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Navigating the features from the Citrix Enterprise Browser

January 3, 2024
Citrix Enterprise Browser

In this blog post, we will look back at the amazing progress and evolution of Citrix Enterprise Browser and its features over the past two years. Let’s dive into the most notable updates and enhancements that have been delivered. We’ve split it into three sections:  

  • For administrators? 
  • For end users? 
  • Improvements to Remote Browser Isolation 

For administrators? 

Simplified single sign-on with Global App Configuration service: 

Previously, single sign-on (SSO) was configured for internal web and SaaS apps accessed via the Citrix Enterprise Browser using the PowerShell module, which proved to be cumbersome for admins. They have now streamlined the process and ensured that the most popular feature, simplified single sign-on, can now be configured via a simple toggle in the User Interface of the Global App Configuration service

Update the Citrix Enterprise Browser independently of the Citrix Workspace app: 

Starting with the Citrix Enterprise Browser for version 117.1.1.11, users can update the Citrix Enterprise Browser independently using the stand-alone installer. You can download the installer from the Citrix Workspace app Downloads page under the Citrix Enterprise Browser section. Citrix are also working on a smart auto-update system to enhance this experience further and ensure better browser version manageability. 

User-Agent changes: 

Citrix have modified the user-agent for their Enterprise Browser to ensure all internal web and SaaS applications work seamlessly, with the same experience as would be delivered for consumer browsers. However, admins can still restrict some apps to open only in the Enterprise Browser. Learn more about controlled access to SaaS applications

Support for enhanced Citrix Secure Private Access (SPA) on-premises: 

The new enhancements in Secure Private Access’ on-premises solution include integration with Citrix Web Studio, a unique admin web console experience, and an improved policy orchestration engine to allow for the least privilege access based on context. The new Citrix Enterprise Browser release now supports this enhanced solution. You can learn more about the announcement via this blog

Enhanced monitoring: 

If you haven’t already, you can read more about the power of Citrix Enterprise Browser’s integration with Citrix Analytics Service for Security. Citrix Enterprise Browser provides complete visibility for administrators. With this release, they are enhancing the context of the data sent by providing more information on analytics services and linking more strongly with Secure Private Access’s “Application Discovery” feature. 

Custom Extensions: 

The Citrix Enterprise Browser has expanded its extension capabilities. Previously, only extensions from the Chrome Web Store were permitted. Citrix Enterprise Browser now allows you to add custom extensions securely. Administrators can configure custom extensions as part of the mandatory list

Support for the next Citrix Workspace app for Windows (LTSR):

Rounding off the great list of admin features is the news that the next Citrix Workspace app for Windows Long Term Stable Release will also support the Citrix Enterprise Browser!

What’s in it for end users? 

Enhanced User Experience for FTU and new web app launches: 

Working under the hood, Citrix have substantially reduced the time it takes to launch the Enterprise Browser the first time, as well as for every subsequent launch of an internal web or SaaS application from within the Citrix Workspace app. Additionally, they have made the experience a lot cleaner and more transparent by reducing the screens seen by the end user to get to the first application. 

Simplified single sign-on (SSO) support for Citrix Secure Private Access on-premises: 

Simplified SSO for cloud stores was a favorite feature since it required a one-time configuration to set up seamless SSO for all internal web and SaaS applications, as long as the same Identity Provider (IdP) is used for authentication to both the Citrix Workspace app and the web or SaaS app. With this release, simplified single sign-on is now also supported on on-premises stores! Learn more about this feature. 

Authentication within the Citrix Enterprise Browser: 

Previously, if the authentication token for the Citrix Workspace app expired, you weren’t able to use the Citrix Enterprise Browser. You had to switch to the Workspace app and re-authenticate to continue using the Enterprise Browser. Now, you can authenticate within the Enterprise Browser itself when the store remains the same. It ensures authentication to the Citrix Workspace app as well. As a result, this feature provides a seamless sign-in experience. 

Watermark enhancement:

Based on customer feedback, Citrix now have a consistent watermark design across all internal web and SaaS applications (as applied based on contextual policy), which is less intrusive for end users, while ensuring the security principle of non-repudiation continues to be upheld. 

Split View support for macOS:

The Citrix Enterprise Browser on macOS supports Split View for ease of multitasking. With Split View, you can use the Enterprise Browser and another window next to each other, without manually moving and resizing windows. For more information, see Apple’s support article

Citrix Enterprise Browser shortcut on the native OS:

Starting with the Citrix Workspace app for Windows 2309 and the Citrix Workspace app for Mac 2307, an administrator can configure and control the presence of the Citrix Enterprise Browser shortcut on the Start menu on Windows and the Launchpad on Mac respectively. For the benefit of users for ease of access, this shortcut is enabled by default within the Workspace UI if there is a single web or SaaS application configured for the end user! 

Enhancements to Remote Browser Isolation 

Visual indicator for a Remote Browser Isolation session:

Considering the experience of a “browser within a browser”, one common bit of feedback we received was confusion among some users. As a result, Citrix wanted to ensure there is a clear demarcation between the native browser, and the “remote” browsing environment. Here is a screenshot of the same: 

Profile Sync for the Remote Browsers (Technical Preview):

Remote Browser Isolation has always worked with a mechanism that leaves no trace of a session once it has been disconnected. However, this can be a suboptimal user experience in scenarios where auto-disconnect kicks in. As a result, they have worked on a feature where administrators can provide a connection string to their Azure storage to store the browser’s profile and restore it when the same user accesses another remote browser isolation session. Learn more about this feature

RBI customer-managed workloads (Technical Preview):

Saving the biggest feature for last, this is the most significant change for Remote Browser Isolation, both in terms of the feature and the philosophy with which Citrix provides this solution. Traditionally, Citrix hosted the RBI workloads in Citrix’s Azure tenant, and customers were required to purchase RBI Pooled hourly packs for usage. Now, Citrix provides the capability for customers to provision workloads into their own Azure tenant with the added advantage of Citrix managing the creation and management of the provisioned Citrix-ready Remote Browser Isolation images. Stay tuned for more updates about this feature! 

Conclusion 

The advancements in the Citrix Enterprise Browser feel like decades of innovation distilled into one powerful package. And yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. With the Enterprise Browser, Citrix wants to unlock a world where productivity and protection go together, empowering you to tackle your tasks with confidence and ease. So, unwrap the possibilities and let the Citrix Enterprise Browser become your trusted digital companion on the exciting journey ahead. 

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