How many times do you log into a system just to run one application? I don’t know about you, but I’m lazy. I’d rather have that application come to me. The fact is that all applications don’t always play well together. Combine that with today’s mix of operating systems since Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 have been released, and there are times when it's tough to run everything in one spot.
Recently, I found the RemoteApp part of Remote Dekstop Services as the tool that saved the day for me. I had an application that wasn’t ready yet for Windows Server 2012, but I didn’t want to keep transitioning from system to system. As it turns out, RemoteApp fit the need for me swimmingly.
In a nutshell, RemoteApp is an RDP connection, not to a session on a server, but allows the application to run within a session on a server. The server does need to be a Windows Terminal Server in Remote Desktop Services, but beyond that, this is a simple setup.The RemoteApp Manager is where RemoteApp connections are made, which is a management snap-in on the Terminal Server. The RemoteApp wizard easily allows a new connection to be made, as shown in Figure A below:
Click to enlarge.Once the options for the application are set (if applicable), the connection easily can be saved as an .RDP file. This is an easy way to make it available from other systems, so you don’t have to make separate full-session connections to run an application. Figure B shows the option by which you would save the connection as an .RDP file (for the calculator application, as an example):
Click to enlarge.
This opens up a world of capabilities, and can be done on scale as well. For small one-off applications that administrators may use, it’s awesome. Yet for user-based situations, you’ve got an avenue there as well. Check out the Step-By-Step Guide for more information about RemoteApp at TechNet.
Have you used RemoteApp? If so, how? Share your experience and tips below.
Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.