Although CertiflexDimension is primarily a back-office accounting solution designed for deployment on a Microsoft Windows platform, today’s technology offers a wide variety of platforms and devices to remotely access your accounting system. This whitepaper looks at some of the most common remote access methods.
Remote Server is server-based software designed to allow multiple computers to remotely access the server on which your accounting software is resident. In this environment, multiple remote systems share common server software operating like multiple local workstations to access your accounting system. One of the most common applications for Remote Server software is Microsoft’s Terminal Server. In this setting, you login to Terminal Server from a remote workstation and Terminal Server emulates a workstation to access CertiflexDimension software. All processing and throughput actually happens between the server and the accounting system. Traditionally, only video, mouse and keyboard signals are processed via a high-speed internet connection at both the remote workstation and the server. Security and access rights are handled by the Remote Server software emulating the Windows workstation.
Using CertiflexDimension with Remote Server access:
- Database Engine – To use CertiflexDimension in a Remote Server environment, a Pervasive Software client/server database management system (Versions 9, 10 or 11) must be deployed. As in any shared environment (local or remote), all active connections to CertiflexDimension must use a common DBMS.
- Security Access – It is important that all virtual workstations accessing CertiflexDimension via Remote Server be set up with the same access rights to CertiflexDimension as your local workstations.
- Technician Required – Due to the advanced nature of Remote Server, a qualified technician should be engaged to insure proper setup.
- Tips – Make sure your technician knows if you desire to print information from CertiflexDimension on a printer located at a remote location. This will require additional setup and more traffic across the remote connections.
- Advantages – A single Remote Server can handle multiple remotely accessed workstations.
- Disadvantages – Requires a Pervasive Software client/server DBMS and a qualified technician for installation, setup and maintenance.
Remote Control Device
Remote Control Device is web-based software designed to allow remote access to your office desktop used for applications such as CertiflexDimension. Access can occur from just about any remote device including personal computers, tablets and pads. In this environment, the remote device actually controls your office desktop.
One of the more common applications for Remote Control Device software is LogMeIn(www.logmein.com). Most versions of LogMeIn include self-installing web-based applications and are relatively inexpensive. Currently, there is a free version available for personal computers that do not require remote printing or file copying. A fully functional, 5-user version costs less than $50 per month. Current IPad2 applets for LogMeIn are around $30.
All processing and throughput occurs between the office desktop and the accounting software as if you were actually there. In this environment, only video changes, mouse and keyboard signals are being processed through the remote connection. Remote devices normally use a high-speed internet connection or 3G/4G wireless. The office workstation normally has a high-speed internet connection. Since Remote Control Device technology simply controls the office desktop from a remote device, all security and access rights to CertiflexDimension are completely controlled by the office desktop.
Using CertiflexDimension with Remote Control Devices:
No additional settings or changes are required to use CertiflexDimension in this environment. The local office desktop is still doing all of the work as if the operator was in the office. Remote Control Device solutions include support for remote printing requiring a more difficult setup, but most publishers include remote printing installation wizards. As a word of caution – remote printing or excessive continuous access can quickly become too slow for 3G wireless connections.
- Advantages – Low cost solution with very little technical setup or maintenance.
- Disadvantages – An active local workstation is required for each remote user.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Not recommended for access to CertiflexDimension!
With VPN, the traffic headed to the private network is tunneled through the Internet by encrypting it. The private network decrypts the information upon arrival. This makes the transmission significantly slower than a typical non-encrypted local area network (LAN) connection. With most broadband connections being slower for uploading than for downloading, this effect is only amplified.
Another limitation is how the VPN driver sends all network traffic (web, email, downloads and file operations) through the VPN tunnel. The system can be expected to be slowed even further.
We can only recommend VPN technology for functions such as file transfer or printing; or while running in conjunction with Remote Server such as Microsoft’s Terminal Server.