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Using RDPWin Remotely with Citrix or Terminal Server

Last updated 4/24/2012

Links Related to Remote Access with Citrix or Terminal Server

Note: There are special steps required to install Pervasive on Citrix or Terminal Server.  See Pervasive Work Group Engine Required, Run as Service on Citrix/Terminal Server.  The work group engine can be purchased from RDP by calling RDP Sales.


Warning:  64-bit workstations are not supported for call accounting, phone actuator, maid phone, voicemail, and point sale interface computers. These programs still require the use of 16-bit MS DOS program, which is not supported on 64-bit machines. 32-bit operating systems are supported for interfaces.

RDPWin Performance with Citrix or Terminal Services

For maximum performance, RDP suggests that all local workstations use the RDPWin Client directly connected to the data server.  Remote workstations can use Citrix or terminal services with the following guidelines:

Pervasive Workstation Engine Must be Installed as a Service There are special steps required to install Pervasive on Citrix or terminal servers.  See Pervasive Work Group Engine Required, Run as Service on Citrix/Terminal Servers.  The work group engine can be purchased from RDP for $100.  Call RDP Sales.
Citrix or Terminal Services Required Direct “server-to-server” connections such as Microsoft's RAS, even with a dedicated T1 line, will be too slow to function with RDP.  Either Citrix or terminal services is required.
Number of Clients per Citrix or terminal server

Performance of RDPWin
For maximum performance, RDP suggests that all local workstations use the RDPWin Client  directly connected to the data server.  For performance reasons, only remote workstations should use Citrix or terminal services.  The performance of RDPWin when running remote in a Citrix or terminal services environment depends on many factors, including:

  • The number of clients per Citrix or terminal server
  • The workload from the client (frequent client access to RDP consumes more server resources)
  • Any non-RDP applications running on the same server (greatly reduces RDP's performance)
  • The number of processors on the server the each processor's speed
  • Total server memory
  • The size of the server network card (1 Gbit or more)
  • Frequency of report printing

We strongly suggest purchasing multiple, inexpensive servers rather than one expensive Citrix/terminal server with more memory and multiple processors for the following reasons:

  • Multiple Citrix or terminal servers provides redundancy.  When one fails, connect to another.
  • Performance is improved with two or more servers, even more so than with multiple processors and memory added to a single server.
  • RDPWin uses Crystal Reports extensively, which is limited to three simultaneous threads per Citrix or terminal server.  This means only three clients can generate a report at the same time.  If a fourth client attempts to generate a report, an message is issued to try again.  This problem is solved by adding additional Citrix or terminal servers and is not solved with a second processor.

Our technical staff is glad to help evaluate how many Citrix or terminal servers are required for your application.  Please contact RDP Support for configuration assistance.

Remote Access
for up to Two Users
For infrequent remote access from one or two workstations, a separate Citrix/terminal server is not required.  The RDP data server with Windows 2003 has the ability to host two remote workstations using the included Remote Desktop for Administration mode of Windows 2003. 
Communication Line
T1, DSL, etc.
The speed of the communication line between the remote locations and the data server location is critical to performance.  The faster the communication line, the better the performance.  A T1 line at the location of the data server and Citrix/terminal server is ideal.  Remote locations may be able to use slower connections such as DSL, depending on how many remote workstations are at a given location.

Other Citrix or Terminal Server Requirements


Component Description
Separate Windows 2012 Data Server When more than two workstations require remote access RDP requires that the Citrix/Terminal software be installed on a separate Windows 2012 server.

The RDP data server must be running Windows 2012 Server with all service packs.  All "critical updates" shown on the Microsoft website must be installed.  See "Performance Issues" in this document.

Gigabit Ethernet Connection The Citrix or Terminal Server and RDP data server exchange a tremendous amount of data.  As a result, both servers must have one gigabit Ethernet cards, with "Category Five" wiring and a gigabit switch.  RDP requires the Citrix server to be on the same switch and have the same subnet mask as the RDP data server.

Pervasive Licenses Required RDP software uses the Pervasive.SQL database. The data server must have the current version of Pervasive P.SQL engine and each Citrix/Terminal server must have the current P.SQL Work Group Engine installed.  Each client on the Terminal Server will consume one Pervasive license, so if there are 2 Citrix/Terminal Servers each with 5 workstations connected, 10 Pervasive licenses will be used.  Pervasive licenses can be purchased from RDP Sales.  See RDP and Pervasive software for details.

RDP Station Numbers A unique RDP Station number must be assigned to every workstation that will connect to the Citrix Server.  See User Name and RDP Station Number in this document.
Printing See:  Printing with RDP Using Remote Desktop Connection and Terminal Services 2003.

Installation on a Citrix or Terminal Server

After installation of the Citrix or Terminal server, call RDP support at 970-845-7108 for help installing the Pervasive Engine software and the RDPWin Client software.

Username and RDP Station Number

Each RDP session requires a unique RDP station number.  In most cases, a given workstation only has one RDP session open, and therefore only requires one Station Number.  RDP station numbers must be unique numbers from 1-999.  It is important to assign them to workstations starting with the number "1" and working up. For more information about setting Station Numbers click here.

For tracking purposes, station numbers should be grouped by remote property.  For example, assume there are three remote hotels all connecting to the same Citrix or Terminal Server at Central Reservations.  We suggest assigning station numbers as follows:
Hotel Name Station Number Range
Hotel "A" 10-30
Hotel "B" 31-50
Hotel "C" 51-70

When using Citrix or Terminal Server, one (or more) RDP sessions are created for each workstation connected.  For example, if 10 workstations are connected to the Citrix or Terminal Server, 10 unique RDP sessions will be started. RDP automatically increments the station number for each user.

Adding RDP Group to Citrix or Terminal Server Connection - Permissions

New users created in Active Directory will not be able to logon to the Citrix or Terminal Server until the permissions are changed with the steps below. On the Citrix Server, select:

  1. Start | Settings | Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Terminal Services Configuration
  2. Highlight the "connections" in the left panel and the "ICA-TCP" in the right. Right-click this selection and choose "properties".
  3. Select the "Permissions" tab.
  4. Add the RDP Security Group from the Domain.
  5. Grant "Full Control" to the RDP Group.
  6. Save and Exit.

Installation of ICA Client

The Citrix client software must be installed on every workstation.  These clients are provided on the Citrix CD.  However, RDP suggests downloading the current ICA client from www.citrix.com.  RDP requires that all clients use Windows XP.

Assigning Unique Station Numbers

  1. Install the Citrix ICA client on a workstation.
  2. Login to the domain as a specific user ("26" in our example).
  3. Right click My Computer, select "Properties", the "Advanced" tab and "Environment Variables".
  4. The top portion of the window should read "User Variables for User Name". Click on New, and enter "STATION" for Variable Name and the unique station number for the Variable Value. (26 in our example). Click "OK".
  5. Exit and close.

Start the RDP-DOS Property Management System

Perform the following test to make sure a user has access to the RDP property management system.

  1. Connect the user with the Citrix ICA client
  2. Map R: to \\DataServerName\RDPNT (as described above).
  3. Start a command Prompt (Start --> CMD).
  4. Go to the R:\ drive.
  5. Type "RDP000" and press <ENTER>. Login to the RDP property management system. The station number is displayed in the top right-hand corner.

Mapping COM Ports for RDP Interfaces

By default Citrix will map all client COM ports. To verify that mapping is enabled:

  1. On the Citrix server, click Start | Programs | Metaframe Tools | Citrix Connection Configuration.
  2. Right-click the ICA-TCP Connection name and select "edit". Click the "Client Settings" button.

    Note: ICA-TCP is the Citrix client. The "RDP-TCP" is the windows terminal services client.
  3. Make sure the checkbox for "disable Client COM Port Mapping" is NOT checked.

Citrix Printing

There are various methods for printing from the RDP property management system with the Citrix software installed, including:

Printing Type Description
Windows
Applications
Windows applications, such as Microsoft Word and Excel use "Windows Printing".  When a given ICA client logs on, Citrix automatically maps all windows printers for that workstation.  As a result, any Windows Application running on the Citrix server can use the Windows printers on the workstation.  Consult the Citrix documentation for details.

RDP Crystal
Reports
Most RDP reports use Crystal Reports, enabling graphs, fonts, and greater performance.  Since Crystal Reports is a Windows Application, as long as Crystal is installed correctly on the Citrix server, all RDP Crystal Reports can use any printer available to the workstation using the ICA client.

RDP-DOS RDP-DOS printing works very well with Citrix and LOCAL printers.  A local printer is one physically connected to the workstation that uses the ICA client for connecting to the remote Citrix server.

It is also possible to use shared printers for RDP-DOS printing, however performance lags.  As a result, RDP suggests the use of local printers for all front desk workstations using Citrix.

Shared printing is described below.

Slow Printing Fix Please note that there is a setting in Windows 2000/2003 and Windows XP that causes all RDP-DOS printing to be delayed by 15 seconds. This setting is easily fixed.  The fix is explained on the following page and must be applied to all Windows 2000/2003 servers and workstations, as well as Windows XP workstations, even if they do not use Citrix to access the RDP data server.

LPT Ports Only Please note that RDP-DOS printing only supports local printers connected via an LPT port with a parallel cable.  It is not possible to use any printer connected to a COM port, a USB port, or an infrared port.  Additionally, many new printers, such as the HP "all in one" series, do not support "DOS Printing" at all.  Please make sure any printers you purchase support printing from a DOS application via an LPT port.

Citrix Printer Settings

By default, Citrix maps all client printers using the user configuration. These configuration settings can be viewed using the following steps:

  1. On the Citrix Server, click Start | Programs | Metaframe Tools | Citrix Connection Configuration.
  2. Right-click the ICA-TCP Connection name and select "edit". Next, click the "Client Settings" button.
    Note: ICA-TCP is the Citrix client software. The "RDP-TCP" is the Windows Terminal Services client software. The default should be to "connect client printers at logon" and also to "inherit user configuration".
  3. To view the clients, install the Citrix client on a workstation and connect to the Citrix server. Click Start | Programs | Metaframe Tools | ICA Client Printer Configuration.

Printing with RDP-DOS and Shared Printers

RDP suggests that all customers use the 300+ Crystal Reports available in the RDP property management system.  Almost every RDP-DOS report has a Crystal equivalent that is faster, more reliable, and contains more information.  Additionally, all RDP Crystal Reports print to any printer on the local network when using Citrix without any special installation or setup.

There are very few RDP programs that rely on DOS printing.  One such program is folio printing.  When using Citrix, RDP suggests installing a laser printer on the LPT1 port of each front desk workstations.  Folios will then print very quickly, quietly, and with high quality.  Citrix automatically maps local printers and no special steps are required.

It is possible, but not recommended, to share a DOS printer in a Citrix environment.  Sharing a DOS printer from a remote location over Citrix is tricky because RDP uses the "NET USE LPT1:" command from Microsoft to redirect the local LPT port to the shared printer.   This command does not work when connected to a Citrix server because the shared printers available to the NET command are relative to the Citrix location, not the remote location.

However, it is possible to re-direct the output from LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, and LPT4 to a shared printer, as long as the re-direction occurs before connecting to the Citrix server, not after.  Assume that a property has the following scenario:

Name of Remote Workstation #1: Name1
Name of Remote Workstation Local Printer: None “ No local printer on remote workstation #1
Name of Remote Workstation #2: Name2
Name of Workstation #2's Shared Printer: Printer2 (Connected to LPT1 on Name2)

Assume that both Name1 and Name2 are in the same office, and connect remotely to the same Citrix server. Name1 and Name2 will be able to print from any Windows application (including RDP's Crystal Reports) to Printer2. However, assume that Name1 wants to print an RDP folio to "Printer2". To accomplish this, set up the following:

  1. The steps below must be performed before connecting eitherName1 or Name2 to the Citrix server. These are "local network" steps.
  2. Make sure that Name1 and Name2 are in the same local domain or workgroup. Verify this using Windows Explorer and open the "My Network Places" folder. Both workstations must appear.
  3. Make sure the printer is installed correctly at the Windows level on Name2.
  4. Make sure Printer2 is shared at the Windows level on Name2.
  5. From Name 1, re-direct LPT1 (or LPT2, LPT3, or LPT4). Printer ports can be re-directed in a variety of ways, including:
    1. Net Use command (Microsoft). The steps on the following page detail the "Net Use" method.
    2. Capture command (Novell)
    3. Printer setup within Microsoft operating system. The steps differ for Win 98, ME, XP, and 2000/2003. Consult Microsoft documentation for details.

Net Use Command

Use the following steps for redirecting a printer port using the Net Use command.

  1. From Name1, execute a "Net Use" command prior to connecting to the Citrix server. The Net Use command can be run in a batch file or login script. Sample:  Net Use LPT1: \\Name2\Printer2 /Persistent:Yes.

    (The "Persistent" option is only available on Windows 2000/2003 Professional and Windows XP clients. This command restores the connection each time the workstation boots.)
  2. Test and be sure the command works. From Name1, at a command prompt, type "DIR >LPT1:". The output should print on Printer2. You may have to repeat the "DIR > LPT1:" command several times to send at least 66 lines to the printer and eject the paper.
  3. Assuming the re-direction works, connect Name1 and Name2 to Citrix server.
  4. Start RDP on Name1 via Citrix.
  5. From the System Manager menu (98), use option "096" - "Update Printer Options", and select option "P" for Printers. Enter the parallel port "1" (to match the Net Use LPT1 above) and file the changes.
  6. Test the printing within RDP by pressing <F2> - <PRINT SCREEN> from any RDP menu. When printer "1" is selected from the RDP printer list on workstation "NAME1", the output will be sent to Printer2. Use <F2> - <PRINT SCREEN> several times to make sure the re-direction works consistently.
  7. Using the above procedure, a workstation connected to an RDP data server via Citrix can have four DOS printers, either local or re-directed. These steps can be repeated to re-direct printers on LPT2, LPT3, and LPT4, even if those ports are not physically installed in the workstation.

Citrix Printing Summary

  1. Use RDP Crystal Reports for most printing functions. No special re-direction is required.
  2. For DOS printing of guest folios and purchase a laser printer for each front desk workstation.
  3. Update the Windows 2000/2003 Professional and Windows XP setting that pauses DOS print jobs.

Troubleshooting - Windows XP Slow Printing

With Windows XP, Microsoft made a change that delays all DOS print jobs by 15 seconds. To accelerate printing, every computer using any version of Windows XP will need the changes described in the link below. This includes the Windows 2003 data server.  If using Citrix or terminal services, the changes must also be implemented on the Windows 2003 server running Citrix/Terminal Services, as well as each workstation that uses the Windows XP operating system.

Links to documents related to printing with RDP

Windows XP Users Must Be a Member of Local Administrator Group

Microsoft added significant local security to Windows XP.  A user with minimal rights does not have access to write files to the "C" drive or to re-direct printing to shared network printers, both of which are required for RDP software to function properly. 

To solve this problem, each user of a Windows 2000 or XP workstation must be a member of the administrator group on the workstation, which gives the user complete access and all rights for the local workstation.  

Note: network security is not compromised, since the user must only be a member of the local administrator group on Windows XP workstations.  All RDP users should not be a member of the domain administrator group.  To add a user to the local administrator group, see the link below:

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