Today we’re announcing the public preview of Azure AD Application Proxy (App Proxy) support for the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) web client. Many of you are already using App Proxy for applications hosted on RDS and we’ve seen a lot of requests for extending support to the RDS web client as well.
With this preview, you can now use the RDS web client even when App Proxy provides secure remote access to RDS. The web client works on any HTML5-capable browser such as Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox (v55.0 and later). You can push full desktops or remote apps to the Remote Desktop web client. The remote apps are hosted on the virtualized machine but appear as if they’re running on the user’s desktop like local applications. The apps also have their own taskbar entry and can be resized and moved across monitors.
Why use App Proxy with RDS?
RDS allows you to extend virtual desktops and applications to any device while helping keep critical intellectual property secure. By using this virtualization platform, you can deploy all types of applications such as Windows apps and other rich client apps as-is with no re-writing required. By using App Proxy with RDS you can reduce the attack surface of your RDS deployment by enforcing pre-authentication and Conditional Access policies like requiring Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or using a compliant device before users can access RDS. App Proxy also doesn’t require you to open inbound connections through your firewall.
To use the RDS web client with App Proxy, first make sure to update your App Proxy connectors to the latest version, 1.5.1975.0. If you haven’t already, you will need to configure RDS to work with App Proxy. In this configuration, App Proxy will handle the internet facing component of your RDS deployment and protect all traffic with pre-authentication and any Conditional Access policies in place. For steps on how to do this, see Publish Remote Desktop with Azure AD Application Proxy.
Configure the Remote Desktop web client
Next, complete setup by enabling the Remote Desktop web client for user access. See details on how to do this at Set up the Remote Desktop web client for your users. Now your users can use the external URL to access the client from their browser, or they can launch the app from the My Apps portal.
As always, we’d love to hear any feedback or suggestions you may have. Please let us know what you think in the comments below or on the Azure AD feedback forum.
Alex Simons (@alex_a_simons)
Corporate Vice President Program Management
Microsoft Identity Division
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