Cloudflare Access to desktop app

Ok, yes I’m a noob but I have gone over every resource I have found so far and I know I must be missing something. There plenty of fine instructionals on setting up Cloudflare Access, but the step I am missing is how to make a specific desktop app available through Access. I am trying to help a client that has a desktop app available to patients during this pandemic. To be specific - there is a patient test program that runs on Windows and I want to have this app available to their clients/patients without the need to load anything on their personal PCs. I thought this would be an ideal Access solution but I can’t figure out how to add the desktop app as an “app” on the launch page. Any help is appreciated. And stay safe.

Thank you for giving me an excuse to play with this. You first need to configure access to the Launch App. It’s similar to a regular Access policy. In my case, I just added one rule: Everybody. So I browse to example.cloudflareaccess.com and it asks me to type in my email address, and it sent me the code.

Once in, I see every “Access” gateway I’ve set up. Lacking foresight, I called most of them Restricted:

Each of those boxes is just a link to the URL I’m protecting.

So the Launch page really doesn’t get you much.

From your description, I can’t tell if it’s a Windows binary you’ve distributed, but you say you want clients to be able to access without loading anything on their PC.

“Access” is for accessing restricted URLs with a browser.

Thank you for the response. The challenge is providing a patient the ability to take an online test. The test is a Windows application. Currently, each physician gives the test in “their office”. With COVID patients can’t travel to the office. I was hoping Cloudflare Access would allow a patient to open the app remotely - in this case on a dedicated PC. An perfect solution would be having the patient go to the Access App Panel and click on an app button, then the application would open in the browser tab allowing the patient to take the test. I can’t see how you configure Argo to point the app (on the PC) and where to add that app to the App Launch screen. Again thanks for the help.

1 Like

While Access can be used to provide secure remote access to a Windows computer over RDP, it sounds like it’s not the solution you are looking for as it’s not going to offer the users browser based access to a Windows desktop application as easily as a website.

You need an RDP to HTTP gateway of some sort. There are various enterprise solutions available such as Citrix Gateway, and Apache Guacamole. I presume there are other solutions that would meet your needs, but some research is needed.

I imagine there are significant privacy issues considering your client is in a medical field, and Windows licensing is unfavourable to this kind of scenario. It is worth asking the vendor if they have a web based version of the test?

1 Like

Michael - great feedback. I am just getting to understand exactly what functions Access provides. It appears to be more like a secure gateway providing access to folders, website or services like SSH and RDP rather than the Citrix model. I appreciate the help!

This topic was automatically closed after 31 days. New replies are no longer allowed.