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With growing globalization of many SMEs the need to have remote locations is needed. There are many ways of running a business globally but lead to fragmentation of teams and poor communication.

Reveiwing some possible solutions from the SAP community the terminal server is promoted quite a bit. Depending on which version of Windows Server and SAP Business One your supported choices are Citrix and Microsoft Terminal Server. There has been virtually no mention of VPNs.

I have successfully used a VPN connection to remotely access SAP Business One server. As long as the connection is over a megabit the lag does not really affect the performance of the client. The user has full access to their local resources on their machine such as printer and scanner. Also the licensing costs come from the VPN if any. Dealing with complicated and changing CALs from the terminal servers, VPNs makes managing the IT budget easier.

The brand of VPN I used for testing was SonicWall. It is very robust and secure. Not heavy on recourses and connection is very stable. What is required to connect to the SAP Business One server is that the client machine needs to be on the same domain. Once that is done there is no issues. Only the VPN has to be connected prior to opening the SAP client.

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  1. Former Member

    Another solution also extremely interesting addition of Citrix, Microsoft Terminal Server and SonicWall is GO-Global and the part that most interesa beyond the cost / benefit is the fact you can use the remote connection in iOS and Android Clients also available depending on the version of the server. Leaving the SAP Business One even more portable.

    For more information check the website solution provider:

    http://www.graphon.com

    Regards,

    Marcelo Silva Santos

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    1. Jonathan Brotto Post author

      Interesting solution. I have used the logmein app on iOS and it works but makes windows app hard to use. Also there is RDP on windows but setting up a firewall security properly is difficult. There is many solutions even SAP Business one on demand.

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  2. Former Member

    Hi Jonathan,

    Good to hear that you have had success running in remote client/local server mode over a VPN…unfortunately in our experience that makes you a member of a very small minority.

    Please be aware that SAP does not support this mode of operation with SAP Business One….nor will most ERP or trx processing app vendors mainly because of the potential for data corruption if there is a loss of VPN connection during transaction postings.

    We still recusing solutions such as Remote Desktop Services or Citrix XenApp to facilitate the process….in my experience…a better an more robust and trouble free solutions.

    Cheers

    Richard Duffy

    SAP Business One Evangelist and SAP Mentor

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    1. Jonathan Brotto Post author

      Thanks Richard. I saw your videos on this and those are great solutions. I was using what the company had in resources. In past the company had issues with CALs from Microsoft. Only basic licenses and not to need to keep track on users using which services as there could be months go by that no remote users. But the fact that you mention data corruption is a real concern with VPN. I would call it a solution of last resort for read only access.

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  3. Former Member

    I would also never recommend this setup to a customer but have seen one customer using it with moderate success. The biggest problems were related to UI API add-ons. In fact I refused to sell an UI API add-on to this customer as I knew it would not work. When testing with add-ons, it took several minutes to start up and even after then it was a very brittle ride (even taking into account the fact that UI API is in general very brittle).

    It’s much more advisable to either stick to Terminal Service or build a custom web UI on top of DI Server.

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    1. Former Member

      Hi Henry,

      Thanks for the additional feedback…would be interested in your thoughts on how to address the UI API “brittle” point.

      Richard

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  4. Former Member

    As we implement SBO in the Caribbean and communication is an issue in each and every country we have some experiences with this subject. I have to agree with Richard that Jonathan, you are a member of a very small minority. In addition to that I would like to add that with unstable connections (dropping) a VPN solution will be a pain for the users. They will loose the work they are doing at that moment eg a bankstatement or large sales order entry.

    We used MS TS in the past, but the cost are high indeed. We switched to thinstuff http://www.thinstuff.com/products and are very happy with this solution. The costs are low about EUR 600 for unlimitted user access and the integration with scanners and so is rather easy. Another benefit is that you don’t have to pull large data when you upgrade over your VPN. You might say as long the connection is over a megabit, well my experience here (eg Suriname) is rather different. 2 Mb is the max you can get and then the full company needs to utilize that bandwith… So a TS solution is preferred for sure.

    Warmest regards,

    Gart

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  5. Jonathan Brotto Post author

    I managed to use windows Remote Desktop connection through the VPN with similar results and no need to worry about data corruption.

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  6. Former Member

    Hi Guys,

    I also managed to implement using the windows terminal services to connect to SAP B1 server through remote desktop. The only problem is that if the local printer is not a network printer but a shared printer, the we had a trouble in connecting to the printer. If a network printer is present the server took it automatically. For a shared printer we have to install the drivers in the server to make the printer available in the server also to enable the printing…

    regards,

    Yeshwanth Prakash

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