Windows Server 2016 – Publishing WordPad with RemoteApp

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Most of the recipes in this chapter are focused on full desktop sessions provided by RDSH servers because this is the most common scenario that I find RDS used for in the field. One additional piece I would like to take a quick look into is RemoteApp publishing. This is the ability to publish individual applications out to remote users from an RDSH server, rather than a full desktop session. It provides a seamless window for the application, allowing the RemoteApp to look and feel like any other program on the user’s computer. Let’s set up a sample application and test using it from a client computer. For the sake of simplicity in demonstrating this capability, we will use WordPad as our application to publish and launch.

Getting ready

Our work to publish WordPad as a RemoteApp will be performed from our Server 2016 RDSH called RDS1. We will also use a client computer in order to test accessing this application once we are finished publishing it.

How to do it…

To publish WordPad as a RemoteApp, follow these steps:

  1. On RDS1, launch Server Manager and click on Remote Desktop Services from the left window pane.
  2. Browse to the collection of RDSH servers where you want to publish this new application. For our example, I am browsing to Collections | MyDomain RDSH Servers.
  3. Near the middle of this window, you will see a section called REMOTEAPP PROGRAMS. Click on the link in the middle of this window that says Publish RemoteApp programs:
  1. The wizard will now poll the server for a list of available applications. Look through the list until you see WordPad; it is most likely on the bottom. Choose it and click Next:
  1. On the Confirmation screen, click Publish.
  2. Now that we have the WordPad application published, log in to a client computer so that we can test accessing it.
  1. On the client computer, open up a web browser and navigate to https://RDS1/RDweb:
  1. Input your credentials, and you should see our published resources that are available in the RDS environment. As expected, WordPad is now visible here:
  1. Click on the WordPad icon and it opens on your computer:

How it works…

If you do not have a need for users to receive access to a full desktop when they log in to the RDS environment, you have the option of publishing individual applications instead. This can be useful for restricting the resources that employees have access to, or perhaps for someone such as a vendor or a temporary assignment that only needs access to certain programs and data. While this was a very simple demonstration using the WordPad program baked into Windows, you can use this same process with other applications you have installed onto your RDSH servers yourself.

Make sure you install the applications onto all of the RDSH servers in your collection.

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