Citrix Program Neighborhood Agent (PNa) consists of a server and
client component. There is no separate installation package for the
server component of PNa as it is integrated in the Citrix Web Interface
setup. The PNa Client is part of the Citrix Presentation Server Client
The PNa client provides centralized management of the client settings
via the Access Management Console and Published Application settings.
PNa also offers pass-through authentication, automatic desktop and start
menu integration, as well as client to server content redirection,
whereby the local Windows File Type Association is altered so that local
files automatically launch the associated Citrix Published Application.
These features make PNa the Citrix Client of choice for many
organizations, as they can deploy a domain member workstation with only
the PNa client installed. Some organizations also run PNa on Citrix
Servers and publish desktops, so users log on from a thin client device
and their desktop is automatically populated with their application set
Software pre-requisites (for the machine to host Web Interface 4.6
and Program Neighborhood Agent Site):
- Windows Server OS, i.e. 2003 Web or 2003 Standard Edition.
- IIS w/ ASP.Net.
- .Net Framework 2.0.
- Microsoft Visual J# Version 2.0 Redistributable Package.
- Access Management Console for Presentation Server 4.5
- Web Interface 4.6 Access Management Console Extension.
- Server capable of running Windows Server OS w/ IIS.
Program Neighborhood Agent Services Site Configuration
After installing software pre-requisites 1 thru 6 download and launch
the Web Interface installation program (WebInterface.exe). Install Web
Interface and accept the defaults.
Launch the Access Management Console (AMC). The first time the AMC is
run, discovery is performed to identify the components that will be
Select the option, “
Do not contact servers running the
configuration service”, unless you want to centrally store the Web
Interface Configuration (refer to the Web Interface Administrators
After the discovery process completes, right click on the Web
Interface node on the left pane of the AMC -> Select “Create Site”.
Select the second option, “
Program Neighborhood Agent Services
Accept the default options for the rest of the Create Site Wizard.
After the site is created, the initial settings must be configured.
Right click on the site and select “
Manage server farms”.
On this screen, enter the name of the Citrix Farm, then enter at
least one server from the Citrix Farm with which the Program
Neighborhood Agent Services site will communicate. The site communicates
with the XML Service on the configured Citrix Server via the Farm XML
Port (80 is the default). Refer to the Citrix Server Farm Properties in
the Presentation Server Console if unsure what port number to enter.
Best practice would be to enter at least two XML Servers (for
redundancy) and to enter Citrix Servers configured as Data Collectors.
The Program Neighborhood Agent Services site communicates with the XML
Service to authenticate the user and return the Application Set for that
XML Servers can be entered as their NetBIOS, FQDN or IP Address,
depending on which name resolution mechanism is in place.
At this point the Program Neighborhood Agent Services Site is
configured enough to operate, however there are several more
configuration steps that are “recommended”.
In the Access Management Console, right click on “
Configure authentication methods”.
Deselect “Prompt” and select “Pass-through. This assumes that the
credentials entered on the local Windows PC are the same as those that
will be used to logon to the Citrix Farm.
Clicking the Properties button in the Configure Authentication
Methods exposes the following screen, where one can limit which domains
can logon to the PNa Site, whether or not the Authentication Type is
Windows, UNIX or Novell’s NDS. Additionally one can restrict
communication to “Kerberos Only”. This setting should only be enabled if
all clients are capable of authenticating via Kerberos, i.e. 2000, XP
Pro and Vista domain member workstations.
For initial configuration, it’s recommended that one leaves the
default settings as is.
In the Change Session Options screen, one may customize the Client
Session Sizes, Client Resources (color depth, Windows Keyboard Settings
and Audio Settings), and Workspace Control Options.
Once again, for the initial configuration, accept the default
In the Manage Server Settings screen, one can configure the automatic
refresh frequency (useful if changes are often made to published
applications during working hours), Backup URLs (additional PNa Services
Sites that can be contacted by the client in the event that the primary
site is offline), and Site Redirection, where an administrator can
redirect users to an alternate site.
For a centrally managed installation, the following screens are very
important. On the Start Menu Shortcuts, and Desktop Shortcuts screens,
select “Use Server Farm Settings (defined in published application)”.
This means that the location of the application shortcuts will be
determined by what is selected in each Citrix Published Application, not
by settings in the PNa Services Site.
On the Notification Area screen, the administrator can control
whether or not applications are displayed as a menu option in the Citrix
Program Neighborhood Connection Center (White Floppy Disk Icon with Red
Center). Additionally the administrator can control whether or not the
user can enable or disable displaying the Applications Menu in the
Citrix Program Neighborhood Connection Center.
On the Shortcut Removal Screen, the administrator can control when a
user’s Citrix Published Application Shortcuts are removed from the
desktop and start menu.
If an administrator right clicks on the config.xml -> All Tasks
-> Manage Application Refresh, they will be presented with the
following screen which provides more granular control over when and how
often a user’s application set is refreshed.
Program Neighborhood Client Configuration
The Program Neighborhood Agent is included in the Citrix Presentation
Server Client Packager. To customize the client to include the features
one desires, as well as the address of the Program Neighborhood Agent
Services Site, do the following:
Start -> Run -> msiexec /A \\ServerName\ShareName\ica32pkg.msi
This cmd line switch launches the installer in administrative mode,
so the administrator can predefine answers that the user would see if
they were to run the unmodified MSI. It also allows the administrator to
hide, or make unavailable features and menus that are shown in the
When the MSIEXEC is run in administrative mode, the software is not
installed, it merely repackages a new MSI that includes the
administrator’s customizations. An administrative install of the Citrix
Presentation Server Client Packager cannot be changed via Add/Remove
Programs, i.e. to add features the administrator disabled. The MSI can
only be uninstalled.
A typical install of the Citrix Presentation Server Client Packager
for use with PNa would include the Web Client, PNa Client, and
disable/hide the installation of the Citrix Program Neighborhood. It
would also enable Pass-through authentication, use the client’s machine
name as the Citrix Client Name, and hide all unnecessary screens where
user would be prompted to make a decision. This would allow a simple
installation that can be performed by another administrator, or pushed
out via Group Policy Software Assignment or Microsoft SMS.
Once the PNa Client is installed, the client workstation must be
rebooted before Pass-through authentication will work. When Pass-through
authentication is enabled for the PNa client, the end user is not
prompted to enter and store their credentials like they are with the
Program Neighborhood client. The PNa Client automatically passes-through
the local credentials, so users can access Citrix Published
Applications as if they were installed locally.
Published Application Configuration
Published applications have the following settings that pertain to
the Program Neighborhood Client.
Shortcut Presentation -> Application Shortcut Placement:
- Add to the Client’s Start Menu.
- Place under the Program Folder.
- Start Menu Folder, i.e. an administrator could place all
Microsoft Office Applications in a Start Menu Folder named Microsoft
Office, so it looks like it does when the applications are installed
- Add shortcut to the client’s desktop.
Content Redirection: (allows local client files to launch Citrix
Citrix Program Neighborhood Agent is the preferred client for LAN
Connected Windows Clients, as it offers the most features and
centralized management. It is possible, but unsupported (by Citrix) to
connect PNa Clients to the Program Neighborhood Agent Services Site via
Citrix Secure Gateway. To do so, the administrator would edit the
webinterface.conf file in “\Inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\PNAgent\conf” and
include the following entries: