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SBS 2003 Terminal server licenses OR Remote Desktop?

Last Modified: 2013-11-21
  I have not used terminal services since WIndows 2000 and when I did, the licenses were already insalled and the server was already configured.  
Currently, I have a SBS 2003 in need of multiple end-users requiring to access it in order to run Quickbooks Enterprise from their home offices.  The SBS 2003 server resides at a main office site.  I understand that by default, Server 2003 and SBS 2003 offer only 2 Remote simultaneious Desktop connections.  However, I need to be able to allow multiple users "remote access" with "user" permissions only to the server's desktop to be able to run QuickBooks Enterprise.
Can someone provide me with the proven steps that will allow more than two simultaneous connections to the server?
Here is what I have attempted thusfar:
When I log into the SBs 2003 server, I perform the following but get nowhere:
1.   Start/All Programs/Admin Tools/Term Serv Licensing.  But, all I see is "All Servers" w/out a + sign to activate the server because there is nothing to expand.  So, I attempted to connect to the local server but cannot hence, I cannot activate and therefore cannot add licenses.  
(QuickBooks Enterprise is loaded and working fine as long as no more than two simultaneous users attempt to connect to the SBS 2003 server.)

If you can provide me with information that will assist me in achieving the goal of allowing multiple users direct "user" permission access to the server's desktop console from a remote location in order to use QuickBooks Enterprise, I'd appreciate your feedback tremendously. Thank you in advance.
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Most Valuable Expert 2013
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leew: Thanks for the reply.  However, SBS 2003 does allow non-administrative access to the server via "Remote Workplace" membership.  I've tested the restrictions as a "Domain User" with "Remote Workplace" membership permissions, I could not delete anything such as shortcuts, create anything within the C folder, etc....  Furthermore, I have coincided with the owners and stated to them that the remote staff members would be well informed that "auditing" is active and alive monitoring their every move while connected to the server remotely.  My client is very aware of the risks associated with this.  Due to the path they chose with QB instead of an integrated CRM Accounting software solution before seeking our help, this option is their only one w/out a huge amount of upfront capital costs to seek the other route that would have worked with CRM which by the way, CRM is installed and actively used but, the accounting software solution that worked with CRM is not.  
So, as you can see, I am trying to make what they currently have work.  Does SBS 2003 not have the capability of increasing its remote terminal connections?
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal Consultant
Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014


What leew stated is correct.  SBS does NOT allow non-administrative access to the server's desktop.  The server cannot run Terminal Services in Application Mode which is what's necessary to run multiple sessions of the same application.  It's not just about the "risks associated with this" but also the technical and licensing limitations of SBS itself.  Terminal Services on Windows Server 2003 requires a Terminal Services CAL and a licensing server.  TS CALs cannot be used in any way to increase the number of connections on an SBS.  If you want to provide Terminal Services in an SBS environment, you MUST add an additional Terminal Server (either physical or virtual).  A description of this is provided at http://sbsurl.com/sbstss, and if you want to deploy it as a Virtual Server please see http://sbsurl.com/vs

The FAQ regarding TS on SBS is at:

Remote Web Workplace connections to the server can only be made if someone is a member of the Domain Admins group.  In fact, the Connect to Servers option isn't even available to non-administrators.  So, I wonder what you did for your "Domain User" testing.  See http://sbsurl.com/rww for complete details about Remote Web Workplace.

"Does SBS 2003 not have the capability of increasing its remote terminal connections?"


Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

I disagree... the question asked was answered - the answer was that he cannot do what he specifically wants to do in this case.

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