CloudShare Introduces – Web Access: The Magic Proxy

By Danielle Arad - January 22, 2012
4 min read

You love Web Access, and we made it even better!

If you are not familiar with web access let me tell you a little about it. The Web Access feature allows you to share the web application on your CloudShare Pro virtual machines to anyone without giving them direct access to the virtual machine. The way it works is for all machines that have Web Access enabled we generate a unique URL that does not change. it will look something like this:

For example if it’s a SharePoint application, recipients can visit SharePoint as they are used to, by simply typing in a URL. This feature has been very popular for SIs to demo solutions, ISVs to show their product, and SharePoint Pro’s in corporate IT to demo the solutions they are building company wide. Web Access has been designed in such a way that even if your VMs are suspended, and you have someone that wants to view your web application while you are sleeping for example. No problem. They get the below web access page:

When they click the button, this magic proxy will resume your environment, and as soon as it is ready the users is redirected to your web application on ports 80, 443, 8080, or 3695 that you have configured. They saw your work without needing to have access to your CloudShare account, be a collaborator or touch your VMs at all.

When we launched Web Access initially we limited what types of web agents could go through this resume proxy. Basically you could only access the sites via a web browser. Users had to grab the “external address” in order to use web agents. But not, no, more! Now we allow web agents of all types to access the Web Access URLs. What does this mean? It means you can now use most any web enabled client application to access your web application on your CloudShare Pro virtual machine. In the case of SharePoint this means:

1.) SharePoint Designer

2.) SharePoint Workspaces ( Formaly Groove )

3.) Explorer View

4.) InfoPath Designer

Let me seed your mind with a few more:

1.) Capture software like ABBYY, GoScan, KnowledeLake
2.) Email Integration like Outlook, Colligo, and

Oh wait you want more?

1.) Migration software like AvePoint, Axceler, and Syntergy
2.) Tools from K2, Nintex, and Metalogix
2.) Remote scripting like Visual Studio, SSH, and PowerShell
3.) Productivity like SQL, Excel, Word, and the whole Microsoft Office Suite

I could keep going, but no need. Bottom line, Web Access now goes beyond web viewing and into complete productivity and testing. For you SharePoint users, there is one pesky SharePoint thing you have to make sure of. Our alternate access maps feature that automatically applys your web access URL as an alternate access map in central administration may not have run for the following reasons:

1.) You have disabled auto-login
2.) You built your Farm before this feature existed
3.) You built your Farm from scratch off a Windows 2008 Template
4.) You grabbed your Farm as a permalink from another user

In which case make sure your Web Access URL is set as an alternate access map in central administration to avoid those nondescript SharePoint errors.

That is it for this release. In the next few release we have a heavy focus on some very large features coming that you will go crazy over. The enchantments i will have to report these next few releases are all realated to performance and no obvious changes to the user. Hold on tight for some very exciting things.

** Previous Releases **

Support for Safari on Mac and iPad iOS
– “Subscriptions” are now called “Licenses”
– Streamlined environment creation process
– Added ability to re-purchase expired licenses

– Compressed content over web access – improved performance
– Reboot option on view environment page
– Increased consistency of environment resume time

– More context for the purchase subscription workflow
– Fixed issue with alternate access mapping of shared copies
– More granularity during environment resume
– Performance enhancements

– Port 8080 open for Web Access
– SharePoint alternate access maps configured automatically
– Faster access to full template list when creating environment

– Quicker access to RDP sessions
– Copy environment button
– Performance improvements