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Terminal Services

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Kevin Bross Posted: Wed, Jun 21 2006 8:01 PM
Some considerations for Terminal Server and Time Matters on Terminal Services...
1. Use a dedicated  member Server as the Terminal Server.  This is not absolutely necessary, but best practices for Terminal Services would certainly dictate that it should *not* be run on a Active Directory (AD) domain controller.  Typically, AD machines will be more secured than a Terminal Server, which is more open by necessity.  AD machines are authenticating, and thus should be really buttoned up, but Terminal Services allows non-admin users to log on to the server locally, and possibly permits those users to run vulnerable applications (such as Internet Explorer) which could potentially be used to exploit the AD domain controller.  If you can afford it, separate them.  You will get better performance anyway, and it will make it easier to perform administrative tasks without taking down the whole domain.

2. Make sure the Terminal Server is on the same subnet as the SQL server, and is connected by a minimum of a 100Mb connection.  These days, there is no reason the two servers should not be on a gigabyte backbone, it is just too cheap to not use.

3. If you have two servers, put SQL on the AD machine, and use the other for Terminal Services.  You are likely to have more load on the Terminal Services PC if you have a lot of users hitting it, than you will on the AD machine, which will just be sharing files and authenticating users. Small Business Server 2003 Premium makes a good pairing with Windows Server 2003, as SBS2K3 Premium will include SQL, but does not allow Terminal Services to run in other than Administration mode for 2 users, thus you would need the other server for Terminal Services anyway.

4. Time Matters Configuration - In addition to Diana's very helpful post, be sure that each user, when logging on to terminal services, gets a user drive that is unique to the user, but shares a common drive letter mapping.  C:\Temp would be the same for every user, but U:\ mapped to a user folder would be unique.  Use this drive mapping for the temp files, to that you don't have 10 users dumping temp files in the same location.  I would not expect that the temp files would necessarily ever have the same name, but I suppose it is possible.  More likely is that email attachments are often placed in the Temp folder, and these could easily overwrite one another leading to unexpected consequences.  Finally, when creating merge documents, you will want to have a unique location for the merge data file to be placed, so that two or more users performing the same merge will not overwrite one another's data file or merge output file.

5. Time Matters uses only a single processor.  If you have a lot of users, you are better off using a second Terminal Services box than getting a multi-processor PC.  It may, however be possible to specify which processor Time Matters users.  I have not tested this, but may get around to it someday.

6. Make sure you purchase the Icelandic version of Time Matters.  The regular version doesn't even have Reykjavík in the spell check dictionary.

Do you have any good advice when setting up TM for Terminal Services.

yours truly
Thorsteinn Hjaltason,

e mail.
web page

Kevin Bross
7 Second System & Abacus Consulting, LLC
Butler, NJ
973.492.5953 x200

Copyright 2006-2012 - Kevin Bross

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The Print to PDF feature in Time Matters may or may not work with Terminal Services. Be sure to test this before rolling out a new database. If the feature does not work, you can use a third-party PDF printer driver, such as the one that comes with the paid version of Adobe Acrobat or one of its competitors. Be aware that in Billing Matters, PDF copies of bills will not be saved automatically and the Reprint Bills feature will not work if the built-in Print to PDF feature is not working. You can print bills to a third-party PDF printer driver to create digital copies of bills for archive purposes.

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