Microsoft RemoteApp’s: Increase Business Productivity While Maintaining IT Security

By: Mark Grafing

You have likely heard the term "RemoteApp" in the recent years and have wondered what is it exactly. For many years, Microsoft has been selling Terminal Services Remote Desktop. It is a lightweight application that allows you to connect to a Remote Desktop hosted on a Windows server. It is typically used when you have a low bandwidth to internally hosted network resources, such as CAD files.

Instead of virtualizing the desktop, RemoteApps use the same protocol, but shares the applications instead of the entire desktop.

We have seen many customers who require this scenario to get around several issues. The RemoteApp and Desktop Connection feature offers several benefits:

  • RemoteApp programs launch from the Start menu just like any other application.
  • Published Remote Desktop connections are included alongside RemoteApp programs on the Start menu.
  • Changes to the published connection (such as newly published RemoteApp programs) are automatically reflected on the user's Start menu, without any effort on the user's part.
  • RemoteApp programs can be easily launched with Windows Search.
  • Users only have to log on once, to create the connection. From that point on, updates happen with no prompt for user credentials.
  • RemoteApp and Desktop Connection do not require domain membership for client computers.
  • RemoteApp and Desktop Connection benefits from new features such as Personal Desktop assignment or per-user application filtering.
  • RemoteApp and Desktop Connection is built on standard technologies such as XML and HTTPS, making it possible for developers to build solutions around it.

In the following real world scenario, The Company has outsourced its accounting and now needs to give The Accounting Firm access to their QuickBooks. By installing a RemoteApp Server, and installing QuickBooks on the new server, The Company can now share the application to The Accounting Firm without compromising security, functionality, or speed. This allows The Accounting Firm to remain in their office and still work fluidly with QuickBooks.

RemoteApp's combined with Office 365 gives you Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook as hosted applications as well. As a matter of fact, when you load Office 365 as a "Click-to-Run" application and an End-user logins into Office 365 from the RemoteApp Server, the license does not count against your 5 useable licenses.

There are many practical uses for RemoteApp's and each business case is unique. This solution works great if you have older applications that need to run on Windows XP or Windows 7 as it can be emulated with RemoteApp's allowing you to upgrade client systems while keeping the integrity of older applications. Windows 7 – 10 all support RemoteApps and we can expect more development in this area from Microsoft.

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