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Connecting remotely to Dynamics GP, Terminal Server, Citrix etc.

January 30, 2009

Ever have the need to work from home? Do you have multiple sites needing access to Dynamics? Ever travelling or on vacation (I hope not) and need access to you system just for a few minutes? Connecting remotely to your accounting system is becoming a must have in the world today. Many employees work at home (I'm in Montana and our office is in San Diego) or travel and need access to their system. I will discuss a few technologies that make accessing your system remotely convenient and efficient. All of these products require a fairly speedy internet connection to get the performance you desire.

  1. Remote Desktop Connection (Terminal Server)- (Start>>programs>>accessories>>communication>>Remote Desktop Connection). This will connect you to a terminal server and if GP is installed you should have full access to your accounting system. Advantages: One install to maintain. Pretty decent performance. Usually easy to set up. Disadvantages: By default limited to number of users that can launch sessions
  2. Citrix- This is the perferred application solution for those hosting Dynamics GP. Advantages: Many users, multiple sites, great performance (if your Internet connection is sufficient). One installation (Typically) to maintain. Disadvantages: Need someone on staff to that knows how to implement Dynamics on Citrix. A few companies host Dynamics with Citrix if you don't want to do this yourself. See Rose ASP.
  3. Access to computer at work- These products will log you into your workstation and you can work as if you are sitting in your office. Log me in or PC Anywhere are examples of these type of tools. Advantages: You have access to your own workstation, typically a desktop computer. Disadvantages: You have to leave your workstation on all the time. Every workstation has a local install of GP making updates and upgrades more time consuming.
  4. Support tools - We use Go to Assist for our technical support team. There is also live meeting, Webex etc. Advantages: You can access any workstation (as long as firewall allows access). Disadvantages: Typically you need someone to accept request to launch application so unless you hire a temp to stay all night at the office, it's not to reasonable. There is some delay depending on Internet connection.
  5. Virtual Private Network (VPN) - You would set up a VPN that connects to the server then use your local workstation install of GP. Advantages: Can be anywhere and access data. Disadvantages: Typically performance suffers. Especially during reporting and processing transactions. Every workstation has a local install of GP making updates and upgrades more time consuming.

Certainly not an exhaustive discussion on this topic. I've been asked numerous times what the options for remote access are. I'm sure there's others. Anyone want to comment with more info I'd be happy to update this entry.

Resources and Websites

  • Setting up Dynamics on a terminal server - Tech doc ID# 872242
  • Terminal server system requirements - 9.0 & 10.0
  • Virtual Environment support info and here
  • Dynamics Great Plains Hosting solution at Rose ASP

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