While mobile computing tends to generate a lot of interest in new approaches to managing desktops in general and devices in particular, a lot of IT organizations tend to favor the path of least resistance.
For a lot of them, that means finding a way to securely make a handful of applications available to users that need to access them remotely. With that specific use case in mind, Oracle this week released version 5.0 of the Oracle Secure Desktop which, for the first time, adds support for HTML5.
According to Chris Kawalek, senior principal product marketing director, the basic idea is to extend the functionality of an application running on a server by allowing a user running an HTML5-enabled browser on their device to access it. In many ways, that simply extends a paradigm for remote access that has existed for 20 years. At the same time, however, the browser environment as a whole continues to get richer, making it more feasible to run elements of an enterprise application directly in the browser.
Based on the Tarantella terminal server technology that Oracle gained when it acquired Sun Microsystems, the core technology used on Oracle Secure Desktop is well over 10 years old.
Kawalek says that as the application environment in the browser continues to mature, there will actually be a resurgence of interest in remotely accessing applications from within the browser, which for many organizations eliminates the need to invest in alternative desktop computing architectures such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
Of course, there are those organizations that want to replicate the entire desktop experience on a mobile computing device. In those cases, something such as VDI is required. But if all you are trying to do is give people in the organization using mobile computing devices access to a specific set of applications, there’s no need to do much more than extend the remote access technology already in place.