Citrix XML Access Test

The Citrix XML Access Test verifies the interactions between the web interface, the XML service, and the IMA service.

A typical web interface interaction is composed of the following (see Figure 1):

  • Client device users utilize a Web browser to view the Log in page and enter their user credentials.
  • The NFuse server reads users’ information and uses the Web Interface’s classes to forward the information to the Citrix XML Service; this service can execute on the Citrix Web Interface or on each of the XenApp servers in a server farm.  If the XML service is on the servers in a farm, the designated server acts as a broker between the NFuse server and the XenApp servers in the farm.
  • The Citrix XML Service on the designated server then retrieves a list of applications from the servers that users can access. These applications comprise the user’s application set. The Citrix XML Service retrieves the application set from the Independent Management Architecture (IMA) system and Program Neighborhood Service, respectively.
  • The Citrix XML Service then returns the user’s application set information to the Web Interface’s classes running on the server.
  • The user then clicks on the application of interest to him/her to access it.

Figure 1 : A typical web interface interaction

If the Citrix XML service executes on the XenApp servers in a farm, then you can use this test to evaluate the availability and responsiveness of the XML service. This test emulates a user accessing an XML port for a list of applications available to him/her. By emulating a request, this test checks that the entire application enumeration process involving the XML service and IMA service of Citrix is functioning properly. This test is disabled by default. This test is disabled by default. To enable the test, go to the enable / disable tests page using the menu sequence : Agents -> Tests -> Enable/Disable, pick the desired Component type, set Performance as the Test type, choose the test from the disabled tests list, and click on the < button to move the test to the ENABLED TESTS list. Finally, click the Update button.

Target of the test : Any Citrix Web Interface

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every Citrix Web Interface monitored

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. TEST PERIOD – How often should the test be executed
  2. Host – The host for which the test is to be configured
  3. Port Refers to the port used by the Citrix server
  4. user - This test emulates a user logging into the NFuse server and requesting for a list of applications available to him/her. Therefore, in the USER text box, provide a valid user name which the test should use for logging into the NFuse server.
  5. password - Provide the PASSWORD of the specified USER.
  6. confirm password - Confirm the password by retyping it in the CONFIRM PASSWORD box.
  7. ssl - The web interface through which these tests are executing may be configured for HTTP or HTTPS access. If HTTPS access is configured, then this parameter should be set to yes.
  8. domain - Provide the domain to which the user logs in.
  9. domaintype - A Citrix web interface can be set up to authenticate users by connecting to a Windows domain, or a Unix domain, or a Novell domain. The domainType value represents the type of domain being used to validate the user. The default value is "NT". For Unix, use "UNIX" and for Novell, use "NDS".
  10. xmlport - Specify the port on which the Citrix XML Service is executing.
  11. no of tries and sleep time - In environments where network connections are normally fuzzy and latencies are to be expected, the availability and response time checks performed by this test, may not always report accurate results. False alarms may hence be generated. In such environments therefore, you may want the test to try connecting to the XML service a few more times before reporting the availability and responsiveness of the service. To instruct the test to do so, you can use the no of tries and sleep time parameters. In the no of tries text box, indicate the number of times the test should try reconnecting to the XML service, and in the sleep time text box, specify how long (in seconds) the test should wait for a response from the service before attempting to reconnect. Both these parameters are set to 1 by default. 
  12. timeout - Specify the duration (in seconds) for which the test needs to wait for a response from the server. At the end of this duration, the test will timeout. The default is 30 seconds.
  13. ENCODING FORMAT -
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Connection availability:

Tracks if the Citrix XML service is available to handle any requests.

Percent

If the TCP connection to the XML service port fails, this metric has a value of 0. Otherwise, it has a value of 100.

Authentication status:

Indicates if the user authentication succeeded.

Percent

It has a value of 100 if the user was authenticated, and a value of 0 if the authentication failed. If the user login is valid, yet authentication fails, the problem then lies with the Citrix IMA service's communication with the domain controller/active directory server.

Application enumeration status:

This metric indicates if the Citrix web interface was able to enumerate the applications available for the user logging in.

Percent

A value of 0 indicates that application enumeration failed, while a value of 100 denotes that the application enumeration operation succeeded. If authentication succeeds but application enumeration fails, then the problem is most likely to be in the Citrix XML service, its interaction with the IMA service, or with the IMA service itself.

TCP connection time:

Indicates the time taken to establish a TCP connection to the Citrix XML service.

Secs

If this value is significantly high, it could probably be because the network latency is high or the Citrix web interface host is overloaded.

Total response time:

Represents the total time taken for a user to login to the Citrix web interface and enumerate all the applications.

Secs

The value of this metric indicates the responsiveness of the Citrix web interface and its connectivity to the XML service.