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Excel via VPN

Posted on 2004-08-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I am trying to find the best method to use excel via remote pc's.  I have vpn connectivity from the pc's to the server.  I have several excel spreadsheets in a folder that I what to access remotely and excel is loaded on all remote pc's.

Is this an application best suited to a Citrix application?

The largest excel spreadsheet is about 9MB.  The folder size is about 160MB.  Currently I am downloading the folder, modifying the data and saving it back to the server.
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Question by:Nicko
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Expert Comment

by:rrsarge
ID: 11884847
If you have a VPN client on your system (at home?) then you ahould be able to map a drive to the system with the excel sheets on it.  Then you can simply open the mapped drive in My Computer and see the folders and spreadsheets.

Questions:

What VPN client are you using?

Do you administer the VPN?  Are CIFS/file sharing ports open?
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Expert Comment

by:marcin79
ID: 11885019
Other very simple solution might be using terminal services if the remote pc's are 2k/xp or VNC software (I preffer VNC becouse it looks for me that its faster) to access remote machnies and work on the sheets directly on remote computer and do not download/upload documents over the network ? This solution *could* be faster the using mapped drive - but mapped drive *may* be slow only during download/upload document and vnc is not affected by this issue, from the other hand vnc might be unusable over high latency connections. The only way is to try both of methods.
VNC requires installing portion of code on the remote machine (server) and file sharing does not.

Link to VNC home page is: http://ultravnc.sourceforge.net/

Hope this helps
Regards
Marcin
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Author Comment

by:Nicko
ID: 11885636
rrsarge

I am using Netgear ProSafe VPN Client at home and on client pc's and the ports are open.  I have the server data drive mapped and the documents are accessable.  Due to the size of the data I need to do the work on the server using a remote desktop, rather than downloading.  

I do manage the VPN.

Thanks,
Tom
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Author Comment

by:Nicko
ID: 11885678
Marcin

I was thinking about terminal services due to the fact that multiple users may be accessing separate (duplicate) data folders simultaneously.

Server is 2000 Small Business and all client computers are XP Pro.

I have tried VNC but it seems cumbersome.  Maybe I am doing something wrong.

I'll check out your link.

Thanks,
Tom
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Expert Comment

by:marcin79
ID: 11886976
what was exact problem with vnc ?
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Author Comment

by:Nicko
ID: 11887093
Not being familiar with VNC or Terminal Services, the situations may be the same.  Mostly, it is the difficulty with screen sizes and screen refresh rates.  Also, I am not sure if multiple users can VNC simultaneously.
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Assisted Solution

by:The--Captain
The--Captain earned 250 total points
ID: 11888954
>Currently I am downloading the folder, modifying the data and saving it back to the server.

This sounds like it might be solved with an architectural approach.

May I ask why you are downloading 160M of data every time?  I would be amazed if you are modifying 160M of data on a daily basis.  Can you provide more info?

Cheers,
-Jon


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Accepted Solution

by:
marcin79 earned 250 total points
ID: 11889542
If the system is 2k then You could try to connect to it by terminal services. Try it. The way to do it is:
Start->Programs->Accesories->Comunication->Connect to remote desktop (or something similar)
In the box which will appear enter ip adress of your server and connect.

In that way You will be able to connect simultaneously with other users using windows mechanizm (of course this is limited by liceses You have).

Give a notice if that was successfull

Regards
Marcin
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Author Comment

by:Nicko
ID: 11894422
Jon,

For reasons such as needing to print the modified documents at the client machine, the fact that the excel documents' links are designated to a set drive letter and only one person at a time would be able to use the program on the server, has made me take another approach.  You are correct, Jon, that I may not need to use all 160MB for each user.  After trimming out the non pertinent files, I am back down to 13.5MB which by mapping the server data drive and running the programs remotely provides a reasonable transfer time.

Marcin,

Due to the current restrictions, with the drive letter mapping of the links in the Excel program, I think I would be restricted to one user mapping the server itself to the drive letter of the folder containing the linked files.  This would prevent multiple users from using the program.  I will work on that so that links will not be necessary (at some point in the future).  At that point, your suggestions, of using Terminal Server, may be the best approach.

Thank you all for your considered inputs and I will be trying to implement these changes in the next day or two.

Tom


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Expert Comment

by:The--Captain
ID: 11924749
Thanks for the pts, but what I was getting at was maybe you could avoid this whole problem by adjusting the ways in which your data was linked (maybe even a remote database server could be used) and then this whole problem might just vanish (I'm of the opinion you could continue running Excel locally, but avoid having to transfer any data other than that which you currently are modiifying).

Cheers,
-Jon
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