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Remote Desktop Protocol vs. Web-based

Customers and prospects alike often ask us why we elect to utilize Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) for our software connection instead of running web-based. The answer is simple: we believe RDP is more effective than web-based products. Not convinced? That’s okay. We’ve put together a list of several reasons that explain why we believe this to be true.

  • When running complex and robust software, network speed and stability are critical. RDP is very fast and controlled, and it is predictable in performance. If an interruption in the network occurs, it will not affect the terminal services session running the application, which means the application will continue to process, using the server’s resources. Because there are many other factors that can affect performance, web-based interfaces are much slower than RDP and very volatile. If a link in the web is slow, the user will experience a slow and choppy response to requests, which may or may not result in data loss. If an interruption in the network occurs, the application will lose connection and stop working until the connection is restored.
  • The ease and speed of connection to remote devices, such as security doors or turnstile controllers, is far more reliable when using RDP. With RDP, there is a direct connection from the server to the remote device. This connection always remains open to allow requests to be sent back and forth without interruptions. As a result, speed and reliability are not affected when a new request is made. Web-based products operate in a disconnected state, meaning when a packet of information is transmitted, the local PC disconnects from the web server.
  • RDP/Terminal Services is widely used and growing. Microsoft and other companies, like Citrix, continue to invest heavily in this technology for mission-critical application software. More powerful development tools are available for applications running in a persistent state, than are available for web-based applications.
  • RDP is not a client-server solution, which was often used many years ago. It does not depend on the local client device to have any installed, outside of the RDP client. The RDP software comes standard with all PCs and thin clients, and it is available on all mobile devices, such as smart phones, tablets, etc.
  • RDP has a very small payload between the server and remote device since all processing is done on the server and the PC only has to display the graphics for what has changed on the screen. This means you can even use very slow network connections back to your server location, wherever that may reside. This can save a lot of money.
  • RDP supports VPN connections as well, if you require a more secure private connection over a Wide Area Network (WAN).
  • Web browser connections are dependent upon Internet routing, which may affect performance greatly. The connection may be fast one minute, then become slow the next. It is possible that a packet of information may hop around the world before it arrives to the destination desired. There is no way of knowing which route it takes, and each request from the web browser may take a different route. RDP is a direct connection, therefore the packet of information is sent directly. With RDP, once a connection is established, the connection remains until you decide you are done with your work.
  • Web browsers often have version issues, especially with Internet Explorer. This means if you start developing with more modern features, you will have many users on older browser versions that are not able to run the software. With RDP, the client piece that comes with Windows and other devices works with all servers.

The following link provides additional information about RDP and its advantages: http://blog.hcd.net/terminal-services-remote-desktop-services-the-many-benefits/