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Using Tekla Structures with application and desktop virtualization

Last updated March 12, 2019 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

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Using Tekla Structures with application and desktop virtualization

Using Tekla Structures with application and desktop virtualization

Using Tekla Structures with the Citrix applicationpart of Tekla Structures functionality that is developed in order to extend the capability of Tekla Structures but that is not included in the Tekla Structures installation

and desktop virtualization is a flexible and safe way to quickly add users to Tekla Structures projects without locally installing Tekla Structures and copying project data to a user's computer. Citrix application and desktop virtualization products are products of Citrix Systems, Inc.

The image below shows the main concepts in Tekla Structures virtualization.

Streaming applications from the server enables the use of Tekla Structures on client computers, tablets and smartphones that have different hardware and software configurations. Tekla Structures runs on Windows on the remote server and the virtualization solution allows client devices to be used for display and user input.

Users connect through a secure connection to the data center located in your premises or in the cloud. The project data is protected as everything is stored only on the server. Using Tekla Structures from a centralized location ensures that all users in the project are using the same project environment set-up.

Prerequisites for using Tekla Structures in a virtual environment

Citrix virtualization is set up either on a physical server or on a virtual server. Recommended hardware is described in Hardware recommendations for running Tekla Structures on Citrix and Tekla Structures 2019 Hardware Recommendations.

For detailed instructions on installing and setting up XenApp and XenDesktop, see the Citrix documentation.

The image below shows the main components in Tekla Structures virtualization.

  1. Thin client application: users can access Tekla Structures with Citrix Receiver through Citrix XenApp client or Citrix XenDesktop desktop viewer on any supported operating system and hardware. Multiple concurrent clients may share one virtual machine instance.

    A good internet connection is required. Recommended network bandwidth is 1 Mbps or more.

  2. Each TeklaStructures.exe running on the virtual machine needs a valid license.

    Local, enterprise, or cloud Tekla license server can be used, and the license server can be hosted in or out of the data center.

  3. Read/write project files from network-attached storage (NAS). Fast disk access is needed. Never use the local disk of the virtual server for saving model folders.

    Accessing any files from the client's local file system requires uploading the files to the server, which may be very slow and should be avoided as much as possible. Project data including environments should be stored on another (server) machine in the data center or file system inside the company network.

The key components for using Tekla Structures with the Citrix application and desktop virtualization are:

  • High-end Windows server that can serve multiple concurrent users. The server is typically set up by the company's IT department.
  • A file server that provides fast access to project files from the virtualization server.
  • Tekla Structures installed on the server or on the virtual machine running on the server.
  • A reliable connection from the virtual hosts to Tekla license server as each Tekla Structures user needs a valid Tekla Structures license
  • Delivery groups (user groups) and access rights, which are defined on the server with Citrix Studio.
    • Delivery groups are set up by the administrator of the virtualization environment.
    • Access rights for delivery groups must be defined by the administrator on the server.
  • Citrix Receiver installed on client computers. The Citrix Receiver is typically delivered through an Internet browser and installed by the end-user.

Set up the virtual environment for Tekla Structures

You need to set up the server, define delivery groups, install the Tekla Structures software and environments on the server, and Tekla Structures users need to install the Citrix Receiver on their computers.

  1. Set up the server.

    The server must be a high-end computer with a fast graphics card, a fast processor, and enough main memory for each user depending on the size and level of detail of the projects they are working on. See Hardware recommendations for running Tekla Structures on Citrix for more detailed information.

    For detailed instructions on installing and setting up XenApp and XenDesktop, see the Citrix documentation.

  2. Install Tekla Structures software and the needed environments on the server.

    Storing models on the virtual computer local disk may cause access problems. Use a dedicated file server for models, and remember to select the correct network location for the model folderfolder that is used for storing files associated with a model

    Tekla Structures stores all files associated with a model in a folder it creates with the same name as the model database (.db1).

    In multi-user mode all users access the same model folder.

    during the Tekla Structures installation.

    Tekla Structures environment settings are the same for all users that use the same virtual computer. In the same manner as with normal desktop installations, you still have to make sure that the environments on different virtual machines are the same or matching.

    We strongly recommend that you use standard Tekla Structures environments and amend them with company or project-specific settings (on the network file server).

  3. Install the Citrix Receiver on the Tekla Structures client computer:

    We recommend that you use the Citrix Receiver web user interface.

    1. Open the Citrix Receiver web user interface in your web browser.

      Use the https address provided by your company's administrators.

    2. Install the Citrix Receiver client software by following the steps in the installation wizard. Do not create an account, or login in the installation wizard, but finish the installation and return to the web user interface.
    3. After the installation, return to the Citrix Receiver web user interface and log in with the credentials provided by your company's administrators.
    4. Select the desired virtual desktop. If the virtual desktop does not start automatically, run the downloaded Citrix ( .ica ) file.

    You can now start using Tekla Structures on the virtual desktop, in the same manner as if it was installed on your own computer.

    • When you use the virtual desktop for the first time, you can give read and write access to your local files in the file access dialog box.
    • Note that referencing local files from your computer directly in Tekla Structures is not recommended. If you need to access those files in Tekla Structures , you should copy them to a shared network location first.
    • Note that model folders are not copied to the client computers.

    The Citrix Receiver client is updated frequently. Always install the latest client when the web user interface suggests you to do so.

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