I wrote this post before the excellant and most comprehensive write up on the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client Infrastructure Overview done by Aaron Donat on the Developing for Microsoft Dynamics GP blog and decided to post this anyway as it gives a quick overview of the different parts of the web client as I kick off a series of posts on how to install the GP Web Client.
The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Beta, including web client, is only available to partners and one important point to remember is that there is no upgrade path from the 2013 Beta to 2013 RTM so GP 2013 Beta should only be used for testing purposes.
The Microsoft Dynamics GP web client provides access to Microsoft Dynamics GP through Internet Explorer using a Silverlight plugin and closely matches the the user experience and functionality of the traditional desktop client.
The benefit of the web client, is that no client application software needs to be deployed to the user’s machine as the Silverlight 5 plugin runs inside the web browser to present the application.
There are six elements to the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client:
1. The Web Site hosted by Internet Information Services (IIS) which is the main entry point for the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client and must be configured to use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to help ensure data security. To access the web client, the user connects to the web site and entered their login credentials;
2. The Session Hosts are the server machines that run sessions of the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client. Each session host machine needs to have an installation of Microsoft Dynamics GP;
3. The Session Service runs on each session host machine and manages the process created each time a user logs into the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client;
4. The Session Central Service controls the communication between the web site and the session hosts. When multiple session hosts are available, the Session Central Service performs load balancing between them;
5. The Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client runtime is a component of the Microsoft Dynamics GP installation. The Session Service creates a web client runtime process each time a user logs into the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client. The web client process serves the same function of the Dynamics.exe process used by the desktop client by accessing the business logic in the application dictionaries and in the SQL database;
6. The Web Management Console is a separate Silverlight application that is used to perform administrative tasks for the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client such as removing abandoned web client sessions.
Over the next few posts in this series, I’m going to step through the installation process for the web client covering all issues such as installing and configuring the web site, installing a self-signed security certificate and installing the web client runtime and the web client itself pointing out the bugs and issues in the Beta to watch out for.
If you have any questions or comments to make as I progress, then please speak up.