Last Updated on August 12, 2020 by Dishan M. Francis

In my previous blog post, I have explained how we can set up Windows Virtual Desktop (Spring 2020 Release) and publish desktops. If you didn’t read it yet, please go ahead and read it before we continue with this article as I am going to use the same system setup. You can access previous blog post using this link.
In this blog post, I am going to demonstrate how to publish applications using Windows Virtual Desktop (Spring 2020 Release).

Before we start, let’s go ahead and check how is my demo environment looks like and what I am trying to achieve.

azure infrastructure

• I have two Resource groups in place. EUSRG1 resource group is in Azure East US region and UKSRG1 resource group is in UK South Azure region.
• Resource in UKSRG1 resource group represents my on-premises infrastructure.
• I have a Windows AD server running in UKSRG1. It is syncing to Azure AD by using Azure AD Connect.
EUSVNet1 and UKSVnet1 are connected using Azure VNet-to-VNet VPN Gateway Connection ( This way session hosts in EUSRG1 can be added to Windows AD using the standard method.
• I have set up two windows virtual desktop session hosts (REBELSH-0 & REBELSH-1) and a workspace (REBELWP01) in EUSRG1 resource group.
Both session hosts are joined to Windows AD using the standard domain join method.

I am going to create a new application group and publish Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel Applications.

Create Windows Virtual Desktop Application Group

Let’s go ahead and create the application group for remote apps.

1. Log in to Azure portal as Global Administrator
2. Search for Windows Virtual Desktop and click on it.

Windows Virtual Desktop azure service

3. Then click on Application groups

WVD application group option

4. In Application group page click on + Add

add new application group

5. This will open up a new wizard. In there, first, select the resource group. According to my setup, it should be EUSRG1. Then select the Host pool. I already have a host pool setup with the required applications. The application group type should set to RemoteApp. Under the Application group name, define a name for the app group. After all settings are in place click on Next : Assignments to proceed.

application group wizard

6. In assignments page, click on + Add Azure AD users or user groups to assign users to the application group. With Spring 2020 Release, now you can assign permissions to Azure AD groups. In my demo setup, I have Azure AD group called “REBELADMIN App Group“. I am going to assign this new app group to it. After settings are applied, click on Next: Application

add users to application group

7. In the Application page, click on + Add applications.

add application to application group

8. It will open up a new wizard. In their select Start menu as the Application source. This will retrieve the applications available in the session host’s start menu. For custom apps, we can select File path as the application source and define the exe path. Next, using Applications option, select the application you like to publish. In my demo, I am going to publish Microsoft Word. If you need, you can change the application name by modifying value in Display name field. In the end, click on Save to publish the application.

add application

Same way, I added Microsoft Excel application to the list. In the end, click on Next: Workspace to proceed.

create application group

9. In Workspace page, Click on Yes for Register application group option. This is to register the application group with the workspace. I already have a workspace setup. So, this new group will also register with the existing workspace. After settings are in place, click on Review + Create to complete the application group configuration process.

add to Windows Virtual Desktop workspace

10. In the next window, the system will validate the settings. Once validation is completed, click on Create.

This completes the configuration process; let’s go ahead and test the remote app access.


There are many different ways to connect to Windows virtual desktop services. In this demo, I am using web client method.

1. Launch web browser and go to
2. Then I am login as a member of “REBELADMIN App Group

Windows Virtual Desktop testing - login page

3. Once I logged in, I can see the applications I just published.

Windows Virtual Desktop workspace

4. I went ahead and click on Microsoft Word.

5. Then system prompt for permissions to access local resources. Click on Allow to proceed.

6. In the next window, the system asks for credentials again. I type the same login details and click on Submit.

Windows Virtual Desktop authentication

7. Then as expected, I can see the Microsoft Word App.

Windows Virtual Desktop application launch

This marks the end of this blog post. Hope now you have a better understanding of how to publish applications using Windows Virtual Desktop. If you have any further questions feel free to contact me on also follow me on twitter @rebeladm to get updates about new blog posts.