With the Horizon Suite 6.0/6.1, it’s awesome to be able to use Horizon Workspace as a ‘dashboard’ of sorts to give access to published applications (via RDSH), full desktops, and user files. Since the latest version of the Horizon Client has support for both full desktops and published applications, the use case for Workspace is in accessing other resources. One of the most impressive things that can be done with Workspace is to provide single sign-on services for external applications a business uses.
Any external application can be integrated with Workspace if you have the development muscle to make it happen. The integration is made possible by leveraging Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), pronounced “sam-el”, to pass authentication information to the external service. But there’s a list of applications (called the ‘cloud application catalog’) that are already prepared and tested by VMware for integration with Workspace. I’m going to show how one of these applications can easily be configured to allow users already authenticated to Workspace to connect without the need to log in again. In this tutorial, I’m going to use Salesforce as the external application, because it’s a widely used platform, and is hopefully relevant to many organizations.
This process can seem fairly intimidating if you don’t have a development background. Rest assured that although the process is somewhat complex in the background, most of the leg-work is already done by VMware and the external service. An integration with an application from the cloud application catalog can be done in 15 minutes or less, in the easier cases. There are only a few requirements to get this working:
- Administrative access to the organization’s Salesforce portal
- Administrative access to Workspace
Depending on the platform, this process may or may not be entirely self-service. Some platforms like ADP do work, but require intervention from folks at the other end. In the case of Salesforce, however, it can all be done by internal IT staff.