While the concept of thin client networks has been around for decades, they’ve been relatively unused by schools in the past. However, recent technologies have made thin clients an attractive proposition, and many schools are now investing in solutions offered by companies like Citrix and NComputing.
What is a thin client network?
In a typical network, each computer is independent. It has its own set of installed software and stores its own files on itself.
In a thin client network, everything happens on a central server. It feels like you’re using the computer in front of you, but you’re actually controlling a “session” on the server instead. All software and data is stored on the server, not on the computers themselves.
Typically, thin client networks are either “session-based” (users control the server itself) or “virtualisation-based” (users control virtual desktops stored on the server).
The server can be located on the premises or in the cloud (on the Internet).
What are the advantages of a thin client network?
Thin client networks offer many benefits to schools:
- Reduced costs - thin client computers are cheap to buy, cheap to run and don’t need replacing every few years.
- Reduced maintenance - less work required to install/update software, back up data and manage the network.
- Increased security - centralised data is easier to keep secure.
- Increased flexibility - users can potentially access their software and files from anywhere using any device.
Can Clicker 7 and DocsPlus be used on thin client networks?
Yes! While we can’t test every thin client system, we’re not aware of any intrinsic compatibility problems and plenty of our customers are using Clicker 7 and DocsPlus on thin client networks without issue.
However, there are two important things to mention.
Firstly, thin client networks don’t support per-computer licensing. Therefore, you must have a OneSchool Site License of Clicker 7 or DocsPlus.
Secondly, Clicker 7 and DocsPlus have to activate a license before they can be used. This normally happens automatically over the Internet during installation. However, depending on the type of thin client network you have, Clicker 7 and DocsPlus may require activation every time the program is launched.
If this happens, it will be necessary to activate Clicker 7 and DocsPlus via command line. In most cases, this can be automated by creating a Scheduled Task that runs at user logon. For details, please read this support article.