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I'm after some advice regarding some guidelines to consider when deploying applications over Citrix.

My company is going to be using Citrix in the near future. We have suppliers who deliver our desktops, applications etc., within boundaries set by my company's IT strand. We have a principle of procuring commercial, of the shelf packages wherever possible.

I've been asked to consider what principles we need to consider when delivering applications via Citrix. The main one we have so far been made aware of by our IT supplier is 'try to avoid introducing scrolling as this can adversely affect performance'

Are there any additional principles we should be applying (bearing in mind we generally work within the confines of a UI that is generally only configurable and not customizable...

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That's too bad. Citrix is generally very slow and unresponsive to user actions. It takes far too long time to switch between the most simplest of things, such as the shift key. It doesn’t follow your response time on the desktop, and is generally slower than ordinary remote desktop connections, even with old VPN connections considered. Imagine what happens to a user trying to sign in using a strong password with multiple key characters. Yes, I’ve tried it – and it is really bad.

So your first option is not to use Citrix at all. If that’s not possible, make a benchmark with any other remote connection and consider response time on keyboard key press, mouse movement and scrolling (they tell you not to scroll, because they can’t handle it). When the results come in – try to convince management to use the remote connection with the best response time. It will cost a bit more money, but productivity will cover for all expanses and more. And don’t forget the avoided user frustration of an unresponsive system which effect cannot be measured in monetary value.

  • it takes time to get used to, but eventually, you (a user) simply start to type slower and not to freak out, when seeing "delayed typing" artifacts. I've seen dozens of people routinely using programming IDEs (Eclipse) and even skype voice chat over citrix. But video and graphics are different story. Even watching Youtube is painful, and colors are distorted, because of compression, so if your application has gradients or high-quality images (and they are important) - check how do they look on citrix. – c69 Dec 21 '12 at 23:02

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