How the ICA Java Client differs from the other Citrix ICA clients


As you probably know, The Citrix ICA Client needs to be installed on the end point devices in order to launch Citrix published applications and ICA Server desktops from these devices

Example: Windows end point devices (Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Thin Clients with Windows embedded and even the Windows Servers 2003/2003 R2 and 2008/2008 R2 when used as clients) need the Citrix Receiver for Windows installed. As of February, 2013 version 3.4 was the latest version available
The Macintosh computers need the Citrix Receiver for MACs
Android Devices need the Receiver for Android installed
iOS devices (Ipad, Ipod, Iphone) need the Receiver for iOS installed
BlackBerry Playbook need the Receiver for Playbook installed
ThinClients with the ThinOS usually come with a flavor of the ICA client built-in
Linux Devices use Receiver for Linux

So, what all these devices have in common is the fact they need the ICA client code to read and interpret the ICA file sent by the Web Interface Server, or the the Netscaler appliance in order to proper launch the applications and ICA desktops published to the users of these devices
However there is one ICA client that differs from all these devices:

The Java Client

In order to launch apps using the JAVA ICA client, it needs to be installed ON THE SERVER. Once installed on the server, and, if configured in the Web Interface the files needed on the client are packaged and deployed by the Web Interface Server to the client devices via a JAVA applet that is read by the client’s Web browser. The browser installed on the end point device needs to be a Java-compatible Web browser (e.g; IE, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.). The applet contains the code for the following components: Audio, Clipboard, Local Text Echo, Client drive mapping, SSL/TLS, Encryption, Configuration UI and Printer Mapping. They can be as small as 540KB in size, so they make a nice fall back option in use cases where the full Receiver client cannot be installed. When you download and install the JAVA client you copy the files into the Web Interface Server; the files are then installed and located in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\Web Interface\5.4\Clients\Java folder. The end point device will then interpret the applet code sent by the Web Interface server via its own JRE (Java RunTime environment).

The Applet, a temporary Entity

“The applet resides on a Web server and is deployed using an HTML page with an tag. Users run the client by opening the HTML page using a browser that has Java support. When the page opens, the Java applet is automatically downloaded to the client device. The applet then runs and connects to the server or published application specified in the tag.
Unlike the ActiveX, Netscape plug-in, or Win32 Web Clients, which are downloaded once and then saved for future use by client systems, the applet is not stored permanently by the client system. However, Java environments provide a separate cache for Java applets, which you configure in the plug-in control panel.” source ( Client for Java Admin’s Guide )

Another characteristic of the Java client is that it is platform independent; The Client for Java runs on any client device
running a Web browser with the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (a.k.a. J2SE) environment, 1.4.x or greater.
That is how the Java client differs from the other CIA clients!

Additional Reading:

Receiver for Java 10.1

Client For Java Administrator’s Guide

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