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PowerTerm WebConnect for Windows Server 2008 FAQ

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As I wrote in my previous post, Ericom has announced a new free product: PowerTerm WebConnect for Windows 2008. In this post I would like to clarify what this announcement means, and provide some details about this offering and its benefits. I’ll do this in the form of a FAQ:

1. Why are you providing a free version of your product?
We at Ericom are very excited about Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services. We believe that Windows Server 2008 has the potential to expose many organizations that currently do not use Server Based Computing (aka Presentation Virtualization) to its benefits. We want to ride the crest of this wave, and think that this new, free offering will enable us to do this.

2. Are all Ericom’s products now free?
Nope, just this one.

3. With all the enhancements in Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services why do I need PowerTerm WebConnect?
While Windows Server 2008 does provide several notable enhancements over previous versions of Terminal Services, it also has some significant limitations that I’ve described in previous posts. These limitations are by design: Microsoft has intentionally created Windows Server 2008 as a simple solution for entry-level scenarios. PowerTerm WebConnect addresses these limitations, making this solution suitable for more complex scenarios, and organizations of any size – from dozens of users to tens of thousands. In addition end-user experience is much improved.

4. What are the main benefits of PowerTerm WebConnect for Windows 2008?
PowerTerm WebConnect for Windows Server 2008 provides significant enhancements to Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services, such as:

  • Improved management – centralized management of multiple terminal servers. This allows you to perform operations such as publish multiple applications from all the servers to multiple users and groups in a single operations. In addition you can view all the sessions on all the servers from a single administrative console.
  • Improved web interface – the Application Portal web interface is automatically customized per user, displaying only those applications that the user is allowed to use.
  • Improved end-user experience – the Application Zone rich client provides access to applications from a folder-like interface, a system tray icon and Desktop and Start Menu icons. These interfaces update automatically when applications are updated, even if the client device is outside the corporate domain.
  • Improved integration with Microsoft Active Directory – when you publish applications you can specify which AD users and groups can access them. Only these users will see and be able to use these applications.

5. Are there any restrictions to PowerTerm WebConnect for Windows Server 2008?
Yes. PowerTerm WebConnect for Windows 2008 is restricted in its functionality relative to the commercial versions of PowerTerm WebConnect. The restrictions are:

  • Windows Server 2008 / 2008 x64 Terminal Servers only. The commercial versions also support 2000, 2003 and 2003 x64.
  • Client must have Microsoft RDC version 6 installed
  • Published applications only. Not published desktops
  • No support for virtual desktops (VDI)
  • Up to 500 concurrent users – contact Ericom if you need more

To remove these restrictions simply upgrade to a commercial version of PowerTerm WebConnect. You will not need to reinstall anything, simply get a new activation code.

6. Do your other products also support Windows Server 2008?
Yes. Our entire PowerTerm WebConnect product line has been certified for Windows Server 2008 by Microsoft.

7. I installed PowerTerm WebConnect for Windows Server 2008 and I’m able to publish desktops and applications from Windows Server 2003. I thought you said this functionality is restricted – why does it work?
When you install PowerTerm WebConnect on a new system is runs as an evaluation version for the first 30 days or until you activate it. During the evaluation period all of the product’s features are accessible. Only when you activate the product are the restrictions applied. If you later reactivate the product as a commercial version the restrictions are removed and these published applications and desktops will work again.

8. What is Ericom’s relationship with Microsoft?
Ericom has a close relationship with Microsoft. We are a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a Terminal Services Partner. We were also a Windows Server 2008 Launch Event Partner. And speaking of Windows Server 2008, we are the first and only Terminal Services solution to be certified for that platform by Microsoft. The release of PowerTerm WebConnect for Windows Server 2008 is the result of our collaboration with Microsoft, and we will be conducting a joint TechNet Webinar to present it.

9. Which Windows Server 2008 Roles do I need to install in order to use PowerTerm WebConnect for Windows Server 2008?
The PowerTerm WebConnect server itself need only be installed on a single server. If you plan to access PowerTerm WebConnect using a web browser than on that server you will need to install the Windows Process Activation Service, IIS and ASP roles. On each Terminal Server you will need to install the Terminal Services role, obviously. Whether or not you install optional components such as TS Session Broker and TS Gateway is up to you. You will also need to install at least one TS licensing server in the network.

These are the first questions that sprang to my mind. If you have additional questions then post them as comments and I’ll update the list. Alternatively contact Ericom.

Profile:
Dan Shappir is responsible for all aspects of product design, software development and maintenance of the Ericom's product lines. Mr. Shappir joined Ericom in 2001 and brings over 15 years experience in computer programming, and in the design and architecture of software products. Mr. Shappir holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science (with honors) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and an M.Sc. in Computer Science (with honors) from Tel Aviv University, Israel. | Ericom Software
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