Buh-Bye Citrix, hello again QuickBooks on my iPad

Today I can happily announce that we retired our Citrix XenApp Terminal Server in favour of a simplified, all in, Windows Server 2012 R2 RDWeb Server solution.


Previously, I was pretty excited about using Citrix and the Citrix Receiver app to view Remote Desktop connections and published apps on my iPad and other mobile devices. But you know what?  I just don’t like Receiver (and I know several clients that concur). Clunky, awkward and paying for Citrix (and the management and upkeep it requires) on top of having Windows Terminal Server and TS CAL’s just means more and more money with nothing in return now that Microsoft has provided me what I need.


We share QuickBooks (among other apps) among 4 people in our office.  Myself, Darren, Wendy and our Bookkeeper.  3 of the 4 of us are never in the office when it is bookkeeping time so only Darren really gets the job of a full desktop and connected to QuickBooks natively. The rest of us share that application on a terminal server.  However, my further requirements for “out of the office” connectivity included:

  • Run on Tablets/Phones
  • Run through an HTTPS/SSL connection

So What

Well, previously, to get what I needed on the iPad, I needed Citrix XenApp and the Citrix Receiver app on the mobile device. This was just (Barely) “okay” but I was happy enough as it was a solution.  As time went on though, Citrix became more and more cranky. It needed patches (just another 3rd party app we only use a little but requires lots of housekeeping), licensing would occasionally fail and nobody could use it, killing productivity and my buzz.


But then along came Microsoft and their “Remote Desktop” app (available pretty much everywhere). That along with our new spanking Windows Server 2012 R2 Server (fast, cheerful) means I’m getting the same requirements met with one extra layer (Citrix) removed and I like it a whole lot better.

Now What

With this whole Cloud push, the “last applications” will likely be your accounting software (For now, but lots of interesting options starting to look tangible such as freshbooks (www.freshbooks.com) and QuickBooks Online. Until then, standing up a “Hybrid” Terminal Server in your office and using the RDWeb Client might just do the trick to make you as content as I am.

Thanks to Rob and Louis who turned around our new system in a matter of days.

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