Why use remote desktops instead of hosting a SQL Express database

A remote desktop is a good way of running a Desktop application that requires a SQL Server Express database thereby enabling it to be run “In the Cloud”. By running both the application and its database on the remote desktop users can get excellent performance and access the Desktop application from anywhere over the internet in the same way they would a web or mobile application.

Cloud computing is becoming the norm for many businesses looking to get improved flexibility from their business software. However, not every application is designed to be run in the cloud, but that doesn’t mean the application can’t be cloud enabled very easily.

In a traditional setup the SQL Server Express database might be kept on a file server in the office and the application installed on each user’s PC or laptop and configured to go to the file server for its database. So one option might be to host the SQL Server Express database on a “cloud” server instead and configure the users PCs and Laptops with the address of the cloud server and database. However, the downside of this approach is that the speed and reliability of the internet connection cannot be guaranteed. Unlike saving a document to OneDrive or DropBox, database applications are “Chatty”, continuously talking to the database, so the impact of any internet latency will affect the entire usability of the application and not just when clicking Save at the end of the work.

A more reliable option is to use Remote Desktop Services. Remote Desktops have both the database and the user’s application running on the cloud server. So, there is no issue with Internet latency. The only things that travels over the internet are the user’s keyboard and mouse clicks one way and the screen refreshes the other way. If the Internet connection is poor and cuts out this isn’t a problem, the application just sits there waiting for you to reconnect.

Unlike just hosting the SQL Express database hosting the application as well on a remote desktop ensures constant fast and reliable communication between the application and its database which reduces risk of corruption to a minimum.

Using Hosted Remote Desktops with SQL Server Express based applications

Setting up a remote desktop environment is a fairly complex thing to do but luckily there are companies that provide this service. This is known as Hosted Remote Desktops or Hosted Desktops for short. The company will host the remote desktop server in their data centre and provide all the infrastructure required to connect to the remote desktop over the Internet and will usually support and manage the environment as part of the service.

Find out more

If you have an application that runs with a SQL Server Express database and you’d like to know more about hosting this in the cloud, or maybe you’re a developer writing applications and are looking for ways of cloud enabling it, get in touch with one of our technical sales consultants for a no obligation chat.

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