Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services Web Access

Terminal Services Web Access (or simply TS Web Access) is another Terminal Services feature that has been enhanced in Windows Server 2008. The previous version of Terminal Services in Windows Server 2003 includes a feature called Remote Desktop Web Connection, which is an ActiveX control that provides essentially the same functionality as the full Terminal Services client but is designed to deliver it using a Web-based launcher. By embedding this ActiveX control in a Web page hosted on Internet Information Services (IIS), you enable a user to access the Web page using a Web browser such as Internet Explorer, download and install the ActiveX control, and initiate a session with a remote terminal server. The user’s computer does not require RDC-instead, the TS session runs within the user’s Web browser using ActiveX functionality.

Remote Desktop Web Connection was limited, however, to running entire remote desktop sessions, not individual applications. In addition, the user had to be able to download and install the ActiveX control to connect to and start a session with the terminal server. And if the security policy on the user’s computer prevented him from downloading and/or installing ActiveX controls, he was out of luck and couldn’t use Remote Desktop Web Connection.

Windows Vista, together with Windows Server 2008, enhances Remote Desktop Web Connection functionality in two basic ways. First, the RDC 6.0 client has this ActiveX control built into it, so users no longer need to download and install an ActiveX control to start a Terminal Services session within a Web browser-at least, they don’t have to do this if their client computer is running Windows Vista (which includes RDC 6.0) or if they are running Windows XP SP2 and have the RDC 6.0 update for Windows XP installed. (The RDC 6.0 update for Windows XP is described in KB 925876 and is available from the Microsoft Download Center or via Windows Update.)

And second, TS Web Access integrates with the TS RemoteApp feature, allowing users to go to a Web page, view a list of available RemoteApp programs they can run, click an icon link for a particular RemoteApp program, and run that program on their computer. In fact, TS Web Access includes a default Web page that you can use for deploying RemoteApp programs from a Web page. This default page consists of a frame together with a customizable Web Part that displays the list of RemoteApp programs within the user’s Web browser. And if you don’t want to use this default Web page, you can add the Web Part into a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services site.

Once a RemoteApp program has been started from the default Web page, the application appears as if it is running on the local computer’s desktop just like with the TS RemoteApp feature described previously. In addition, if the user starts more than one RemoteApp program from the Web page and these programs are all running on the same terminal server, all the RemoteApp programs will run within the same Terminal Services session.

Source of Information : Introducing Windows Server 2008

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