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  • Setting up Spotfire® Analyst in Amazon AppStream 2.0

    This article describes how to install Spotfire® Analyst in Amazon AppStream 2.0 such that one can stream Spotfire® Analyst via a browser and users do not have install it locally on their machines.


    Amazon AppStream allows one to stream desktop applications via a browser, such that if one configures Spotfire® Analyst in AppStream, then a user can use the Analyst client without having it installed locally on their desktop machine.  Using AppStream for Spotfire® Analyst allows one to have a centrally managed environment in which users can have all the power of Spotfire® Analyst without having to install it locally.  

    This article shows how to set up a Spotfire® Analyst client in Amazon AppStream 2.0 using an existing Spotfire® Server.  Certain details will vary based on your environment and what you have configured in Spotfire® and AWS, e.g. networking, security, how to access the Spotfire® Server, etc.


    • An AWS Account with access to Amazon AppStream.
    • An installed and configured Spotfire® Server that can be accessed from your AppStream environment. 
    • The AppStream machines that run the software are similar to running things in EC2 such that one can use similar networking to access a Spotfire® environment and other external resources.  In this example, I used a Spotfire® Server running on an EC2 instance in my AWS environment.

    AppStream Documentation and tutorials used are available here. The main starting page for AppStream 2.0 will depend on your region.  When logged into your AWS account, under services select AppStream 2.0.  The AppStream tutorials and instructions are pretty good so I don?t duplicate all the details provided in them.  The main purpose of this document is to focus on the configuration required for Spotfire® Analyst to run as an application within AppStream.

    Note: These instructions were written in June 2023, therefore specific screenshots and locations of items may change over time, but the general concepts should stay the same.


    Creating an AppStream Image

    The first step is to create an image which one can do using the AppStream Image Builder.  Start with the Image Builder Tutorial and then Create a Custom AppStream Image by using the AppStream Console.  The text below goes through these steps for a Spotfire® Analyst image.

    From the AppStream 2.0 services landing page, select Images, select the Image Builder tab, and then select Launch Image Builder.  In the Choose an Image step, I searched for winserver2019 and selected the general purpose base image.


    Fill in the required fields for your environment.  In this screenshot, I show only the instance type and VPC setting.  You will need to determine an appropriate-sized image for installing Spotfire® Analyst. The instance type selected here is used for installing and configuring the image used in AppStream and is not the same as the instance type used when users are using Spotfire® Analyst.  That instance type is configured when one creates the Fleet.


    In this step, select the appropriate network VPC, subnet, and Security groups for your configuration.  Make sure to select "Enable default internet access" if the image needs internet access, for example, to download software, and you are not going to control internet access in another way.  In an enterprise setting, you may want more control over internet access in which case this checkbox does not need to be checked.  You can configure an Active Directory domain to which the image can connect if this is needed.

    In the Review and Create step, make sure to verify that everything is as you need it, and then click Launch Image Builder.  You should return to the Image Builder screen and see that your new image is marked as Pending.

    Installing and Configuring Spotfire Analyst

    After creating the image, we now need to install Spotfire® Analyst on the Image.  Following the tutorials, once my image is ready, I select it click Connect, and connect as an Administrator.

    Once connected, you will need to install Spotfire® Analyst.  I downloaded the software from the Edelivery site, but you can get the software on the machine in any way that works.  When installing the Spotfire® Analyst, the image used in AppStream will be shared by multiple users, so install the shared computer version of Spotfire® Analyst, called TIB_sfire-analyst_<version>_shared_computer_win.zip.

    After the Spotfire® Analyst software is downloaded, you will install it as you would normally.  The key item is to make sure that your Spotfire® Server is accessible from your image.  Think of your image as an EC2 instance in AWS and all the networking settings configured while building the image will determine what access the instance has.

    Create the AppStream Application Catalog as discussed in Step 2 of the Create a Custom AppStream Image tutorial

    The next steps for finishing the installation are described in the tutorial so I will not go through them in detail.  In Step 3 for Windows configuration, I didn't make any configuration changes but did go through the process of:

    • Changing to the Template User

    • Opening Image Assistant

    • Opening the Spotfire® application from Image Assistant

    • Closing Spotfire®

    • In Image Assistant, switching the user back to Administrator

    • Saving settings

    In the Test step, I switched to the Test User, from the Image Assistant launched Spotfire® Analyst, and verified I could open an analysis from the Spotfire® Library.  After testing, in the Image Assistant, I switched the user back to the Administrator to finish up the image creation part. 

    I clicked Launch in the Optimize step and went through the process.  In Configure Image, enter meaningful values for the name and other information.  When done, click Next to go to the Review step.  If everything looks good, click ?Disconnect and Create Image.?   You might get disconnected messages during this process.  They did not affect the snapshotting of the image for me.  If you go back to the Image Builders page, you can see that the image is getting snapshotted.  The snapshot can take a bit of time to create.

    Creating the Fleet

    After the snapshot is created, the next step is to create the Fleet.  I am following along with the Create an AppStream 2.0 Fleet and Stack tutorial.

    First off we will create a Fleet by selecting Fleets and then Create fleet.  Please read up on the various fleet types and determine which one will be best suited for your needs.   In my example, I have selected the ?On-Demand? type to limit the costs.

    On the Configure Fleet page, you have many choices to make that will affect the user experience and behavior of your fleet.  Please take the time to consider these.  For instance type, I am selecting the stream.standard.large and keeping all other settings the default.  This instance type is what your users will use when running Spotfire® Analyst, so select an appropriate instance based on the data sizes they will be working with. 

    You will want to consider what your Fleet capacity should be in order to support the number of concurrent users you will need to support.  Choose the image you created during the image builder step.  Configure the network so that the image can connect to your network and Spotfire® instance as needed.

    Here are my Fleet settings (I am not showing the network settings since those are specific to my environment):



    Review your Fleet settings and click Create Fleet.

    Creating a Stack and Associating the Fleet with the Stack

    The next step is to create a Stack and then associate the Fleet with the Stack.  I went through the steps and accepted all the defaults when creating the Stack.  Please review the various storage, networking, and user settings to make sure these are correct for your environment.  In the process of creating the Stack, you can provide users with Home folders and storage to use, e.g. S3.

    After creating the stack, I associated my fleet with the Stack:

    Inviting Users to Use the Environment

    After creating the Stack and associating the fleet, the last step is to invite users to use the environment.  The User Pool Administration documentation provides information about how to create users and assign stacks to them within AppStream. 

    In my test environment, I created users directly in the AppStream environment.  If the fleet is joined to an Active Directory domain, then users created in AppStream cannot be assigned to the stacks.   User management would be done through Active Directory.

    I created a couple of users and assigned them to the stack I created:

    • Once users are assigned and have received the streaming URL, they can open the URL, log in and see the Spotfire® application in their AppStream Catalog.
    • After clicking on Spotfire®, the user will be presented with the Spotfire® Analyst login screen.
    • The user can log in and then interact with Spotfire® Analyst as they normally would but in a browser window.

    Amazon AppStream 2.0 allows users to stream Spotfire® Analyst in a browser and interact with Spotfire® without having it installed on their machines!

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