XenApp 6.5 and XenDesktop 7 License Compatibility


There has been a lot of confusion regarding XenDesktop 7 vs XenApp licensing since the release of XenDesktop 7 and there is hard to get any official and correct information regarding different licensing scenarios.

As a Citrix Instructor and Solution Advisor at a Citrix Distributor in Norway, I get a lot of questions about XenDesktop 7 licensing and I believe it is about time to put this out on my blog and try to explain my findings.


Xenapp 6.5

Xenapp 6.5 lisensing is still alive which means that you can still buy XenApp 6.5 lisenses. The editions available per 5/11/13 is Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum edition.

Provisioning Services is only included in the Platinum Edition.

Advanced edition licenses are not compatible with XenDesktop 7 App Edition


XenDesktop 7

XenDesktop Lisensens can be bought in 4 editions;

VDI                  (does not include PvS for RDS)

APP                  (does not include PvS)

ENTERPRISE (includes PvS)

PLATINUM     (includes PvS)



What many customers and partners have not realized is that you can use your existing XenApp Enterprise and Platinum licenses in a XenDesktop App edition environment.


  • XenApp Enterprise Lisenses gives the same functionality as XenDesktop app Edition licenses would.


  • XenApp Platinum licenses gives the same functionality as XenDesktop App Edition licenses would, but it also gives the Provisioning Services and extended Insight (Edgesight) functionality which otherwise would require XenDesktop Enterprise or XenDesktop Platinum
    Read more on the Insight functionality here: http://bit.ly/1aAkCQZ


  • XenDesktop App Edition CCU licenses kan be used in  a XenApp 6.5 environment if you set the edition to  enterprise through a citrix policy. XenDesktop App Edition User\Device is not compatible with XenApp 6.5


Based on these findings I would recommend existing XenApp Platinum customers not to trade/upgrade their licenses to XenDesktop App edition since they actually would loose functionality. Their existing license files is compatible both with XenApp 6.5 and XenDesktop 7 App Edition.

While XenDesktop App edition CCU is compatible with XenApp 6.5, Xendesktop App Edition Use\Device licenses is not backwards compatible, which means that if you have bought\traded Up\upgraded your XenApp licenses to XenDesktop App Edition User\Device you can not use them in your XenApp 6.5 environment.

Only XenDesktop App edition CCU licenses can be used in a XenApp 6.5 environment.


I have come to this conclusion by building two lab environments on Hyper-V

One for XenApp 6.5 and one for XenDesktop 7.1


Below is a detailed description of my testing;

Using XenApp Platinum CCU licenses with XenDesktop 7.1 App edition works just fine:

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 14.20.27


Satisfied with that, I then changed the licensefile on my license server to one that contained  XenDesktop App edition User\Device licenses, installed a XenApp 6.5 server and tried to point to these licenses during the installation process;

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 14.57.18

This failed and I was told that this were as expected with User\Device licenses .

I then configured the lisense server to use a XenDesktop App Edition CCU and tried again.

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 13.28.44Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 13.29.03

As seen above this also failed.

So to be really sure that I was not missing anything I went through the configuration of the XenApp Server.

When I set the XenApp Product Edition to Enterprise and XenApp Product model to XenApp through Citrix Policys I could successfully run a published application and check out XenDesktop App Edition CCU licenses.

I then tried to change the license file to XenDesktop App Edition User\Device.

This did not work.

Screenshot 2013-11-08 09.28.33

So while XenDesktop 7 App Edition CCU licenses are backward compatible, User\Device are not.


Provisioning Services in a XD 7 App edition with XenApp Platinum licenses

Last but not least I had to try out the theory that the Provisioning Services tied to the XenApp Platinum could be used with the XenDesktop App Edition.

I started the XenDesktop Setup Wizard in Provisioning Services console and created a machine catalog with two 2012R2 desktops from a template on one of my Hyper-V hosts.

The machine catalog was created and I was able to create a delivery group in Studio as well, publishing both a desktop and some apps from the streamed servers.

For testing purposes I published notepad, calculator and a desktop from this machine catalog.

All of these were then launched successfully from a virtual Windows 7 endpoint device, logged on as a standard domain user with XenDesktop 7 App edition licensed  with a XenApp Platinum license.

When I tried to go back to XenDesktop App Edition Licensing CCU to verify that Provisioning Services wouldn’t work, I ran into an interesting “bug”;

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 22.29.28

As seen sin the screenshot I had changed the license file on the license server to XenDesktop App Edition CCU. I changed the edition settings successfully but got the error message above.

I had encountered this message before I looked into provisioning. I had at that time set up the site to use XenApp Platinum Edition licenses during the installation and could switch between all types of license files except for the XenDesktop App Edition CCU.

I always ended up with this message.

I deleted the site and built it up from scratch end used the XenDesktop App Edition CCU licenses successfully, but as soon as I had configured the site to use XenApp Platinum licenses and tried to change back to XenDesktop App Edition CCU, the error message appeared again.

I believe this is by design since The XenApp Platinum licenses opens up for Provisioning Services and some Insight functionality that XenDesktop App Edition do not deliver and might not be able to turn off.

This can actually be a problem for customers that are using their XenApp platinum licenses and later on decides to upgrade their licenses to XenDesktop App edition (whatever reason that may be)  

Hopefully someone will dig deeper into this ( read Citrix XenDesktop team :) )


So to verify that my PVS implementation wouldn’t work with the XenDesktop App edition licenses, I had to reinstall the site and start with the XenDesktop App CCU licenses moving up to XenApp Platinum.

I was surprised to see that I still could create a machine catalog using the XenDesktop Setup Wizard in Provisioning Services and also start the server, create a delivery group containing both apps and desktops.

I then logged into my endpoint device and started receiver. I could see the apps and desktop as well and launch the published resources.

The Provisioning Services were installed pointing to XenApp Platinum licenses and I believed that it might have cached licenseinformation so I restarted Provisioning Server so the streaming service would check for licenses.

It still worked after a restart….

So to really dig deep I reinstalled PvS and pointed to the licensing server containing the XenDesktop App Edition CCU licenses.

Still worked as a charm….

My last test was to actually reinstall the XenDesktop 7 using XenDesktop App Edition CCU licenses, Install Provisioning Services on a fresh server and try again…

So at this point I had a XenDesktop 7 site  (new database) that only had been configured with XenDesktop App edition licenses (not XenApp platinum licenses) and a clean fresh Provisioning Server (new database as well) that never had contact with a license server containing valid licenses for Provisioning Services.

I followed the standard procedure and using the XenDesktop Setup Wizard. Created a machine catalog with a streamed Server 2012R2 OS.

I then logged into Studio and created a delivery group using the newly created machine catalog.

The provisioned server booted with no problems and I was able to pick applications to the delivery group.


Finally I logged on to my endpoint and tried to launch these applications that were delivered from a streamed server without proper licensing and IT WORKED….

I have read in a ctx article that the Provisioning Services Stream Service communicate directly with the license server to verify that a XenApp or XenDesktop license exists and that Provisioning Services recognizes XenDesktop licenses and no longer requires XenDesktop to ship with Provisioning Services licenses. (http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX125744#P296_31468)

It might be that Provisioning services actually beleives that as long as it is a form for XenDesktop License everything is ok….

I do not recommend using this feature if you don’t have the proper licensing since it might break later on with a hotfix and you also might not be compliant with the EULA, but it seems that provisioning services do not check for licenses correctly.

I hope you found this blogpost useful and if you find any errors in my approach or have any other feedback please let me know.


Best regards

Mikael Modin







4 Responses to "XenApp 6.5 and XenDesktop 7 License Compatibility"

  1. Great informative post :)
    THANKS !!

    Very hard to explain to customers with XA advanced licenses and newly paid SA one week before :sorry mac : not possible to upgrade XA 6.5 to XenDesktop 7..

    Imagine a world without licenses …. 😉

    • mikaelmodin

      Thank You for the feedback Sondre.

  2. Thank you for this informational post! Like you wrote, it is very hard to receive official information from Citrix themselves and your post helped me alot.
    Keep up the good work!

    • mikaelmodin

      Thank you Peter.
      I am glad to hear that you found it useful :)


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