Along with the XenDesktop 7 release earlier this month we also get a new version of Storefront which includes some very welcome additions.
Storefront is the perfect intergration piece with any XenApp 6, XenDesktop 5.6 and 7 deployment which boasts a vast array of features improving over the now deprecated Web Interface. The older Storefront 1.2 version relied upon SQL server to handle user based subscriptions.
The subscription features allows users to add (or subscribe) to apps from a list which would then whizz along and attach themselves to the users home screen. This had the advantage over web interface where in most instances if you gave access to an app or group of apps then they would be displayed at login. This could become a bit of a mess for users who were given access to lots of apps especially if they did not actually use them all. The old web interface style of presentation is not conducive to today’s iphone and android wielding workforce. The SQL requirement wasn’t really too much of an issue but never quite felt right, luckily now Storefront 2 does away with this requirement instead preferring a local cache which can be periodically replicated in the case of Storefront servers belonging to server groups, i.e multiple storefront servers for load balancing and resiliency.
Storefront 2.0 can now also be installed upon Windows server 2012 which along with XenDesktop 7’s support for server 2012 plus its previous incarnations and Windows 8 provides a fully featured and modern SBC/VDI platform.
Storefront 2.0 still supports older access gateway appliances from 5.04 (now deprecated) and Netscaler Access Gateway verions 8.x , 9.x and 10.x. If you are still running either physical or Vpx versions of Citrix access gateway 5.x then you should really be looking to upgrade as it has been deprecated and no further security patches or dev work is going into that appliance .
You can perform an in-place upgrade of Storefront 1.2 to 2.0 by simply downloading the new files and running the executable, one feature of this upgrade however is that windows firewall must be ENABLED for the installation to work correctly. Once upgraded you can click on the server group and migrate the database contents from SQL to the new local db that storefront keeps.
If you are running previous versions of Storefront namely 1.1 or 1.0 you will firstly need to upgrade those to Storefront 1.2 before you can make the jump to 2.0. Doing a multi hop upgrade will ensure you subscriptions are kept intact.
I am currently working on a few blog posts which will detail and maybe video the upgrade process, its not that complicated but is still worthwhile taking time over to get it right.
Download Storefront 2.0 from here and enjoy the upgrade!
Author: Dale Scriven