Requirements for Hosting Enterprise and iTopia
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This topic documents the requirements and concerns related to hosting PointForce Enterprise and PointForce iTopia. The focus is on the Montreal Hosting Center, but can easily apply to any hosted solution.
- We always recommend setting up Enterprise and iTopia within a Microsoft Domain scenario. A Domain eliminates most user authentication issues.
- With our Montreal Hosting Center the hosted solution will run within the Tecsys Domain. Trust relationships between the hosted solution and the customer's Domain are not allowed. Network access to the hosted servers is very restrictive. This results in the following:
- All user must be defined in the Tecsys Domain.
- User maintenance will be billable so adopting a more maintenance name convention is desirable.
- User names should be generic where possible. For example: acme_user01, acme_sales05, acme_ship11, etc.
Terminal Server / Remote Desktop Server
- Starting with Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft has renamed Terminal Services to Remote Desktop Services. It makes sense as one uses the Remote Desktop Client (included with all Microsoft desktop operating systems) to connect to and remote control a session on the Terminal Server. A Terminal Server is the best method of eliminating issues relating to using Enterprise and iTopia across a Wide Are Network (WAN). With our hosting center, a Terminal Server is a requirement. Here are requirements and considerations relating to using Terminal Services:
- The Enterprise Client will be run from the Terminal Server.
- MS Excel is required for Terminal Server. (Only volume editions are allowed to be installed on Terminal Services.)
- Win2PDF Terminal Server Edition is required.
- Printing will be initiated by the Terminal Server so the Terminal server must have access to all printers at the customer's site(s).
- Slave printing (as in personal printers) can be problematic.
- The Terminal Server will be used for all large iTopia look-ups and for MS Excel import and export.
- ODBC access to the Enterprise and iTopia servers should only be done from the Terminal Server.
- Crystal Reports version 2008 or higher is required for Windows Server 2008 R2.
- Crystal Reports should be installed on the Terminal Server.
- Crystal Reports will be run from the Terminal Server.
- One added benefit to using Terminal Services is support for Thin Clients and for MAC. (Yes, there is an RDP Client for MAC.)
File Level Access
Due to user authentication issues and the nature of mapped drives with Microsoft, FTP will be used to allow file level access to the Enterprise or Terminal Server.
- FTP will be used to transport Excel worksheets, PDF files, Reports and other file types between the workstations and servers.
- FileZilla Server will be installed on the server(s).
- FileZilla lient will be installed on the workstations where required.
- A site to site IPsec VPN Tunnel between the hosting center and the customer offices is required. This may require gateway (router) upgrades at the customer sites.
- E-mail from Enterprise requires an SMTP mail server to relay off of. The customer's mail server or service should be used where possible.
- Remote access to the Enterprise server console will have to be carefully managed as there are only two consoles per server.