Desktop application functionality – Cloud app flexibility
How do you get all the benefits of cloud computing but still retain the performance, features and functionality of a desktop application?
“Cloud” is a term that gets used for almost everything that is run online nowadays but for the purposes of this article there are certain key benefits that cloud computing brings to businesses and the way they want to run their line of business applications that should be highlighted.
- Work Anywhere – The ability to run an application from wherever you are over the Internet
- Device Agnostic – Not being restricted to running on a Windows desktop or on a Mac.
- Pay as you go – Subscription based computing rather than heavy upfront costs.
- Flexibility of user numbers – increase or decrease the number of user licences depending upon the needs of your business.
- Reduced Hardware Costs – no requirement for onsite servers and associated licencing and maintenance.
- Reduced Support Costs – the cloud provider supports their own infrastructure.
However, depending upon the particular service or provider there may be some aspects of cloud computing that are not ideal and may even be show stoppers for businesses contemplating the use of cloud based applications. These include:
- Data Security Compliance – Regulatory compliance policies may dictate that not only is your data held in the UK but that you can show that you can have physical access to inspect how that data is being secured.
- Features and Functionality – maybe this will improve over time but experiences show that web based versions of applications generally lack many of the features of desktop versions. They are often in effect a “Lite” version.
- Performance – Web based applications can appear “laggy” compared with desktop versions.
- Integration – While some cloud based applications have whole libraries of integration modules to connect them to other cloud based applications, integrating with local applications may not be so easy.
There is another way
So what if you could have all the features and functionality of a desktop application but have it running “in the cloud”? Well, of course, you can. This is what Hosted Desktops and RemoteApps gives you.
A Hosted Desktop, or Hosted Remote Desktop Service to give it its full title, uses Windows Servers hosted in a UK data centre running Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) plus all the supporting infrastructure to securely and reliably give users access to a Windows desktop, or even just individual applications, over the Internet.
Connecting to the applications or the full desktop can be done using a free Remote Desktop Client which is available for pretty well any device, PC, Mac, iPad, Android, even a Kindle Fire.
Of course you can also add on additional supporting services in the same way as you would with an on premise solution, such as SQL Servers, application and web servers, as well as being able to host any and all of your other applications on the remote desktop server, so integration is simple.
A Hosted Desktop from Your Office Anywhere is a pay-as-you-go service and starts from just £25.50 per user per month. Not only does it tick all the benefits listed above it also solves all the cloud problems discussed. The platform is hosted in the UK and customers completing due-diligence are welcome to visit the data centres to view the security measures in place.
Using a Hosted Desktop or RemoteApp is no different than a locally installed one and you don’t need an excessively fast broadband connection, a couple of mbps will usually be sufficient for good performance and the platform will be perfectly useable on slower connections.
As all the processing is done on the hosted server there is no need for expensive, high performance PCs, a hosted desktop solution can in effect significantly extend the life of PC hardware.
Of course the biggest benefit for Software Developers and Vendors is that you don’t need to make any changes to your existing desktop application.
If you’re a Software Developer and would like to see how your software would run on a Hosted Desktop or as a RemoteApp, please get in touch and we can run your application on a test server. Or, if you simply would like to know more about it speak to a technical sales consultant who can answer any questions you have about the platform.
There is also further information on our reseller page.