SBS2008 WOW Fact #2

One of the most requested “please, give us this feature” with SBS 2003 over the years was: can we control which workstations a user could access when they log in via Remote Web Workplace (RWW)?

Well, your wait is over! From the SBS 2008 console you can easily select which computers each user should be allowed to access. Once a user logs into RWW, they simply select from their drop down list of workstations. And, if the user is only allowed to access a single workstation, then thre’s no drop down list. They simply click and go to their designated workstation. Click here for Nicholas King’s overview on RWW in SBS 2008.

You want more? How about the ability to customize the RWW screen with your company logo? Click here to learn how.

You want more? Let’s say you have a second server you are using as a terminal server. And now you want certain users to only have access to that term server thru RWW. With just a few clicks, it’s all set up for you. Whem they login to RWW the only remote system they can connect to is the Term Server!

You want even more? With Windows 2008 server you now have the ability to setup Terminal Server (TS) Remote Apps (also called TS Web Apps). This one feature will probably help you sell additional servers in your SBS clients. In a nutshell, TS Remote Apps will allow you to give users access to a specific application on the Term Server, but hide the fact that it’s on a Term Server. Click here for an example on setting up TS Web Apps.

Let’s say you have Quickbooks installed on your TS, and you have several users that need to access Quickbooks. Previously, you would have to teach them how to login to the TS and teach them the fact that they now have two different Windows Desktops — which can be quite confusing for most users. But now, with TS Remote Apps you create a Quickbooks icon on the user’s desktop, and when the user clicks on the icon Quickbooks will appear to simply startup. But it’s actually running on the Term Server. Click here for more on Quickbooks and TS Remote Apps.

So, are there any negatives with RWW and Term Server and TS Remote Apps. Not a lot. One issue for me is a licensing issue. If you buy SBS 2008 Premium, it comes wiith a copy of Windows 2008 Server Standard, which you could use to implement a Term Server solution. Only problem is that no TS Cals are included. So, remember thart you will have to buy TS Cals.

SBS Rocks!

One thought on “SBS2008 WOW Fact #2

  1. Added to the benefits of RemoteApp is that you can create an .msi file from its distribution tool. With an .msi file you can use Group Policy to automatically distribute the RemoteApp as you see fit. After run once and the credentials are saved, the user will never no otherwise that the application is remote. You could even use certificates for authentication and bypass all user interaction altogether. The icons looks the same, the shortcut is in the same place, and all they see is the app window. It’s a beautiful thing to see in action.

    It’s going to help make several server based LOB applications much more secure and easy to use in the end.

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