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Microsoft Azure RemoteApp

06/17/2014

Microsoft recently announced the launch of this service, called RemoteApp.

Introduction to RemoteApp

TS RemoteApp is a service to allow execution of installed applications on Azure will be performed on Windows machines, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android.

It’s the same thing that the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) for Windows Server 2012?

Basically Yes in use by the end user, but differs in operation compared to Remote Desktop Services available in Windows Server 2012.

At RDS we publish applications on Windows servers, and define the shortcuts of applications based on the RDS server farm that were created. Is based on applications that run on the server by creating instances of the applications. Is only possible to publish applications that are installed on the entire farm.

In Azure we do upload a RemoteApp virtual machine created in Hyper-V to the Azure and the system displays the applications available on this VM to be offered to the client. The instances that the user works on the auto-provisioning model, where the VM is created as the need for new plays. In addition, each VM can contain different applications and the Azure is responsible for starting the corresponding VM that application requested by the user.

Creating Service RemoteApp

As RemoteApp is still Preview, you must request access to it through the gate of the Azure, which can take up to a week to be granted. After receiving the e-mail releasing the use, we can see the service on the Panel.

Important to remember that the Preview period usage is free, but after the public availability or GA (General Availability) is a cost to use this service.

In the Microsoft Azure will be possible see RemoteApp and create services:

RemoteApp (1)

To create the service, simply use the "New" button of Azure and instantiate. In my example I used the VM already standardized with Office 2013 that Azure offers as standard, but see that the menu of service above we have the option "Template Images" where we can put our customized applications by using the Windows Server 2012 R2 with SysPrep.

After you create the instance of the service, the next step is to define the access. If your environment has the Azure AD you can use Domain users, if there is no integration we can directly use the Microsoft Accounts like the example below:

RemoteApp (2)

After setting the access and create the service we define which applications will be made available. This process can be made showing the applications by the path in the VM or from the Start Menu, like the example below:

RemoteApp (3)

RemoteApp (4)

Finished it, the applications are published and already it is possible to open the RDP client specific RemoteApp Azure.

Using the applications in Windows

Among the site https://www.remoteapp.windowsazure.com and install the RDP client from Microsoft, as can be seen below:

RemoteApp (5)

When installing the client can view the published applications and use them, which is very easy and fast since it is linked to your user profile in the RemoteApp:

RemoteApp (6)

RemoteApp (7)

See the above example Excel has the icon with the RDS symbol, indicating that this is a remote application. But to the user, nothing changes and the whole execution is transparent.

Using the RemoteApp Azure on the iPad

The next step is to open in a non-Windows device. I used the iPad.

To start just enter the site and ask them to install the RDP client that automatically opened the Apple Store:

iPad (1)iPad (2)

When you open the Microsoft RDP client on the iPad use the "Add Microsoft RemoteApp" which is already available in this version of the client to include the Microsoft Account linked in RemoteApp, enter the access data and accept the invite shown:

iPad (3)iPad (4)

Automatically published applications are already available for use, very practical:

iPad (5)

By clicking on the desired application the RDP client will login to the Azure and instantiating the application selected dynamically:

iPad (6)

And the magic happens! Excel is open on the screen of the iPad with complete features and enabling remote desktop:

iPad (7)

Additional Questions

Is it possible to use RemoteApp to open applications on my local station or device (iOS and Android)?

No, the RemoteApp does not have access to local resources of the machine or device. However, he has currently defaults to saving the OneDrive which allows the exchange of the file with the default synchronization and has client to the devices supported.

Can I remotely administer the sessions as the RDS?

Yes, the Microsoft Azure console it is possible to send a message to the user, close session or disconnect all or a single user selected.

Is the complex process to publish my own applications?

No, it’s pretty simple. Create a VM in Windows Server 2012 R2 (using Gen1 with VHD, Azure doesn’t support VHDX), install applications and run SysPrep. After that the RemoteApp console use the option "Template Images" to upload the VHD.

It is possible to integrate the RemoteApp in an RDS or farm in my local network environment?

Yes, but this process is complex and requires a virtual gateway that points the RemoteApp for your environment with public IP. To make this process refer to the documentation available on the Microsoft Azure, which in the case of a Preview is not yet comprehensive and simple to be queried step-by-step.

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