Tag Archives: Employee Experience

Azure AD SAML Sign-in with Virtual Smartcard to Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops

Consider this an evergreen post as of 10/06/2020

Introduction
The purpose of this blog post to aim for a consistent modern authentication experience for employees when consuming Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (CVAD) + CVAD Service regardless of where the (CVAD) workloads are running, either in *Azure, *AWS, *GCP or *On-Premises. The primary priority is that the employees identity is owned and managed by a cloud identity platform e.g Azure Active Directory (AAD) and the employees identity within each resource location* for CVAD usage maps to AD shadow accounts. These AD shadow accounts represent the employee as a UPN e.g human.name@domain, with a RANDOM long complex password that the employee doesn’t need to ever know and all IT is required to do beyond creating a AD shadow account is then assign the right vs. relevant security privileges and access to CVAD including Policies meeting local, geo of industry compliance and governance while maintaining a great employee experience.

The second priority is that the employees device can frictionlessly access CVAD resources using either a Forward Proxy, SD-WAN Overlay Network or ICA Proxy. I do recognise that many organisations are still required to make use of a VPN style strategy at the current moment and therefore this solution can also work for those devices as well repurposing the existing Citrix Gateway to also support a Full VPN beyond ICA Proxy or you can use other well established and trusted VPN solution providers.

Leveraging a Bring Your Own “either Enterprise vs. Personal” Identity (ByoI) is a concept I ponded way back in 2017 and now feels like the right time to pick that up concept again during the current Workplace transformation happening all around the world due to world wide COVID-19 pandemic. Using a ByoI strategy as high level vision you can efficiently deploy CVAD to any *Azure, *AWS, *GCP region or *On-Premises with less friction and you don’t need to be worry about “Password Syncing” just replicate the employee’s UPN + AD Security Privileges + CVAD Access & Policies where its required. It has the added benefit if you want do mix and match public cloud workloads to avoid lock-in amongst other topics, you’ll be providing a common and consistent login interface + experience irrespective of where the workload is sat.

It another brilliant benefit is the on-boarding of 3rd Parties (3P’s) using ByoI concept with a business check at the edge, the 3P brings there owned Identity and in the current world we live in I don’t think that is bad thing it could even strength that employees individual security as there identity will be bound to a smartphone which knows more about your individuals habits and you that you know yourself. If we can unlock a co-shared responsibility identity model between the individual + organisation we can truly aim for a passwordless workspace that only uses virtual smartcards or tokens.

Finally the on-boarding of M&A employees can be faster as you can generate them a few days after commercial signing with a new brand identity that resides in Azure AD (or Google, OKTA e.t.c) whilst they continue accessing existing workplace apps + data with current AD credentials, IT + HR + Business can choose when to layer in the “NEW” Workspace Platform for Work from group perspective into the existing Workspace with less friction and complexity. Yes this final topic is complex when we think about merging different Business IT and IT Systems together, a CVAD strategy with FAS bridges the GAP reducing friction and complexity for IT to sun rise a new Workspace stack for that newly acquired organisation while sunsetting the exciting Workspace stack and those new M&A employees get to on-board beyond the Workspace into there new organisations people, its culture, vision and values and avoids the IP drain that often can easily happen.

The Employee Experience

High Level Architecture
The scenario below depicts accessing a StoreFront server on any device type from within the Workplace fabric in any office locally or world wide or from a IT managed device that makes use of a Full VPN, Forward Proxy technology; WFH Citrix SD-WAN appliance where traffic passes over an SD-WAN overlay network; Citrix Endpoint Management enrolled smart device with per-app mVPN configured and finally irrespective of the devices management status you can use ICA Proxy* to access CVAD resources anywhere over the internet inclusive of any home via a Citrix ADC (formerly NetScaler) using the Gateway functionality which is “VPN-Less*”.

Systems Requirements & Pre-requisites
1. A UAT or Test CVAD 1912 LTSR Site that already setup. My personal one runs in AWS EC2 as it retains hosting connections or public clouds to preform MCS provisioning of machines from customer own and managed control plane. You can also use the Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (CVAD) Service or sign-up at https://citrix.cloud.com/ and engage your local Citrix representatives to get a trial setup for the CVAD Service.
2. Deploy a new VM which will run the following Citrix 1912 LTRS StoreFront and Federated Authentication Service (FAS) roles to create a new “Store” on StoreFront called “AAD” which will be configured to accept the Azure AD SAML token which will then convert the AAD SAML tokens into a Citrix virtual smartcard to SSO the employee onto CVAD resources.
3. Install StoreFront – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/storefront/1912-ltsr/install-standard.html after reading the system requirements – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/storefront/1912-ltsr/system-requirements.html.
4. Setup and Configure FAS Role on your StoreFront Server – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/federated-authentication-service/1912/install-configure.html after reading the system requirements carefully – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/federated-authentication-service/1912/system-requirements.html, this part shouldn’t be a problem e.g leaning on on Security teams whom control the Enterprise CA Admins as you’ll hopefully be using a proper UAT or Test CVAD environment with all the Microsoft management servers and roles including an Enterprise CA which FAS requires and access to AD introduce new GPO’s.
5. An Azure AD “personal or business test” tenant.

Deployment Guide

Azure AD Setup & Configuration – Personal Home Lab Edition
If you have a separate Azure AD tenant in Azure you can proceed to the next section, however if you are an IT Pro that wants to test out how to convert Azure AD SAML logins to Citrix virtual smartcards for CVAD the following the below guidance below for setting up a personal ADD tenant with a personal Azure account for your home lab. WARNING I am not an Azure AD nor on-premises AD expert, therefor follow the leading practises found in Microsofts documentation for Azure AD.

1. Navigate to https://portal.azure.com and sign-in with your live vs. personal Microsoft account. Select β€œCreate a resource”.
2. Select β€œIdentity” then select β€œAzure Active Directory”.
3. Enter in an β€œOrganisation Name, Initial domain name and select your Country or region”.
4. The wizard will begin creating your AAD tenant .
5. Once it completes click the hyperlink within β€œClick here to manage your new directory”.
6. At the Overview page of your new AAD tenant select β€œUsers” under β€œManage” section.
7. Select β€œ+ New user” under the β€œAll Users (Preview)” Overview you’ll notice your personal email addr.
8. You’ll notice when creating a new employee account for your AAD tenant that you can only append domain.onmicrosoft.com to the username, I’ll explain how-to convert that to user@domain and remove the UPN requirement of user@doamin.onmicrosoft.com in the next few steps. For now fill the following fields β€œUser name”; β€œName”; β€œFirst name”; β€œLast name”; β€œPassword” (choose or auto-generate) and the select β€œCreate” keeping the defaults as they are.
9. Your new AAD employee is successful created, you can assign roles. NOTE for my personal testing purposes I didn’t configure anything as I’ll delete that test employee AAD account after my testing.
10. At this point I’m not going to deploy nor setup the β€œAzure AD Connect” in my Citrix Cloud Resource Location as I want the employees primary identity to always reside in Azure AD as the single source of truth, and then bring that identity to my Citrix Cloud Resource Location e.g Bring your own Identity (ByoI) and after a successful AAD SAML login map that to a hardened AD Shadow account with long complex password that the employee will never know and all I need to do it assign the AD security privilege and access for CVAD resources. This approach means that employee will NEVER enter in a AD password within a Citrix Cloud Resource Location that is configured for AAD (or Google, OKTA e.t.c) when using CVAD 1912 LTSR StoreFront and the Federated Authentication Service (FAS) in a Resource Location(s). For complex environments yes you’ll likely deploy the β€œAzure AD Connect” software as a role somewhere to replicate the employees but you don’t need to replicate there passwd or you can provision the employee twice once in AAD as in the example above and then again manually in AD in the Resource Location as there corresponding AD shadow account which matches the UPN from AAD when authenticating using SAML to StoreFront, the choice is yours but I found for testing purposes a manual in each is far less frictionless.

On-Premises Active Directory (AD) within your Resource Location
1.Create a new AD “Shadow” account that matches the “User Principal Name (UPN)” in AAD e.g user@domain, generate a random long complex password which they don’t need know and then assign or inherit the right vs. relevant AD security groups, GPOs that you would usually assign to a CVAD consumer.
2. On-board your domain into Azure AD which required verifying it with a MX record to avoid using user@domain.onmicrosoft.com so that you can use user@domain keeping it simple and less complex.

Installation and Configuring the Federated Authentication Service (FAS)
1. On the new VM that you just installed 1912 LTSR StoreFront role onto from the existing mounted ISO run the autorun splash screen and select β€œFederated Authentication Service”.
2.Read the EULA which you’ll need to β€œAccept the Licenses Agreement” to continue.
3. Accept the defaults and select β€œNext” on the “Core Components” page.
4. Accept the defaults and select β€œNext” on the “Firewall” page.
5. Once the installer is finished select β€œFinish” to close.
6. Open a PowerShell window in Admin mode then copy & paste the following code below, which will enable a trust between the CVAD Controller and the StoreFront server, minimise this window you’ll require it later.

Set-BrokerSite -TrustRequestsSentToTheXmlServicePort $true

7. Navigate to the following path β€œC:\Program Files\Citrix\Federated Authentication Service\PolicyDefinitions\” on the current StoreFront server that you installed FAS role onto, copy the following two files β€œCitrixFederatedAuthenticationService.admx” and β€œCitrixBase.admx” the entire folder β€œen-US” to a network share which will need to be accessible from your Windows Domain Controller or WDC.
8. Connect to your Windows Domain Controller (WDC) via RDS from the current StoreFront + FAS server and copy the two *.admx FAS files including folder β€œen-US” from your network share to the following path on the β€œC:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions” on your WDC.
9. Open an β€œMMC” console and load the β€œGroup Policy Management Editor” snap-in, at the prompt for a Group Policy Object, select β€œBrowse” and then select ”Default Domain Policy”.
10. In the MMC console navigate to β€œDefault Domain Policy [server name] > Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Citrix Components > Authentication” and you should see the following three policies available β€œFederated Authentication Service”, β€œStoreFront FAS Rule” and β€œIn-session Certificates”.
11. Select and open the β€œFederated Authentication Service” policy, next select to β€œEnable” it followed by selecting the β€œShow” button parallel to β€œDNS Addresses” label and enter in the FQDN e.g. β€œserver.domain” of your StoreFront + FAS server and then select β€œOK” and then select β€œOK” to save the policy configuration and enabling FAS.
12. Next select and open β€œIn-session Certificates” and select β€œEnabled” and in the β€œConsent timeout (seconds):” field type in a value of “30” which is the default.
13. Next close the MMC console and open up the existing PowerShell (Admin mode) and copy and paste the following code to force a Group Policy Update. 

gpupdate /force

14. Minimise the RDS connection from your WDC so that you are back on your StoreFront + FAS server. Search and open up Citrix FAS in Admin mode, if you don’t you will be notified in the UI and then select β€œrun this program as administrator” which will reload the FAS UI in Admin mode.
15. Select to β€œDeploy” for β€œDeploy certificate templates”.
16. Select β€œOk” on the pop-up window that appears.
17. You’ve now successfully deployed the certificate templates, now select β€œPublish” for β€œSet up a certificate authority”.
18. Select the right Enterprise Certificate Authority (CA) from the available list and select β€œOk”.
19. You’ve now deployed the certificate templates successfully to your Enterprise CA, now select β€œAuthorize” for β€œAuthorize this service”.
20. Select the right Enterprise Certificate Authority (CA) from the available list (same as above) and select β€œOk”.
21. The FAS UI will display a spinning icon as the authorisation request is pending on the Enterprise CA server. 
22. Connect to your Enterprise CA via RDS and the β€œMicrosoft Certification Authority” MMC Console and navigate to β€œCA > CA Server > Pending Requests” you’ll see pending certificate right click it select β€œAll Tasks > Issue” and the certificate will be issued. 
23. Verify the issues certificates are issued by selecting β€œIssued Certificates” and verify you can see two issues certificated that begin with β€œCitrix_RegistrationAu…”.
24. Minimise your RDS session to your Enterprise CA and return to the StoreFront + FAS server, you now notice the β€œAuthorize this service” says β€œReauthorize” which is correct as the FAS service is now authorised with the Enterprise CA. Next select β€œCreate” for β€œCreate a rule”, which launch a new window.
25. Accept the default β€œCreate the default rule (recommended)” and select β€œNext”.
26. Accept the default β€œCitrix_SmartcardLogon (recommended)” and select β€œNext”.
27. Select the previously selected and configured Enterprise CA you Authorised and select β€œNext”.
28. Select β€œAllow in-session use” and select β€œNext” if you enabled the following policy β€œIn-session Certificates” earlier.
29. Select β€œManage StoreFront access permissions (access is currently denied)” in red text which will open a new window.
30. Remove β€œDomain Computers” and add the β€œServer” running the StoreFront + FAS roles and under β€œPermissions” to β€œAllow” then select β€œApply” and β€œOk”.
31. The screen will update with β€œManage StoreFront access permissions” to now be in blue text, now select β€œNext”.
32. Select β€œManage user access permissions (all users are currently allowed)” in red text which will open a new window.
33. You can change to default β€œDomain Users” to your own test AD security group, then under β€œPermissions” to β€œAllow” then select β€œApply” and β€œOk”.
34. The screen will update with β€œManage user permissions (all users are currently allowed)” to now be blue text, now select β€œManage VDA permissions (all VDAs are currently allowed)” which is in red text.
35. You can change to default β€œDomain Computers” to your own test AD security group that your Citrix Virtual Delivery Agents (VDA) are found within, then under β€œPermissions” to β€œAllow” then select β€œApply” and β€œOk”.
36. The screen will update with β€œManage VDA permissions (all VDAs are currently allowed)” to now in blue text, now select β€œNext”.
37. Now select β€œCreate” and a “Default” FAS rule.
38. You have now successfully setup and configured Citrix FAS, you still need to enable FAS Claims for your “AAD” store on StoreFront which is covered later in this blog post.

Creating a new Store call “AAD” for Azure AD SAML Authentication in StoreFront
1. Open Studio and select “StoreFront” then select β€œStores” and the on the β€œActions tab” select β€œCreate Store”.
2. On the splash screen select “Next“.
3. Type in β€œAAD” for the β€œStore Name” field and click β€œNext”.
4. Select β€œAdd” list a CVAD controller, a new window will appear where you need provide the following information a β€œDisplay Name” e.g Citrix Cloud Connectors vs. CVAD 1912 LTSR, for the “Type” select β€œCitrix Virtual Apps and Desktops” and under β€œServers” list select β€œAdd” and type in the Citrix Cloud Connector or CVAD 1912 LTSR addresses and choose β€œTransport type” either HTTP 80 or HTTPS 443 (Preferred) and click “OK”.
5. You are now returned to the “Delivery Controller” page with a list of either Citrix Cloud Connectors or CVAD Controllers 1912 LTSR, click “Next“.
6. Now on the “Configure Authentication Methods” page select β€œSAML Authentication” and leave β€œUser name and password” checked as YES, then click β€œNext”.
7. Ignore “Remote Access” configuration and click “Next“. NOTE: I will update this blog post at a later date with the Remote Access via Citrix Gateway formerly NetScaler Gateway.
8. Accept the default’s on the “Configure XenApp Services URL” and click “Create”.
9. StoreFront will begin creating your new “AAD” Store on your StoreFront server, once the wizard completes select “Test Site” to verify you can see a webpage that displays Citrix Receiver or you can navigate to β€œhttps://FQDN/Citrix/AADWeb/” replacing the FQDN with your own to verify the webpage is available.

Generating AAD SAML Configuration for StoreFront
1. In the Azure AD UI in the Azure Portal select β€œEnterprise applications” node.
2. When the UI updates in the centre select “Select β€œNew application”.
3. You are taken to the “Add an Application” wizard and presented with three options select “Non-gallery application“.
4. Next provide a name for your own application e.g AAD-SAML-CVAD1912LTSR and then click “Add” at the bottom.
5. The AAD wizard completes and you are taken to the “Overview” page for “AAD-SAML-CVAD1912LTSR“, now select “Users and groups” from within this view.
6. Add an native AAD user(s). Note do not add any employee that does not have a AD shadow account setup and configured in the Citrix Cloud Resource Location (RL).
7. Now from the same “Overview” page for “AAD-SAML-CVAD1912LTSR” select “Single Sign-on” and on the “Select a single sign-on method” wizard select “SAML” and will start the AAS SAML wizard.
8. Select the pencil icon for “Basic SAML Configuration” to configure the following fields as follows below and select “Add“.

Identifier (Entity ID): https://FQDN/Citrix/AADAuth
Reply URL (Assertion Consumer Service URL):https://FQDN/Citrix/AADAuth/SamlForms/AssertionConsumerService
Sign on URL: https://FQDN/Citrix/AADWeb

9. Check under “User Attributes & Claims” portion that the “Name” field is configured to β€œuser.userprincipalname”.
10. Scroll to “SAML Signing Certificate” and click to download the β€œFederation Metadata XML” e.g. AAD-SAML-CVAD1912LTSR.xml, now save or transfer it to your StoreFront server at C:\Temp.

Create and Configure a Azure AD SAML Trust in StoreFront
1. If you have transferred the *.xml file e.g “AAD-SAML-CVAD1912LTSR.xml“, then on your StoreFront server create a folder called β€œTemp” on β€œC:\” and transfer the downloaded *.xml file.
2.Open PowerShell in admin mode or launch it from Studio 1912 LTSR. Copy & paste the following code below, however if opening the PowerShell with Admin privileges without Studio 1912 LTSR then copy & paste this cmdlet first before proceeding with the configuration & “$Env:PROGRAMFILES\Citrix\Receiver StoreFront\Scripts\ImportModules.ps1“. You will notice the virtual path for the Store is already set here to AAD so you can copy and paste it as is. This code sets up and configures SAML for the ADD Store.

$storeVirtualPath = “/Citrix/AAD” 
$auth = Get-STFAuthenticationService -Store (Get-STFStoreService -VirtualPath $storeVirtualPath) 
$spId = $auth.AuthenticationSettings[“samlForms”].SamlSettings.ServiceProvider.Uri.AbsoluteUri 
$acs = New-Object System.Uri $auth.Routing.HostbaseUrl, ($auth.VirtualPath + “/SamlForms/AssertionConsumerService”) 
$md = New-Object System.Uri $auth.Routing.HostbaseUrl, ($auth.VirtualPath + “/SamlForms/ServiceProvider/Metadata”) 
$samlTest = New-Object System.Uri $auth.Routing.HostbaseUrl, ($auth.VirtualPath + “/SamlTest”) 
Write-Host “SAML Service Provider information: 
Service Provider ID: $spId 
Assertion Consumer Service: $acs 
Metadata: $md 
Test Page: $samlTest “
 

3. Next copy and paste the following code which will ingest SAML configuration from the Azure AD *.xml that you downloaded earlier and copied to C:\Temp on the StoreFront server.

Get-Module “Citrix.StoreFront*” -ListAvailable | Import-Module
# Remember to change this with the virtual path of your Store.
$StoreVirtualPath = “/Citrix/AAD”
$store = Get-STFStoreService -VirtualPath $StoreVirtualPath
$auth = Get-STFAuthenticationService -StoreService $store
Update-STFSamlIdPFromMetadata -AuthenticationService $auth -FilePath “C:\Temp\AAD-SAML-CVAD1912LTSR.xml”


4. Validate there are not error(s) on screen that need resolving.
5. Minimise your PowerShell window you’ll need it again shortly, now open up Studio or StoreFront MMC console and navigate to the “Stores” and select “AAD” and select “Manage Authentication Methods“.
6. Select the cog icon parallel to β€œSAML Authentication” and then select β€œIdentity Provider” you should see that your AAD SAML configuration is setup and configured, leave it as is DO NOT TOUCH it!
7. Close all windows including Studio or StoreFront.

Enabling FAS for Converting Azure AD SAML Tokens to Virtual Smartcards
1.Open up your existing PowerShell window and copy and paste the following code below, which will ENABLE FAS for your ADD Store to convert AAD SAML tokens received into virtual smartcard that will be used to SSO the employee onto his/her Citrix virtual app and or desktop. You’ll notice the code is configured for the “AAD” Store so you can copy and paste as is.

Get-Module “Citrix.StoreFront.*” -ListAvailable | Import-Module
$StoreVirtualPath = “/Citrix/AAD”
$store = Get-STFStoreService -VirtualPath $StoreVirtualPath
$auth = Get-STFAuthenticationService -StoreService $store
Set-STFClaimsFactoryNames -AuthenticationService $auth -ClaimsFactoryName “FASClaimsFactory”
Set-STFStoreLaunchOptions -StoreService $store -VdaLogonDataProvider “FASLogonDataProvider”


2. Validate there are not error(s) on screen that need resolving, if there are none you can nose close the PowerShell window.

Testing your Azure AD SAML to Virtual Smartcard Login
1. Navigate to https://FQDN/Citrix/AADWeb which will redirect you to a AAD login.
2. Enter in your UPN e.g user@domain and then complete the required 2FA vs. MFA requirements setup by your organisation as requirement onscreen.
3. You will be returned to https://FQDN/Citrix/AADWeb and SSOed onto UI, depending on your setting your desktop will either auto launch of you’ll have to manually launch it yourself. The initial login will take slightly longer than usual as its generating you that initial virtual smartcard between StoreFront, FAS, AD and your Enterprise CA.
4. Your Citrix vDesktop or vApp should launch successfully and SSO the on without prompting for any credentials.

Troubleshooting
1.If you receive ANY error once returned to https://FQDN/Citrix/AADWeb post the AAD SAML login open a new browser tab in the same session and copy and paste the following URL https://FQDN/Citrix/StoreAuth/SamlTest to see if you have any oblivious errors e.g user@domain.onmicrosoft.com from Azure AD which doesn’t map to the AD Shadow account that is user@domain so its a UPN mismatch and the sign-on will continue to fail.
2. If the employee can sign on to https://FQDN/Citrix/AADWeb and the Citrix vApp or vDesktop launches but they see a credential prompt with “Other User” check and see that you configured FAS for the correct Store with SAML Authentication setup and configured if not using my example of “AAD” as the Store setup and configured on StoreFront.

ICA Proxy Remote Access with Azure AD SAML
Coming…

Final Thoughts on Bring your own Identity (ByoI) Strengthening Security through Co-Shared Responsibility
Coming…

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix.


Hello World! Project Q Helsinki – Stream 2

I’d to welcome to the world a personal project of mine that originated in 2010 yes a decade ago, its paused and re-started several times over the past decade and for good meaningful measure, as a family member in my household has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which gradually moved from Stage 4 > Stage 5 (less than 20% kidney function), resulting in hemodialysishttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dialysis/what-happens/ but before you get to that point you go through the creation of a blood vessel called an arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula) which is created within your arm. I’ve also successful completed intensive NHS training by renal specialists over a few months learning how to maintain the hemodialysis machine + equipment and how-to care for a patient while doing hemodialysis and how-to keep someone alive when things turn sideways, which has happened more than once and it happens as fast as you can take a deep breathe. My journey has been a very lengthly one, all the while actively working for nearly 8+ years at Citrix which enabled for me on day one in 2012 Flexible Working Styles enabled by its people + culture but powered Citrix’s technology.

What is it Project Q Helsinki?
It has three key streams the first I call the “ANY APS framework”, the second streams gravity is centred on the Citrix Workspace eco-system which has had three macro versions with each one building upon the foundation of the previous one, the third and final stream I’ll sum up as Workplace EQ which I continue to research in parallel to my (digital) transformation research over these past 2+ years.

Stream 2 as I said is focused on a Citrix Workspace eco-system, it includes micro and macro self-service platform releases. I define it as follows it’s a Self-Service Citrix Technology Advocate (CTA) Platform accelerating the time to value, while avoiding Technology + Business friction, and therefore achieving meaningful + measurable business outcomes frictionless with greater efficiently.

How Does it Work?
You complete either a guided vs. advanced (Γ€ la carte) web form with questions that generates a purpose built document in HTML format for you by you, the below image demonstrates how it works. It’s built to be modular and the interface + API can be re-framed for different people types e.g business partners, IT Admins + Pros, Architects and Consultants for future releases.

What Does it Look Like?
I published the following demonstration https://twitter.com/WorkspaceCocouk/ on 22 June 2019 at – https://twitter.com/WorkspaceCocouk/status/1142439856246800386, as you can now see from the below embedded video its continued to evolve since 2019.

What’s in the Initial Proto-Type Release ?
The following is a simple bullet point list of the outcomes that can be achieved once the CVAD (Service) proto-type is released to the Citrix community. I will introduce further Citrix services in the future and continue to add more capabilities as time allows me, I do all this work in my own personal time often late into the night.

  • Branding On-Premises StoreFront (Already available separately +)
  • Flexible Working Styles
  • Force Field Analysis
  • Suggested Citrix Technology Advocate (CTA) Virtual Guidance
  • Citrix Workspace app (CWa) vs. CWa for HTML5
  • Deploying on-premises Citrix Gateway formerly NetScaler Gateway
  • PaaS – Virtual Apps & Desktops Service including Citrix Cloud Connectors
  • Virtual Delivery Agent
  • Leading Practises
  • On-Premises – StoreFront and CVAD Controller
  • Windows Mgmt. Infrastructure e.g WDC, AD Bindings e.t.c

Getting Started
I published the first proto-type which was a micro self-service CTA platform release in 2019 designed to aid IT Admins and Consultants completing more advanced branding activities for on-premises StoreFont “stores”. If you want to test drive it visit – http://workspaceco.co.uk/prototype/citrix/index-storefront.php to get started, the below embedded video demonstrates an example outcome.

Do you want to Contribute?
I was intending to release the proto-type for CVAD (Service) today 01/04/2020, however due to COVID-19 my work workload the past 6 weeks has meant very long hours into the evening and night in helping and supporting Citrix customers preparing to implement BCP prior and during the current UK lockdown. I simply don’t have the time to complete everything by myself, including testing and validate it all and so I have complied a suggested community goal list below.

  • PowerShell Automation:
    • Citrix Cloud Connector and VDA Installers for both non-managed/powered and managed/powered machines using MCS as the provisioning method.
    • Create a hosting connections for all supported (cloud) hypervisors for Citrix Cloud and on-premises 1912 LTSR.
    • Create a machine catalog and delivery for both non-managed/powered and managed/powered machines to delivery a Citrix Virtual Desktop and following the Citrix Virtual Apps Google Chrome.
    • Setup and configure a StoreFront “Store” for remote access.
  • Field leading practises it could be anything e.g
    • Leading conf for vGPU enabled desktops using AMD Cards
    • Community leaded architectural framework
  • Language – Simplify and correct my spelling/grammar as I’m dyslexia.
  • Language of Business
    • Cost Modelling (Verify)
    • Suggested community CTA guidance

If you want to get involved please DM me on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/lyndonjonmartin and let me what area(s) you wish to contribute towards, you will receive full credit for your work. Finally for full transparency I will not be sharing any access to the source code initially, that will eventually come at a later date.

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix

Employee Personalisation Experience in Citrix Workspace

The Citrix Workspace experience always employees to personalise there workspace beyond the enterprise branding that IT may or may not enforce. So what can a use personalise?

The following options are currently available:

First Name
Last Name
Company Name (Optional)
Custom Avatar vs. Initials

The following shows the difference between with(out) an Avatar and does make a significant impact even as a Citrix employee that its my personalised workspace that I go to get work done.

How do you enable your own personal Avatar within your Citrix Workspace? I will be honest its not obvious and its driven by the Citrix Content Collaboration (ShareFile) platform.

1.Login into your Citrix Files (ShareFile) portal e.g https://axendatacentre.sharefile.eu or .com
2.Once you logged in you should be taken to “Dashboard” UI and in the middle of the web page at the top you’ll see your name e.g “Lyndon-Jon
3.Next to your name it will say “Add profile picture
4.It will then open up the “Edit Profile” web page and within the “Name and Company Details” area you’ll see parallel to your name “Profile picture” select “Upload” and browse to the picture that you will use and select it.?
5.Your picture will be upload and a green notification will appear above (right side) saying “Your profile picture has been updated.” which means your profile picture has been saved successfully.
6.Next login to your Citrix Workspace either the app or HTML5 portal and you’ll see your personalised Avatar appear instead of the standard initials Avatar. Note I did find that Citrix Workspace app across all my devices required either more than 1x refresh to propagate the new Avatar or sign-off/close Citrix Workspace app and re-login at the change propagated.

In closing you now have a personalised avatar within your Citrix Workspace available across all your devices as seen below, although I primarily use Apple devices you can see the experience persists from a HTML5 browser to the mobile and desktop apps for Citrix Workspace.

I have not checked what feature entitlement is required but considering that you personalise your Avatar in Content Collaboration its a little obvious at a glance, I will update this article in the future once I have fully investigate the entitlement required. This feature had positive impact on me that I believed a brief post about setting it up was a priority for me to share with the Citrix community.

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix.