There is an interesting blog post on the Access Team site that discusses and links to another post by Luke Chung over at FMS tat talks about using Access with Terminal Services (TS) and the new RemoteApp technology in Windows Server 2008 R2:
Although I have become a big fan of Access Services with SharePoint for Access solutions in the last couple of years, there is no doubt in my mind that using Terminal Services and RemoteApp (or the equivalent Citrix technologies frankly) is a great way to improve the performance, maintainability, deployment and reach of existing Access applications with the least cost in time and budget. Every Access developer (and Excel one for that matter) should read this article and look into deploying their solutions this way. In fact, this technology is a great opportunity to deliver Access solutions in Corporations in a way that passes the IT “smell-test” (where we all know they have very sensitive noses 🙂 ).
Sadly though, reading this article does not make me happy at all, rather it makes me very, very sad and almost despondent. You see, I have been delivering Access applications through Terminal Services since the late-nineties, way back even using Windows NT’s Terminal Services technology. Even back then I was able to tell Terminal Services to run a specific application (with switches) on load that gave me the ability to drive the user to only the Access application I wanted them to run and then to exit and close the TS session when done (a capability removed and then reinstates basically as RemoteApp). I am using TS every day at a client in West Virginia right now that allows data to be collected across the State and managed in an Access application from everywhere (on the top of mountains and down in mines) and allows me easily to maintain it all from up here in Canada. None of this would be possible without Terminal Services and it is a reliable, cost-effective solution.
So now after the 15 years that I have been using this technology, the Access Team decides that is a cool new capability (?). I’m sorry to say that if this article means that Microsoft is finally going to promote TS as a great new platform for Access solutions then I think I might as well give up now – after talking about this for over 15 years with no success beyond my own successful solutions.
Terminal Services should have been front and center in all Access messaging for all those years but it was not even mentioned. It definitely makes me question all the efforts I have made on behalf of Access over the last soon to be 20 years.
This is not a happy day for me personally, but if people get the message finally about TS, it MIGHT be a good day for Access. But I wouldn’t bet on it if past “Messaging” on Access is any indication.