AppsAnywhere is an exciting new service offered by CIS that allows Windows applications to be executed on almost any device or Operating System through the use of the AppsAnywhere web page which users of CIS managed Windows 10 desktops will be familiar with. The system is compatible with a host of devices and operating systems running Windows 7, Windows 10, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Xbox One, and PS4. The service requires a persistent internet connection and will work anywhere in the world. If internet connection is lost the system can reconnect to the same active session within a 2-hour time limit.
To access this service, open your web browser and navigate to: appsanywhere.durham.ac.uk (you may want to bookmark this site for future reference). Log in to the site using your CIS username and password.
Validation is only required on a Windows/macOS device. On these systems the first time you log in you will be presented with a Welcome Screen if this appears select the blue option Its my first time using AppsAnywhere on this device. Let's go. This will guide you to install the AppsAnywhere agent on your machine which is required to use the service follow the on screen instructions to install the agent, and only select done once sucessfully installed.
If you fail to install this agent on Windows or macOS AppsAnywhere will fail to validate, which is indicated by a red validation failed banner at the top of the page.
If this occurs restart your web browser and log back into AppsAnywhere, this time you will be presented with a banner at the bottom of the screen prompting if you have installed the agent. If required select Install Now and once again follow the onscreen instructions.
If that fails see the section at the end of this page on how to manually install the clients.
Successful validation, once this has occurred you can tick the Don't show me this again message on the reminder banner to stop it being displayed in the future.
Once successfully logged in and validated (only on Windows/macOS) you will be presented with all the applications you are allowed to run, the list of applications will depend on who you are, what device you are on, and your geographical location (some apps are only available while on the University Campus, some only in the UK, others anywhere in the world).
For example if you’re on a managed Windows 10 machine generally all application will launch locally on the machine and the launch button will say Launch, if you are on a personal Windows or macOS device it will generally say Launch Remote, if you are on an Android/iOS/Linux/Chromebook/Xbox/PS4 it will generally say Launch Web, more info on these launch methods can be found here.
When an application is ran via Launch Remote or Launch Web its not really running on your machine its running in a remote terminal session (on site at Durham) but appears seamlessly to be running on your machine, this means it has access to almost all local resources as if your were on site such as j: and s: drives, certain websites only accessible when onsite, but it has a limitation that any local applications can't integrate with it. For example if you have a remote version of Outlook running you cant directly attach a local file, but there are methods to get around this more information can be found here.
To launch an app simply find it on the page and select the appropriate launch method, this will then initiate the AppsAnywhere service and load the application onto your device. The first time you launch an application it may take some time to create this connection. On Windows or macOS devices the application will run seamless on your machine just like any other application, you will have access to the local file system on your device (automatic on a Windows device, macOS need to follow some steps listed below) but also university network drives that you are allowed access to, these can be found in the normal file open/save dialogue boxes. On Android, iOS, Linux, Xbox One, PS4 the application will run within your web browser it but once again you will have access to local and network resources.
Information on how to use AppsAnywhere and video tutorials can be found here.
How this works.
AppsAnywhere is designed to detect who you are, what type of machine you are using and current geographical location to display the appropriately licensed applications for you to use
When you are on a managed CIS windows 10 machine the majority of these applications are delivered via a technology called Cloudpaging, which means the application is installed on demand and runs locally on the machine.
When you are on a personal device the applications are delivered via a technology known as Parallels Remote Access Server (RAS), which is very similar to remote desktop, all the applications appear to run seamlessly on your machine but in reality they are running on a remote server in the CIS datacentre. This has the advantage that no matter where you are in the world you will always have access to internal Durham network resources.
The Parallels RAS sessions can run via a parallels client on a Windows/macOS machine or using a HTML5 enabled web browser, meaning that applications will run on almost any internet enabled device.
Local Drive Access
For Windows devices all local drives are automatically available within any AppsAnywhere application, when you browse the file system they will just appear.
For macOS devices, the first time you make a connection with parallels using client version 17 or above you will be promoted to allow the parallels session to have access to your local home folder, to enable this select confirm at the grant access screen and also you can tick Don’t ask me again so this setting is remembered. Then click Confirm
Then select your account username folder, this will be the home folder that is mapped through in the parallels session, then click Open
You will now be prompted that this folder will be made available, click Done
Now within any parallels windows application file dialoge box you will have access to the local home folder on the macOS device.
Validation Failed - Manual Client installs
If on a Windows or macOS machine you get a validation failed error message the most likey cause of this is you have not installed the AppsAnywhere agent and you skipped the steps to install it and its not prompting you anymore. The easiet way to remedy this is to manually install it from the appropriate links below.