XenApp/XenDesktop 7.8 is Here. What’s New?


March 15, 2016

Announced just a short time ago at the Citrix 2016 Summit, new versions of Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop are available now for download on the Citrix website. This release comes right on the heels of version 7.7, which was made available at the end of December 2015.

While version 7.7 seemed to focus on expanding compatibility with Microsoft and Linux, 7.8 distinguishes itself by expanding functionality and applications.


What Are Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8?

XenApp is Citrix’s application virtualization solution. Before virtualization technologies like XenApp, applications were tied directly to hardware. If an IT department wanted to launch a new application, they needed to purchase and provision a whole new server to power it. XenApp solves this problem by breaking the chains that bind applications to hardware. Now, dozens of applications can be powered by virtual machines on a single server.

Since its conception, virtualization principles have expanded beyond servers. A flagship product of Citrix, XenDesktop 7.8, is a virtual desktop interface (VDI) software. It abstracts the desktop from the hardware and hosts it as a virtual machine on a server in the data center, much like the servers virtualized by XenApp.

Among other benefits, this makes desktop management far easier, enables users to boot the same desktop on whatever device they choose, and enables administrators to set and enforce policies across the entire enterprise from a central location.  


New Features in XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8


AppDisk is now integrated into all editions of XenApp and XenDesktop. AppDisk is a new feature that eases the management of virtualized applications. Normally, almost every department in the organization would have their own golden image, or master image, of virtualized applications. In order to update any one of those, that golden image template must be opened, updated across the board, and then closed. AppDisk allows more precise control. Instead of managing applications in these bundles, an administrator can individually select the application of their choice, apply any necessary updates, and carry on with their day.


AppDisk will also be integrated into AppDNA for XenDesktop Platinum Customers.
AppDNA is a tool used to find application incompatibilities with Citrix XenDesktop. Understandably, compatibility issues may arise between the myriad of applications in use and the virtualized desktop. The endless variables cannot all be accounted for, but XenApp can highlight these incompatibilities and provide the insight necessary for a successful deployment. AppDNA will even give advice for how to correct these incompatibilities and an approximate time to perform the work.

The AppDisk integration will allow administrators to identify and correct any incompatibility before deploying an AppDisk package.


Studio management console is upgraded. 

Building upon the increased compatibility with Microsoft, the Studio management console can now also manage application packages from Microsoft App-V, a virtualization software similar to XenApp.


Framehawk Technology improves graphical capabilities.
In 2014, Citrix acquired Framehawk and has now repurposed a portion of their technology suite to improve the graphics of the XenDesktop deployment. In a Citrix blog post, they described the value of this addition as such:


 “Since HDX is all about High Definition Experience and Citrix is the leader in this space, it shouldn’t surprise you that we are raising the bar in the actual definition of User Experience. Generally, we have focused on frame rate and visual quality as a basis for a user’s enjoyment. But with this addition to the family, we are increasing the definition to account for linearity. Users need to enjoy the experience, not be distracted by it.”

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