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Creating a custom user experience for the OpenText VDI solution using the REST API

by   in Application Modernization

Exceed TurboX (ETX) is a comprehensive but lightweight VDI solution for application and desktop virtualization, no matter where the apps and desktops are hosted. ETX can manage hybrid cloud environments for application virtualization. Using ETX, IT can manage apps and desktops on Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google cloud. Only to name the most popular ones. And ETX integrates all your on-prem infrastructure as well giving IT one single point of management for all your virtualization platforms.

At OpenText we have a strategy of providing all product functionality in the form of REST APIs included with a product. Using the REST APIs corporate software developers can include the functionality of the product into customized solutions to elevate their processes and increase productivity and user satisfaction.

Customized dashboards for launching virtual applications

VDI solution are using the ETX REST API to provide custom portals to their users that allow for deeply integrated management of virtual applications and virtual desktops. In such cases users of virtual applications do not need to go through the ETX user portal. They just click on an icon on the custom portal to launch their desired virtual application. And the organization has total control over what happens when a user wants to start a virtual app. The custom portal can for example choose to run the virtual application at the closest datacenter for better performance. The algorithm can choose application servers depending on the load if necessary. When using cloud, the algorithm can communicate with the cloud provider to retrieve data and set the right environment for the virtual machine.  

 Virtual desktop software REST API usage scenarios

The below scenarios are things customers are doing with the ETX REST API. In software development really everything is doable. You can always implement your own ideas and algorithms and accomplish what best suits your needs.

  • Enhance end-user satisfaction
  • Custom authentication
  • Easy to use internal portal that can launch virtual applications.
  • Decide application hosts on location and server workload.
  • Analyze usage data and optimize datacenter and/or cloud usage
  • Provide fresh Virtual Machines (VMs) for every session started.
  • Recycle VMs after the session ends.
  • Set cloud VM properties

Every ETX property and feature that is accessible from the admin dashboard can be accessed through a REST API. The help for the REST API is built right into the user interface. Developers can see precisely what API call to use to for example get a list of nodes (application servers). The ETX user interface includes the Open-Source Swagger tool that allows to document, execute, and test REST API calls right from the browser to observe the behavior of input and outputs of the command. Swagger helps to create the right REST API URL string from the admin user interface. Developers can just copy that string into their code and execute a REST call. Swagger also shows the precise HTTP request structure for every API call.

ETX REST APIs for user management

ETX REST API categories

  • Nodes (retrieve and set node details)
  • Node groups (retrieve and set node group details)
  • Users (retrieve and set user details)
  • User groups (retrieve and set user group details)
  • Sessions (retrieve and set session details)
  • Profiles (retrieve and set profile details)
  • API keys (retrieve and set API key details)
  • Site (retrieve and set site details)
  • License Server (retrieve and set licensing details)
  • Messages (retrieve and set messages details)
  • Reports (retrieve report data)
  • Runtimes (retrieve installed runtime data)
  • Logs (retrieve log data)

Retrieve server statistics REST call executed in built-in Swagger. The REST URL is shown, a curl command for testing is shown and the JSON response is displayed.

The admin dashboard shows hover-over Attribute help for the REST API. Developers can easily see what effect what attribute value has.

How to execute REST API calls?

Every programming language and IDE can execute REST calls. If you are coding in JavaScript, Java, C# or any other programming language you have a way to call REST APIs and trigger actions in ETX and retrieve responses from ETX.

Additionally, there are Windows and Linux shell commands that you can use to test REST calls. For example, the “curl” command is available in Linux and Windows PowerShell to execute REST calls. 

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