With the release of the Horizon Suite for End User Computing (EUC) earlier this year, the Horizon Data service was included. This allows users to store and sync files across multiple devices while the files are stored within their corporate datacenter. This type of service is nothing new, people have been using services like Dropbox and Box.net for years. Within this post you will get a detailed walk-through of the Horizon Data experience.
Using Horizon Data on an iPad
Horizon Data does not offer a separate mobile application, so the data function is rolled into the larger Horizon Workspace mobile app. This allows for users to access Horizon Workspace, Horizon View, and the data service.
Once you launch the application you will see the folders and files that you have located in the data service. Horizon Data works much like a basic version of Dropbox. A folder is created when you install the client on your computer, and any files and folders that you place in the Horizon folder will be synched unless they are forbidden by a policy.
The image below shows a list of the files that are located in my data share. If I tap on one it would open up to be viewed. But first, go to My Files. I want to showcase the Edit button highlighted by the red arrow in the top-right corner.
Click that Edit button; you will be allowed to select one of the files. Once selected, you will be presented with options across the bottom of the app: Share, Rename, Move, or Delete the files.
Just for an example, tap the Share option. You’ll be presented with the option to email or copy the link so that it could be pasted in another app.
If you want to view one of your documents, all that is needed is to find the right item in the list and tap it. This will open up a preview of the document for you to read. If you would like to open the document in another mobile app installed on your mobile device, you can click the button in the top-right corner pointed out in the image below. This would allow you to interact with the file in another app and perform an edit, or you can use it to send or upload.
If want to really spend time reading a document, you will most likely want to do so by putting the document into full screen mode. This can be done by clicking the dual arrow button that I’ve highlighted in the image below.
If you wish to upload a new file or create a new folder, go to My Files and tap the Plus icon in the upper-right corner. This will allow you to help organize files with folders or add something to your data share.
You also have the option to mark documents as Favorites. These might be files that you use often or just need to be able to access quickly. The list of favorites can be displayed by tapping the Favorites button on the left.
You can also mark a document that you a viewing as a favorite by tapping the star icon in the upper-left corner.
Configure Settings in Horizon
There are a few settings that can be adjusted within the Horizon application. These can be accessed by tapping the Settings icon from the bottom menu. This will display a screen like the one shown below, providing details about the iPad’s version, user name, server link, and the amount of data being used.
Overall the application and Horizon Data service is pretty easy to consume for users. The feature set is still pretty basic, but it’s not surprising given that it’s a version 1.0 product. The service does perform well and is so far very stable. I look forward to seeing how fast VMware improves this data application.