By Fat Bloke on Oct 31, 2013
Oracle announced the latest version of Secure Global Desktop (SGD) this week with 3 major themes:
- Support for Android devices;
- Support for Desktop Chrome clients;
- Support for Oracle Unified Directory.
I'll talk about the new features in a moment, but a bit of context first:
Oracle SGD - what, how and why?
Oracle Secure Global Desktop is Oracle's secure remote access product which allows users on almost any device, to access almost any type application which is hosted in the data center, from almost any location. And it does this by sitting on the edge of the datacenter, between the user and the applications:
This is actually a really smart environment for an increasing number of use cases where:
- Users need mobility of location AND device (i.e. work from anywhere);
- IT needs to ensure security of applications and data (of course!)
- The application requires an end-user environment which can't be guaranteed and IT may not own the client platform (e.g. BYOD, working from home, partners or contractors).
Oracle has a a specific interest in this of course. As the leading supplier of enterprise applications, many of Oracle's customers, and indeed Oracle itself, fit these criteria.
So, as an IT guy rolling out an application to your employees, if one of your apps absolutely needs, say, IE10 with Java 6 update 32, how can you be sure that the user population has this, especially when they're using their own devices? In the SGD model you, the IT guy, can set up, say, a Windows Server running the exact environment required, and then use SGD to publish this app, without needing to worry any further about the device the end user is using.
So back to SGD 5.1 and what is new there:
Since we introduced our support for iPad tablets in SGD 5.0 we've had a big demand from customers to extend this to Android tablets too, and so we're pleased to announce that 5.1 supports Android 4.x tablets such as Nexus 7 and 10, and the Galaxy Tab.
Here's how it works, with screenshots from my Nexus 7: Simply point your browser to the SGD server URL and login;
The workspace is the list of apps that the admin has deemed ok for you to run. You click on an application to run it (here's Excel and Oracle E-Business Suite):
There's an extended on-screen keyboard (extended because desktop apps need keys that don't appear on a tablet keyboard such as ctrl, WIndow key, etc) and touch gestures can be mapped to desktop events (such as tap and hold to right click)
All in all a pretty nice implementation for Android tablet users.
Desktop Chrome Browsers
And if you resize the browser window, the Linux desktop is resized by SGD too. Very cool!
Oracle Unified Directory
As I mentioned above, a lot of Oracle users already benefit from SGD. And a lot of Oracle customers use Oracle Unified Directory as their Enterprise and Carrier grade user directory. So it makes a lot of sense that SGD now supports this LDAP directory for both Authentication and as a means to determine which users get which applications, e.g. publish the engineering app to the guys in the Development group, but give everyone E-Business Suite to let them do their expenses.
With new devices, and faster 4G networking becoming more prevalent, the pressure for businesses to move to a increasingly mobile enterprise is stronger than ever. SGD is good for users, and even better for IT. By offering the user the ability to work from anywhere, and IT the control and security they need, everyone wins with SGD.