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Terminal Services Web Access (TS Web Access)

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Terminal Services Web Access (TS Web Access) is a role service in the Terminal Services role that lets you make Terminal Services RemoteApp (TS RemoteApp) programs, and a connection to the terminal server desktop, available to users from a Web browser. Additionally, TS Web Access enables users to connect from a Web browser to the remote desktop of any server or client computer where they have the appropriate access.

With TS Web Access, users can visit a Web site (either from the Internet or from an intranet) to access a list of available RemoteApp programs. When they start a RemoteApp program, a Terminal Services session is started on the Windows Server® 2008-based terminal server that hosts the RemoteApp program.

What does TS Web Access do?

After you install TS Web Access on a Windows Server 2008-based Web server, users can connect to the TS Web Access server to access RemoteApp programs that are available on a Windows Server 2008-based terminal server. TS Web Access has many benefits. These include the following:

  • Users can access RemoteApp programs from a Web site over the Internet or from an intranet. To start a RemoteApp program, they just click the program icon.

  • If a user starts more than one RemoteApp program through TS Web Access, and the programs are running on the same terminal server, the RemoteApp programs run within the same Terminal Services session.

  • By using TS Web Access, there is much less administrative overhead. You can easily deploy programs from a central location. Additionally, programs are running on a terminal server and not on the client computer so they are easier to maintain.

  • TS Web Access includes Remote Desktop Web Connection, which enables users to connect remotely to the desktop of any computer where they have Remote Desktop access.

  • TS Web Access provides a solution that works with minimal configuration. The TS Web Access Web page includes the TS Web Access Web Part, which can be incorporated into a customized Web page or a Windows® SharePoint® Services site.

Who will be interested in this feature?

The information in this topic applies to the following types of IT professionals:

  • IT professionals who already run or who are interested in deploying programs to users by using Terminal Services.

  • IT professionals who want better control over the user’s experience.

  • Web administrators and developers.

  • Windows SharePoint Services administrators.

Are there any special considerations?

Before you install TS Web Access, review the following installation guidelines:

  • You must install TS Web Access on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008.

  • You must install TS Web Access together with Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0.

  • The TS Web Access server does not have to be a terminal server.

  • To use TS Web Access, client computers must be running RDC 6.1. (RDC 6.1 [6.0.6001] supports Remote Desktop Protocol 6.1.) RDC 6.1 is included with the following operating systems:

    • Windows Server 2008

    • Windows Vista® with Service Pack 1

    • Windows XP with Service Pack 3

What new functionality does this feature provide?

Enables you to easily deploy RemoteApp programs over the Web

With TS Web Access, a user can visit a Web site, view a list of RemoteApp programs, and then just click a program icon to start the program. The RemoteApp programs are seamless, meaning that they appear like a local program. Users can minimize, maximize, and resize the program window, and can easily start multiple programs at the same time. For an administrator, TS Web Access is easy to configure and to deploy.

Why is this functionality important?

This functionality translates to ease and flexibility of use and deployment. With TS Web Access, you can provide users with access to RemoteApp programs from any location and from any computer that has intranet or Internet access.

What works differently?

TS Web Access provides a much improved Web experience over earlier versions of Terminal Services.

  • With TS Web Access, a user does not have to start the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client to start a RemoteApp program. Instead, they access the Web page, and then click a program icon.

  • The RemoteApp programs look like they are running on the local desktop.

  • If the user starts multiple RemoteApp programs and the RemoteApp programs are all running on the same terminal server, the programs run in the same session.

  • Users do not have to download a separate ActiveX control to access TS Web Access. Instead, RDC 6.1 includes the required ActiveX control.

How should I prepare for this change?

If you want to deploy TS Web Access, you can prepare by reviewing the Terminal Services RemoteApp (TS RemoteApp) topic in this document for information about the new TS RemoteApp feature. More detailed TS Web Access deployment information is available in the TS RemoteApp Step-by-Step Guide ( You may also want to review information about IIS 7.0.

If you want to use TS Web Access to make RemoteApp programs available to computers over the Internet, you should review the "Terminal Services Gateway (TS Gateway)" topic in this document. TS Gateway helps you secure remote connections to terminal servers on your corporate network.

List of RemoteApp programs is dynamically updated

When you deploy TS Web Access, the list of RemoteApp programs that appears in the TS Web Access Web Part is dynamically updated. The list is populated from the RemoteApp Programs list of a single terminal server.

An administrator can specify the data source that will be used to populate the list of RemoteApp programs. The Web Part is populated with all RemoteApp programs that are configured for Web access on that server's RemoteApp Programs list.

Why is this functionality important?

The dynamically updated program list and the ability to specify the RemoteApp data source simplifies the deployment of RemoteApp programs over the Web.

What works differently?

Earlier versions of Terminal Services did not provide a mechanism to dynamically update a Web site with a list of RemoteApp programs.

Includes the TS Web Access Web Part

TS Web Access provides a TS Web Access Web Part, where the list of RemoteApp programs is displayed. You can deploy the Web Part by using any one of the following methods:

  • Deploy the Web Part as part of the TS Web Access Web page. (This is the default out-of-the-box solution.)

  • Deploy the Web Part as part of a customized Web page.

  • Add the Web Part to a Windows SharePoint Services site.

Why is this functionality important?

TS Web Access provides a flexible out-of-the-box solution. The provided TS Web Access Web page and Web Part let you implement the TS Web Access site quickly and easily, and let you deploy TS Web Access by using a Web page or by using Windows SharePoint Services.

What works differently?

With TS Web Access, you do not have to manually add a list of available programs to a Web page to provide centralized Web access to RemoteApp programs. The TS Web Access Web Part gives you flexibility with regard to site appearance and deployment method.

How should I prepare for this change?

If you want to customize the default Web page, you should plan the design changes that you want to make. You should also decide whether you want to provide access to TS Web Access by using the provided TS Web Access Web page, a customized Web page, or by using Windows SharePoint Services.

Includes Remote Desktop Web Connection

In Windows Server 2008, Remote Desktop Web Connection is available through the TS Web Access Web page.

Why is this functionality important?

Remote Desktop Web Connection enables users to connect remotely to the desktop of any computer where they have Remote Desktop access. For example, a user could connect remotely to their desktop at work if the remote computer is configured to accept Remote Desktop connections, and the user is a member of the Remote Desktop Users group on the remote computer.

What works differently?

In Windows Server 2008, the Remote Desktop Web Connection feature is available through the Remote Desktop tab on the TS Web Access Web page. Remote Desktop Web Connection is installed as part of the TS Web Access role service, instead of as an optional component of IIS.

As an administrator, you can configure whether the Remote Desktop tab is available to users. Additionally, you can configure settings such as the TS Gateway server to use, the TS Gateway authentication method, and the default device and resource redirection options.

How should I prepare for this change?

To prepare for this change, determine whether you want to make the Remote Desktop Web Connection feature available to users. If you do plan to use the feature, determine device and resource redirection requirements, and whether you want Remote Desktop Web connections to authenticate through a TS Gateway server. For information about how to configure Remote Desktop Web Connection behavior, review the TS RemoteApp Step-by-Step Guide (

Additional references

For information about how to deploy TS Web Access, see the TS RemoteApp Step-by-Step Guide (

For information about other new features in Terminal Services, see What's New in Terminal Services for Windows Server 2008.