency than native Windows protocols and extend printing to non-Windows devices. The latest Universal Print Server also provides improved scalability, greater OS-support and performance monitoring. Additionally, it integrates with Citrix’s Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) to continually help make the product better.
Although scanners can be supported through basic USB direction, the Citrix implementation permits additional intelligence between the endpoint and the host. Local scanner termination allows the user to interact with the peripheral at native USB speeds. Once the scan is completed, ICA compresses the scanned image and sends it to the host server; thus, the only content that travels over the network is a compressed image.
Supporting the largest variety of peripheral devices
HDX provides seamless plug-and-play connectivity for a broad range of devices such as webcams, music players, audio recorders and specialty peripherals. USB redirection to cloud makes these peripherals available within sessions hosted hundreds of miles away from the point of use. HDX technologies optimize USB traffic over common wide area network conditions to ensure real-time feedback and full-feature support. Support for digital pens, electronic signature pads, and drawing tablets in cloud-hosted apps is an important requirement in retail, finance, design, CAD and other such markets. View the wide array of peripherals and solutions certified for Citrix environments through our Citrix Ready Program at www.citrix.com/ready.
Ensuring the highest quality of service and reliability
HDX technologies ensure the highest quality of service and reliability through a combination of ICA traffic prioritization, branch office caching and ICA protocol optimizations.
Virtual app and desktop traffic competes with everything else on a network. To meet stringent service level agreements (SLAs), network administrators need tools that help prioritize and optimize application and desktop traffic to deliver a great user experience every day. HDX traffic prioritization capabilities include:
- Prioritizing virtual app and desktop traffic based on usage type by segmenting the communication channel into five independent streams through standard QoS routing techniques. Virtual desktop traffic can be segmented into:
- Dedicated real-time
- RTP/ UDP voice channels
- Application types can be identified, enabling network administrators to prioritize web and client-server applications alongside virtual app and desktop traffic to maintain QoS while achieving the absolute best utilization of the available network bandwidth.
HDX caching technology adaptively orchestrates with Citrix Virtual Apps, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, and Citrix Workspace to disable the native ICA compression used for optimizing single-user sessions. It then optimizes Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops delivery across multiple user sessions by locally caching and de-duplicating transmission of commonly accessed data, including bitmap graphics, files, print jobs and streamed media.
ICA protocol optimizations include TCP flow control, traffic compression and protocol acceleration.
- Adaptive TCP flow control accelerates the flow of all TCP-based traffic, including ICA, by sensing and responding to high network latency and packet loss. The result is significantly higher network throughput and performance than with standard TCP implementations.
- Adaptive compression uses a highly tuned engine to compress ICA traffic based on its characteristics, as well as infrastructure capabilities and network conditions.
- Adaptive protocol acceleration performs intelligent acceleration of ICA traffic while sensing and responding to network and traffic conditions.
Improved overall diagnostics with new telemetry functionality is available to assist with environment health and troubleshooting. This capability also leverages the Citrix Insight Services platform (cis.citrix.com) and Citrix Smart Tools (smart.cloud.com) for centralized data collection and insights along with tight integration to Citrix Technical Support.
Simplifying administration with policy templates
Pre-defined HDX policy templates based on use cases make it easy to ensure that users receive the best possible experience for their connection scenario while also meeting IT objectives. Templates for high server scalability, bandwidth-constrained WAN users, security and control, and a high-definition experience are included. These templates may be customized as required and applied to sessions using a variety of policy filters.
Bringing it all together in the Citrix Workspace
HDX technologies are the foundation of the Citrix apps and desktop delivery platform, which provides a superior virtual app and desktop solution accessible from any device, over any network and gives end users an application and desktop experience that rivals that of a local PC—even when people are using multimedia, real-time collaboration, USB peripherals and 3D graphics apps over low-bandwidth, high-latency networks. With Citrix Workspace, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and HDX technologies, IT can successfully extend delivery of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops beyond the corporate HQ to remote, mobile and branch office users — all while maintaining a high level of security and control over corporate data.