Case Study: Microsoft Fax with App Published over Citrix Xenapp

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Software: Citrix Xenapp 6, Microsoft Fax Server

Problem:  Client reported that he was trying to use the Microsoft fax application installed locally on the client PC when a user attempted to print to the fax driver via a Citrix published application.  The published application used for testing was Notepad.

The Microsoft fax application was kicked off appropriately when the client attempted to print through notepad and pointed to the fax driver associated.  Instead of retaining the settings and connection to the fax server like it did when launched locally, the fax application prompted for user to complete the setup wizard.

I am guessing that this could be because the Microsoft fax application retains settings in HKCU (I verified this on the client PC at least), and since the user was not using a roaming profile with Citrix – there was nowhere to retain these settings.  Also I determined that this wouldn’t have worked anyway, because there was no network connectivity available between the Citrix Xenapp server and the Microsoft fax server.  Determined the only way to make this work was to find a way to force all activity to take place on the client pc.

Solution: We set up a policy in Xenapp that forced the Citrix Universal Print Driver (UPD) to be used for all client connected printers.  Having never used the UPD for a fax printer driver before, I was concerned that it may not work properly – but testing proved that this was a great success.  Apparently (I’m guessing again), the use of the Citrix UPD forces certain print driver related settings to be retained locally on the client, and therefore there was no longer an attempt by the Citrix Xenapp server to contact the fax server in question.  I also set up a policy that forced printer settings to be retained locally on the client instead of in the user’s profile. There was also no attempt made to look up the users HKCU registry settings on the profile, because everything was directed locally at this point.

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