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How do you use Citrix?

I know that lots of folks on this list use Citrix to deliver JDE to the desktop, so I'd like to get a very informal survey of your experience. We are on Xe so that is my principle focus now, but I'd like to know what others on newer releases experience too, since we will (presumably) upgrade to a later release sometime in the future. We are using Citrix Metaframe XP SP3/FR3 to deliver the application to the desktop.

On to the questions:

1. In our situation, we deliver JDE as a published application. Do you publish JDE, or do you publish the entire desktop?

2. We have a number of users who frequently run into problems, like their Citrix session gets hung, or sometimes their entire desktop gets hung, when they switch windows between JDE and another application such as Microsoft Word or Outlook. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Were you able to resolve the problem?

3. One user behavior that seems to repeatedly cause problems is having lots of JDE windows open at once. Often, when one of our users reports that their session or desktop is hung, we find that they have 8 or 10 or more JDE windows open, sometimes with the same application open 3 or 4 times (generally different versions, but still the same application). As an experiment, we asked one of our users who has this problem frequently to limit herself to no more than 5 open windows, and not to open the same application more than once. Her problems seemed to disappear for a while, until she just couldn't resist and opened 7 windows, 3 of which were the same application. (Our purchasing department frequently opens up multiple versions of Purchase Order Entry.) In your environment, do your users have lots of open JDE windows, and does it cause them problems? Do they have the same application opened more than once, and does that cause any problems?

4. We have a large number of users who often work from home, so we have allowed third-party print drivers, but we think that's causing some instability - sometimes, winlogon.exe consumes 50% or more of the CPU for a single user session, slowing down all users on the affected server until we can kill the session. Have you experienced problems with third-party print drivers? If so, were you able to resolve the problems? How?

I'm trying to determine if our experience is substantially different than that of other folks. If so, maybe we're doing something wrong, or maybe our users' work patterns are very different than yours. I welcome any and all comments, suggestions, observations, brow-beating, etc., and thank you in advance for your responses.
 
Hi Bill,

I'm sure you're aware that newer JDE releases such as
E811 and E812 don't use Fat clients anymore, they're
Web based (except for developers).
But, anyway, let's stick to your Xe Fat scenario :

1. I prefer to publish JDE, I don't like users
messing around with Control Panel or application icons.

2. Yes, put JDE in a separate server from Excel, Outlook,
Word, etc... JDE is quite a resource hungry application!

3. Educate your users or put more RAM/CPU to your servers.
The more windows they open, the more resources they take.

4. Printer drivers are a ### pain, you should restrict
as much as possible the diversity of printers around.
 
Sebastian,

Thanks for the info. We're hoping some day management will see enough value in the newer releases to fund an upgrade.

1. We felt the same way, that's why we publish just the application.

2. Outlook and Word are on the users' PCs (as is Excel) but Excel is on the terminal servers for those users who sometimes export grid info. But we've seen this system hang problem when switching from the JDE remote application to Word or Outlook on the local PC. I think it's caused by static electricity generated by wearing nylon during a solar flare -- or at least that's as good an explanation as I've found so far.

3. Our servers are maxed out on RAM, and sometimes I think our users are maxed out on knowledge. Unfortunately, with the legacy system we came from, our users were accustomed to having multiple sessions open, and they wanted to be able to do the same thing with JDE. (I know, we tried to explain that the new system is DIFFERENT, and thus the way you do your job will by necessity be DIFFERENT, to no avail.) To make matters worse, some of our old-timers trained the new folks to work the same way.

4. The thought here about printer drivers was that the users who work from home might need to print something. But I can't find any evidence that any of those users has ever even run a UBE, much less tried to print a PDF. I'm trying to convince the higher powers that we're chasing our tail trying to keep the system stable while allowing something we know causes instability, especially if nobody is using it.

Thanks again for your input.

Bill
 

node1

Member
Bill

1. We publish the JDE app. This is much safer than exposing a server desktop.

2. We have had several issues with hanging citrix sessions when users open excel. We have found 2 major causes. 1) Printers drivers installed on local computers but when the user logges on to citrix, the printer driver does not exist. This presents with an issue on the NT application log on the citrix server. The second main problem is temporary internet files. We fix this by opening IE Tools-> internet options -> delete files and cookies.
We have also found deleting the user's 'documents and setting' folder on the Terminal server clears up some issues.
3. We advise our users to limit open windows
4. If a logon script contains printer mappings, we remove them.

Hope this helps
 

altquark

Member
Hi Bill

Maybe I should "wade in" here and give some of my opinions as the guy who introduced Citrix to JDE !

1. You should always publish the application - publishing the desktop is really defeating the purpose of Citrix and if you are into this, you might as well just use RDP and save a bunch of cash ! Certain POWER users will want a desktop (developers, cnc etc) - but the end users should be using a published application.

2. I'm going to argue that you probably want MS Office to be running in the same session as your OneWorld session - so that you can perform grid export/import functions etc. I'd state that this is probably due to how you're configured to run Oneworld. Are you using the "W" environments ? If so, STOP THAT IMMEDIATELY ! The "W" environments are an evil, evil horrible nasty set of outdated OCM Mappings that nobody should be using. Either use the standard environments OR, if you have Java Application Servers (Web) use the J environments - but everyone in Production should be using the SAME environment. I have written many whitepapers and messages about the reasons for this - just search through some of my threads.

3. Lots of JDE Windows Open, and then OneWorld hangs ? Thats usually a user who is trying to run the SAME application twice under the same session - which is a big NO-NO. Sometimes users think they can open, say, Sales Order Entry twice - one for using as data entry, the other is used to search historical records. That way, they switch between the two SOE screens. THIS IS A BIG NO-NO - what happens is that the OneWorld CACHE can become confused, and you COULD conceivably corrupt data. The two biggest concerned applications that will cause issues is SOE and POE. Warn your users about this - and if they do it and corrupt their data, then they'll have to deal with recovering the data. There is, unfortunately, no way to prevent a user from opening the same application twice.

4. Yes, there are often issues with 3rd party printer drivers - some of which have been known to blue-screen a terminal server. Best to try and find any messages related to bad print drivers in the event viewer, and then force better print drivers.

I strongly recommend being on as high a level of citrix that you can possibly be on. This includes the CLIENT - the Citrix client has had issues in the past year or so with microsoft Win2K3 patches. If you have users that are on older clients, you really need to push them towards installing the latest client OR use NFuse which negates the necessity of a local client.

You really need to implement hot-fixes when they come out. I like to implement the Citrix Rollup Packages a couple of weeks after they appear - test them for a week on the test citrix server and then roll them out to production.

Make sure you're building R92TAM and R98CRTGL and copying the data dictionary files over to the Pathcode/SPEC directories every time you build an update package.

No more than a couple of update packages before you go to a full package. The more changes to an initial full package, the slower the package will become and users will start to notice slowdowns.

No more than 40 concurrent users per terminal server. I don't care how many CPU's or how much memory you can stick on the darn thing - I prefer MORE little servers in a load-balanced farm as opposed to FEW big servers.

Between the Citrix Servers and the Enterprise Server, make sure you're using Gigabit connectivity. 10/100 is kind of useless these days and it really doesn't make any sense since gigabit is so cheap. You'll see a dramatic performance increase if you correctly configure your network between the citrix servers and the enterprise server.

Don't forget to reboot your citrix boxes nightly. You're not doing this because citrix has memory leaks - you're doing this because JDE and Windows have memory leaks ! A decent reboot script using sysinternals "pslist" should identify if any users are on the server prior to the reboot - or, if necessary, just tell them that the server is coming down and provide lots of nice messages ! It only takes 10 minutes to reboot a citrix farm, and doing this nightly will ensure that you don't have issues.

Don't take Windows Updates automatically. Always test them first prior to deploying to the citrix farm. I usually install windows updates in production a couple of weeks after installing and testing on the test citrix server.

Set up Citrix Remote Development - get rid of ALL your fat clients. If in doubt, do a search here on JDEList for the document (its in Tips and Tricks under my name) or go to my personal website for the full document.

Put a firewall between your citrix farm and your user community. Block everything except for port 1494 (citrix) between them (and 80 or whatever Citrix method you're using). Stop RPC from updating your citrix boxes without your permission ! If you need to, put a Domain Controller inside the subnet where your citrix farm is.

I've been involved with customers with as many as 2,000 concurrent users over a VERY large citrix farm - and as few as 50 concurrent users on a couple of boxes. The rules are always the same - make sure that you architect the citrix servers to be as fast as possible, with as fast hard drive disk access as possible - connect everything via gigabit and you'll end up with a very healthy citrix farm. Of course user sessions will "hang" occassionally - thats the nature of JDE and Windows - but you want to get to a 99.999% session reliability across your farm - that way you can ensure users really love using JDE.

Hope those tips help.
 
Hello,

I'm running JDE E1 and Citrix by publishing Internet Explorer.

Two issues I see is that sometimes PDF (View PDF) don't open and performance is sometimes sluggish.

When these issue occur we delete "Temporary Internet Files". Then performance is better and PDF (View PDF) open right up.

Is this a bug in Citrix or JDE or the combination of the two. Does anyone know A FIX for this.

I run a script that clears all users Temporary Internet Files in the morning but that didn't solve the problem.

A user can start a session from a clean profile go to generate a report and then try and "View PDF" and it doesn't come up. However if you delete Temporary Internet Files it comes right up.

Thanks
 
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