VMware’s Horizon Application Manager 1.5 lets IT admins give end users a sort of company app store that allows single sign on for many applications. In my last SMB post I went over the basic installation of the two Horizon Application Manager appliances along with a brief overview of using ThinApp. In this post I show how to configure Horizon Application Manager to be functional within your environment. (You should refer to the Horizon Application Manager documentation for more information.)

The five tabs in the Admin console — Dashboard, Users & Groups, Applications, Reports, and Settings — allow you to do most of the configuration necessary to get Horizon Application Manager up and running. You may need to get on the Horizon Connect Web UI once in a while to sync things quickly, or change something if your Active Directory environment changes, but for this post, I concentrate on the five tabs in the Admin UI.


The Dashboard tab shows you the number of users you have, the number of groups, the number of apps, and recent events. There are also links to various reports you can run, which I’ll get into later.

Users & Groups

Under the Users & Groups tab, you will see a default group called ALL USERS. This page also shows how many users are in each group and the number of applications given to the group. You can create your own groups here and add application entitlements.


The Applications tab (Figure A) is where you’ll add applications to your users’ Application Catalog and where you’ll create entitlements. Below are the steps I followed in this tab to allow applications to be deployed.
Figure A

Horizon Application Manager’s Applications tab (Click the image to enlarge.)

1. Log in as Administrator to the Horizon Application Manager.

2. Click the Applications tab.

3. Click the Add Applications button.

4. Add already configured SaaS apps, other SaaS apps (with a bit of configuration), and your own ThinApped apps like the one I created in the previous blog post.

5. To add a previously configured SaaS app, click the application shown on the right of the screen (e.g., Salesforce). This will add it to your application catalog.

6. To add a SaaS app that isn’t shown, click the Add A New Application button and fill in the form.

7. To add your own application, you need to:

  • a. Have the network share configured (as discussed in the previous post) with a ThinApp package inside the share. If for some reason Application Manager isn’t seeing this application, you may have a couple of issues. Make sure you have the proper permission configured on the network share; make sure that you have a .exe or .dat entry point within the ThinApp project; and make sure that you have copied the bin folder to that network share.
  • b. Download and install the Horizon Agent on an End User Device. (Caveat: This did not work on Windows 8 for me.)
  • c. During the install, you can choose whether to use streaming or to download the applications.
  • d. Follow the wizard and enter the URL of the Application Manager.

8. After you add applications, you must create entitlements for each app to give users permission to access them. Under the Applications tab, click the app, and then click +ADD either next to Group Entitlements or Individual Entitlements.

9. You can choose to either have an automated deployment or a user-activated deployment. If you choose user-activated, the user will need to go into the Application Catalog and click the Activate button for that app.

10. Go back to your end user device where you’ve installed the Horizon Agent and find the icon for the agent in your system tray. Right-click it and choose Sync Now.

11. Right-click the icon again and open the VMware Horizon Applications folder (or open it from your desktop where it’s created by default) and you will be able to open any of your applications from this folder.


Horizon Application Manager lets you create reports by clicking the Reports tab, selecting a report, and clicking the Show button. The six reports included are: Application Usage, Application Entitlements, Group Membership, Role Assignment, Users, and Audit Events. The Audit Events report (Figure B) is the most interesting to me. You can show all kinds of auditing information such as access denied events or role change events, and it tells you information about the date, time, and client IP involved in these events.
Figure B

Horizon Application Manager’s Audit Events report (Click the image to enlarge.)


You won’t have to do much with the Settings tab because a lot of it was configured during the install. However, for single sign on to work with some of the SaaS applications, you may have to get into the SAML certificate tab or some of the other authentication tabs to create a federated authentication.

You can also create new roles under the Settings tab. The administrator role is created by default. You can add users to these roles by clicking the specific roles and clicking the Add button to add users.

There is also an Approvals section where you can enable Approvals and allow end users to request permission to use an application. There is more setup involved in this, as it requires configuring the RabbitMQ server. (You can read more about RabbitMQ in this PDF.) This will allow you to “integrate the tool with your enterprise’s license workflow system” as shown in Figure C.
Figure C

Horizon Application Manager’s Settings tab, the Approvals section (Click the image to enlarge.)