Windows 7

Configuring RemoteApp programs

After you publish a RemoteApp program, it appears in the RemoteApp Programs area. In this area, you can see the name of the program and whether it is visible in RD Web Access. To configure a RemoteApp program, right-click the RemoteApp program and click Edit Properties.

In the properties of a RemoteApp program, on the General page, you can change the RemoteApp Program Name. This value controls the name that is visible in RD Web Access for the application. You also can choose whether to Show The RemoteApp Program In RD Web Access.

You can organize applications in RD Web Access by entering a folder name in the RemoteApp Program Folder box. Any folder name that you enter is used to generate a folder in RD Web Access in which the RemoteApp program appears. After you have entered a folder name for one RemoteApp program, it is available in the drop-down list when you edit other RemoteApp programs. This makes it easier to organize the applications in consistent folder names.

The Parameters page has settings that control which command-line parameters can be passed to the application at startup. The options are as follows:

  • Do Not Allow Any Command-Line Parameters:
    Prevents any command-line parameters from being used when starting the app. This is the default.
  • Allow Any Command-Line Parameters:
    Allows users to pass command-line parameters to the RemoteApp program by using a custom RDP file. This isn't recommended because it may be a security risk.
  • Always Use The Following Command-Line Parameters:
    Allows administrators to set command-line parameters that are used each time the RemoteApp program is started. Use this when an app requires command-line parameters to function properly.

The User Assignment page, allows you to control which users have access to the RemoteApp program. By default, all users and groups that have access to the collection have access to a RemoteApp program in that collection. If you choose to give specific users and groups access to the RemoteApp program, then the allowed users must be given access to the collection and the RemoteApp program.

The File Type Associations page, is used to define file associations that can be configured for the RemoteApp program. If you select a file type here, then clients with access to this RemoteApp program automatically launch the RemoteApp program when they double-click a file with that extension. For example, if the WordPad RemoteApp program is associated with the .docx file type, then the WordPad RemoteApp program will be launched to edit any .docx file that is opened. FTAs for RemoteApp programs only work when the client is using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections, which integrates with the Windows clients.

Windows PowerShell cmdlets for RemoteApp programs:
As for other parts of RDS, there are Windows PowerShell cmdlets for creating and configuring RemoteApp programs. To get a list of Windows PowerShell cmdlets for RemoteApp programs, run the follow command:
Get-Command *RemoteApp* -Module RemoteDesktop

Configuring and managing client connections to RDS

Versions of RDS previous to Windows Server 2012 allowed you to create RDP files and .msi files that clients could use to initiate connectivity to session-based virtual desktops and RemoteApp programs. Starting with Windows Server 2012 R2, the two methods available for clients to initiate connections to RemoteApp programs are Desktop Connections and RD Web Access. Both of these methods obtain an RDP file from the RD Web Access server that provides the proper connection information to the RD Connection Broker and session collection.

It technically is possible to use RDC to connect directly to a session-based virtual desktop on an RD Session Host, but a direct connection doesn't have any of the high availability or load balancing benefits of a full RDS deployment. A direct connection also is unable to use RemoteApp programs.

When users are connected to session-based virtual desktops and RemoteApp programs, it's important to configure device redirection. Device redirection allows session-based virtual desktops and RemoteApp programs to use local resources on the client, such as hard drives and printers. You can manage connections to RD Session Hosts. One of the most useful options is shadowing. Shadowing allows you to see the user's session to help troubleshoot issues.

Configuring RemoteApp and Desktop Connections

RemoteApp and Desktop Connections is a feature in Windows 7 and newer operating systems. After you've configured RemoteApp and Desktop Connections, the RemoteApp programs available to the logged-on user are displayed in the Start screen in the Work Resources (RADC) section. You can pin RDS resources to the Start screen, but not to the taskbar. You also can find RDS resources by searching on the Start screen. Integrating RemoteApp programs into the Start screen makes them more like traditional apps and consequently increases user satisfaction over accessing RemoteApp programs through RD Web Access.

When RemoteApp and Desktop Connections are configured, users also can launch RemoteApp programs based on file type. This is called document invocation. A specific file extension is associated with the RemoteApp program, and when users open a file with that extension, the RemoteApp program is launched to open the file. This is similar to the way traditional apps function, and it also increases user satisfaction.

RD Web Access has a web feed available at https://server/rdweb/webfeed.aspx. RemoteApp and Desktop Connections uses the web feed as the source of data for displaying RemoteApps. Like RD Web Access, only the resources that you have permission to use are displayed.

Each RD Web Access server is configured with a certificate to secure communication with clients. If clients do not trust the certificate, then RemoteApp and Desktop Connections fail when creating a connection.

In a domain-based environment, the simplest way to configure clients with the correct URL for the web feed is by using Group Policy. Configure the URL in the Specify Default Connection URL setting in User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.

For computers that aren't joined to a domain, you can configure the web feed URL manually for RemoteApp and Desktop Connections. You can supply the URL explicitly, or the configuration process can identify the URL based on the user's email address.

Identifying the web feed URL based on the user's email address is the simplest way for users to configure RemoteApp and Desktop Connections because they already know their email address. To support email-based discovery, you need to create a text (TXT) record in DNS named _msradc with a value of the URL for the web feed. For example, if the email address is and the server name for the web feed is, then you need to create the _msradc TXT record in the domain with a value of

To configure RemoteApp and Desktop Connections manually on a client, perform the following steps:

  1. On the Start screen, type RemoteApp and then click Access RemoteApp And Desktops.
  2. In the Access RemoteApp And Desktops window, on the Enter Your Email Address Or Connection URL page, in the Email Address Or Connection URL box, type the URL of the web feed or email address of the user and click Next.
  3. On the Ready To Set Up The Connection page, click Next.
  4. In the Windows Security dialog box, enter your credentials and click OK. To avoid needing to enter the credentials again, select the Remember My Credentials check box.
  5. On the You Have Successfully Set Up The Following Connection page, click Finish.

After you have configured a connection for RemoteApp and Desktop Connections, you can view or modify the connection in Control Panel. In this window, you can view the properties of the connection or remove it. After clicking the Properties button, you can check for updates by clicking the Update Now button.

Refreshing data for RemoteApp and Desktop Connections:
When you configure RemoteApp and Desktop Connections, it collects the list of RemoteApp programs and desktops from the web feed. By default, this information is updated once a day by a scheduled task named User_Feed_Synchronization-{GUID}. If users are given access to a new RemoteApp program, they won't see it until this scheduled task runs. This also explains why the Connection Status often is Not Connected. A connection isn't created until the scheduled task is run.
In most cases, a daily update is sufficient because users typically don't need immediate access to new programs. If users do need immediate access to a new RemoteApp program, they can trigger an update from the properties of the connection from RemoteApp and Desktop Connections in Control Panel. You also can update the triggers for the scheduled task.
[Previous] [Content] [Next]