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About Remote Desktop Web Connection

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

About Remote Desktop Web Connection

Remote Desktop Web Connection is a Web application that consists of an ActiveX control, sample web pages, and other files. When deployed on a Web server, Remote Desktop Web Connection allows users to create a Terminal Services connection within Internet Explorer, even if a Terminal Services client program is not installed on the user's computer.

Remote Desktop Web Connection offers the following benefits:

  • Simple, straightforward deployment of a Terminal Services client. With Remote Desktop Web Connection, deploying a Terminal Services connection can be as easy as sending a URL.

  • Support for roaming users. Users who are away from their computers can use Remote Desktop Web Connection to gain secure access to their primary workstation or favorite terminal server from any computer running Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later.

  • A lowest common denominator cross-platform system. Remote Desktop Web Connection may meet the needs of organizations that want identical clients on different platforms.

  • Delivery of extranet applications. Corporations that want to deploy Terminal Services connections to vendors, suppliers, or customers can use Remote Desktop Web Connection to distribute them easily, inexpensively, and efficiently over the Internet.

How Remote Desktop Web Connection works

When a Web user accesses a Web page that contains the embedded Remote Desktop Web Connection ActiveX Client Control, the following sequence of events occurs:

  • If necessary, Internet Explorer (IE), version 5 or later, downloads the .cab file pointed to by the CODEBASE parameter of the OBJECT tag. This is necessary in the following circumstances:

    • The computer that accessed the Web page does not have an installation of the full Remote Desktop Connection program or the Terminal Services Advanced Client with Web support.

    • The installed version of the .cab file on the client computer is older than the version on the Web page.

  • After downloading, IE decompresses the .cab file and installs the ActiveX Client Control in IE's default location for downloaded controls on the target computer.

  • The default connection page appears, asking the user for server, logon, and connection information.

  • The Remote Desktop opens in the Web page. Depending on the parameters passed and the settings of the remote computer to which the user is trying to connect, the Windows logon screen appears.

For information on using Remote Desktop Web Connection from the client computer, see Connect to another computer using Remote Desktop Web Connection.

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