By Fat Bloke on Feb 09, 2007
OK this isn't a feature but it is a change that happened with version 4.3 and something that has "lowered the barrier" as they say
Compared with earlier versions, the price of 4.3 is roughly 30% less!
So now we're getting to some new "features" which are really making an impact to the SGD business.
But what is this one all about? When would you want to connect to Windows XP Pro as a "server"?
Well, as it happens, there are a couple of compelling situations when you might.
So one solution is to deploy SGD in a configuration where employees can reach their desktop PC from home.
So in the words of a famous European beer manufacturer, SGD 4.3 can now refresh the parts other products can't reach.
And that's why this feature is in at #4
Out of the box, SGD is pre-configured so that any remote apps you run cannot touch the drives on your client device, e.g. your Windows PC.
Reasons for this may be to protect against "contamination-in", where viruses, malware etc may be uploaded to your protected server-side apps.
Another reason may be to protect against "data leakage-out", where you don't want sensitive data leaking out of the internal network.
But at other times you really, really do want to open or save files to your local drives.
So it was great to see yet another cool feature appearing in the SGD 4.3 release, Client Drive Mapping for UNIX apps.
This means that I can run an app on a Solaris or Linux server, say StarOffice, and have that application "see" my local client's filesystem.
It works like this:
And here's how you set it up on the application server:
chmod 755 /smb
share -F nfs -o rw -d "UNIX Drive Mapping" /smb
svcadm enable network/nfs/server
The Administration Guide tells you how to set up the SGD server and how to control which users can/cannot use client drive mapping.
So the end result allows me to see something like this:
...which is me running StarOffice on Solaris 10 accessing files on my Mac OS X Desktop.
Pretty cool huh?
So it makes it into my Cool List at #5.
Resuming my personal countdown of cool features in SGD 4.3.....
I guess the fact that you are reading these ramblings of Fat Bloke means that we share some knowledge of the world of server-based/thin client/virtual display computing. And you already know that by deploying your users' apps on servers it makes for a more secure, more manageable, more agile desktop approach. But what about the end-user experience?
End users can be demanding but on the whole they're a fairly simple bunch. They don't care about architectures, or security of the system, or load balancing, or even the platform of the applications they need to use. They simply want to be able to run their applications as if it were local.
And whilst previous versions of SGD addressed usability demands such as opening/saving docs to local disks, printing to local printers, and displaying windows in a seamless way, just like local apps, the new version takes integration with the client to a new level.
You see, in SGD 4.3, users can choose to have their remote apps appear in the Start Menu alongside their local apps.
And as these Start Menu items are simply links, they can be dragged onto the desktop for quick access too....
So that's why this feature makes it into my Top 10.
Previous versions of SGD support that cool PDF Printing feature if you had a Windows client.
This is where the SGD client sees if the client understands PDFs and if so creates a synthetic printer on the app server.
When the user prints to that printer, a PDF file is sent to the client where the PDF viewer is used to print it.
Quite cool because it saves installing printer drivers on the servers, and the resultant print job is hi-fidelity.
Well, in SGD 4.3, we Mac users and our cousins that use Linux and Solaris, can also use this cool feature.
The SGD client knows that if it finds a Mac PDF viewer (Preview.app) or UNIX viewers (like gview) then the client is "pdf-aware" and the magic begins...
Right then, time I pulled my finger out and set things straight...
I'm the Fat Bloke and this is what I stand for:
\*Football - real football as played by real men.
\*Beer - real ale as drunk in Yorkshire .
\*Sun Secure Global Desktop Software - server-based computing for fat or thin clients.
Hope this gives you all the context you need.