by Lyndon-Jon Martin, CTA, Citrix
There are a number of hidden features or GEMS that are often overlooked by many individuals when I speak to them about Citrix Workspace. Here is a list of my top favourites in no particular order:
1. Lost vs. Compromised Devices
So you’ve lost your BYO and or Corporate device(s)? It’s left in a taxi, London tube or overland train. Now what? Let’s also assume your smartphone can be found by the manufacturer’s built-in app vs. a third party app, but the individual who’s found it doesn’t call you. Or, worse, it goes offline? What do you do now? Built into the Citrix Workspace HTML5 portal (e.g. https://CUSTOMERNAME.cloud.com/) you can navigate to the self-service feature “File Access Management” and dependant upon the platform, LOCK, WIPE or REVOKE the device. It’s also used to track and manage apps and devices that connect to your Citrix Files. To access the feature, select your “Full Name” top right-hand corner -> “Account Settings” -> The body view now has a menu select “File Settings” -> “File Access Management.”
2. Integration of external EFSS Providers
Citrix Workspace has a “Files View” that includes Citrix Files, access to existing network shares (cloud vs. on-premises), and it also enables you to connect for example EFSS such as Google Drive. To access the feature, select your “Full Name” top right-hand corner -> “Account Settings” -> The body view now has a menu select “File Settings” -> “My Connectors” -> e.g “Google Drive” and then complete the authentication steps required for your Google Drive account. Note the same applies to all other supported EFSS platforms. Once completed under the “Files View” within Citrix Workspace, you’ll notice “Google Drive” is now listed and you can access, consume, and share your content directly from Citrix Workspace. Why this approach? There are many reasons, but let’s keep it simple and focused on the Security, so check out this security whitepaper – https://www.sharefile.com/content/dam/sf/pdf/en/sharefile-enterprise-security-whitepaper.pdf .
3. HTML5 Only Workspace
We do provide you with the ability to access Citrix virtual apps and desktops within the Citrix Workspace without installing anything, meaning access it clientless from the HTML5 portal. To enable this feature, select your “Full Name” top right-hand corner -> “Account Settings” -> The body view now has a menu select “Advanced” under the heading “Apps and Desktops Launch Preference” choose your preference (e.g. “Use Citrix Workspace App” or “Use Web Browser”). As an IT Professional, I do prefer to switch as desired based upon where I am, what I am doing, what device I am connecting in from. However, for users, you can empower them to access everything they wish from within a modern or HTML5-based internet browser so they can consume any device and get access to those LOB tools seamlessly without any fuss of installing anything. If users do decide to change from HTML5 clientele mode and the connecting end-point/device does not have Citrix Workspace app they will be automatically prompted to download + install it for their supported platform of choice (e.g. mobile vs. tablet vs. PC/Mac).
4. Edit Files on Any Device, Any Time from Anywhere
One of the features which I really, really do love about my Citrix Workspace is the integration between Citrix Files and Virtual Apps & Desktops. And no, I don’t mean open up a Windows 10 virtual desktop navigating explorer searching Network Shares, Citrix Files vs. other EFSS, My Documents to find and open that file I was looking to edit, even if it is sat on the desktop. Citrix Workspace enables a Citrix SysAdmin to configure “Citrix Files on the VDA” check out the how-to – https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-content-collaboration/files-workspace.html#open-files-in-citrix-virtual-apps. It allows me within my Citrix Workspace to tap/click to open that file I was working on yesterday from the “Files View” and have it open directly in the associated LOB app (virtually). This means that even if you don’t traditionally work via Citrix virtual apps & desktops, and you prefer locally installed LOB apps with an enrolled corporate device, if you ever have to edit that file on the go or away from your enrolled device, you can easily via the HTML5 Portal accessible at https://CUSTOMERNAME.cloud.com/, as there is no need to install or configure anything. Just login and consume to achieve your desired outcome (e.g. edit it and securely share it out with Citrix Content Collaboration). In addition, if you tap/click the three dots beneath your virtual LOB apps, you’ll receive a list of the recently-accessed files which you can tap/click on to automatically launch, if they have been setup and configured of course by IT (SysAdmin).
5. Sharing from within Citrix Workspace
Another outstanding feature I use in regular cadence, in fact daily, is the “Share” feature to send out PDF copies of my slide decks to partners and customers directly from within my Citrix Workspace. Simply select the desired file either in the Home view or via the Files tab -> Personal Files views etc., and select the three dots at the end of the selected file and click “Share.” You are presented with three options: “Email with Citrix,” “Get a Link” to share in a virtual meeting or to drop into Slack, Teams, Google Hangouts. The final available option is to initiate “Feedback and Approval” workflow against a file to collect any/all feedback (re. its look and feel, collaborate to make the content easier to digest, have a conversation about the file) all in one place.
6. Multi-Monitor Support for Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops
Yes, I know what you are thinking, why care about this feature? It’s actually been pretty useful for me in a number of situations. Example: in the Citrix Paddington office, when I need a second monitor available at a hot desk to separate out my LOB apps (e.g. Slack, e-mail or virtual meeting app on screen two). Another example: I’m consuming a Chromebook available at Citrix Paddington offices as I choose to travel into the office with just my work + personal smartphones and I need to present content to a partner or customer.
The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citrix.