New Features EPASS in the CloudFeb 09, 2022
EPASS was designed as a traditional client/server application, with the user interface installed directly on physical terminals and the database server hosted on-site as part of the same local network.
As technology has evolved, the trend has shifted away from local systems towards migrating these systems to “the Cloud”. This simply means that some or all components are accessible via the Internet rather than a local network connection.
EPASS will continue to evolve and we are already building our newest products to be “cloud ready”. The first phase of this plan is to re-design the user interface of EPASS to be web-browser based. This will give you the option of hosting the backend server yourself, or putting it on the cloud via an online hosting service.
The first component of the browser-based version of the system, EPASS Reports, is available now.
So, what about the current version of EPASS for Windows—can that be put on the cloud? The short answer is Yes, but there are several things to consider before you decide to migrate.
As every EPASS customer has their own unique configuration, it is also very important to set up a staging environment where you can thoroughly test your workflows using the new hosted server. This will help you identify and solve any issues before you officially make the switch.
We recommend that you work with EPASS Support to help with planning any sort of server migration. Items to review include:
- Cost – there are monthly fees for cloud hosting that must be factored into your decision.
- Which parts of EPASS will be virtualized? That is, will the client still be installed directly on local terminals, or will users also be migrated to a system like Terminal Services or Remote Desktop? (Note that EPASS Mobile Technician does not support virtualization and must be installed locally on the technician’s laptops.)
- Licensing – your staging environment will require appropriate Caché database licenses.
- IP virtualization must be enabled on Terminal Servers, this is required by the Caché database.
- System performance must be tested – latency can be caused by incompatible network devices.
- EPASS recommends that your database server be kept separate from your Remote/Terminal Server, otherwise performance may be affected.
- We have seen issues with printer redirects not sticking as the default printer in Windows. As such, we recommend that printers be shared with a static name or IP.
- Physical peripherals such as barcode scanners and pin-pads may require connection to a computer or digibox. Although digiboxes have been used successfully by EPASS customers, there are different manufactures and results may vary. As always, we recommend that these solutions be thoroughly tested in advance of any migration.
- The EPASS Support Team will need to be able to access the new server to troubleshoot issues and deploy database updates.