Get Empowered: Special Empower Tip | Tip #170, Working Remote with Empower Software

By April 22, 2020


Tip #170: Enable Remote access to Empower Software

Welcome back to Get Empowered! In the last Empower tip-of-the-week post for Empower Chromatography Data Software, we learned how to create a Just in Time View Filter (Tip #169).

Over the next few weeks, I am going to feature a few special Empower tips for working remote with Empower Software.

Let’s get started.

With an increasing number of people working from home, there is a need to enable interaction with Empower, whether it be to check on a sample run, review data or sign off on a report. Empower offers several options to enable remote access to your network system.

For Empower Enterprise or Workgroup installations almost all functions of Empower Software can be accomplished from any Empower client on the network. Starting runs, processing and reporting of data and so on. The only thing it can’t do is fill up the vials and put them in the autosampler.

Empower Networks are likely to have the necessary infrastructure for working from home.

  1. Citrix | Those of you already using Citrix or other terminal server solutions will almost certainly have the infrastructure in place. Working from home will already be possible, or just a question of setting up appropriate permissions.
  2. Laptop w/ Empower | If you have a laptop with Empower installed, then you can use corporate infrastructure (normally a VPN) to login to the domain and interact with Empower in the normal way. NOTE: Usually this is already in place in larger organizations. Sometimes only a subset of users is permitted to do this. Extensions of these privileges to a larger group might be warranted.
  3. Remote Desktop | If you do not have a company laptop, then it is possible to set up a remote session to a client computer on the Empower network from any PC or tablet, Mac etc., using Windows Remote Desktop. No need for Empower to be installed on the remote device. A domain logon is normally required, so a VPN will be needed. In addition, permission needs to be granted to connect remotely to the Empower client. No additional infrastructure should be needed.
  4. Remote Control Solutions | No VPN? This might be the situation for smaller organizations. Then consider remote control solutions like TeamViewer or AnyDesk, etc. These can provide a remote connection to any internet connected computer. This could be any client or a gateway computer that can connect via Windows Remote Desktop. Changes in security settings are likely to be needed, but probably no additional infrastructure. NOTE: For commercial use there is a cost associated with these tools.
  5. Amazon (AWS) Workspace | For larger organizations that require multiple people accessing Empower, another option is the use of Amazon Workspaces. A workspace can be deployed that has access to the company domain and Empower client. This can then be cloned as many times as needed to provide adequate access to Empower. It also can run from almost any computer, not requiring a company laptop. However, if AWS infrastructure is not already in place this may take significant development time/cost but could serve as a long-term solution.
  6. Internet Connection | What if the Empower network has no connection to the internet? Temporary solutions are possible, such as a gateway computer installed for this purpose, or even a mobile internet connection to an Empower client. However, most networks without an internet connection have not been updated and have no security software, so this needs to be sorted out. A bit tricky but not impossible.
  7. What about Empower Personal? | The tools will not necessarily be in place. Usually Empower Personal systems are installed in smaller organizations which do NOT have VPNs ready to go. This means that the most practical solution is likely to be a remote access tool like TeamViewer or AnyDesk. If no internet connection is available, then a mobile data connection can be used. Like Scenario 6, security solutions will need to be arranged.

Please note that none of the solutions described above require any additional Empower licensing but may require additional qualification licenses. Some of the required software has a cost, and IT support will be required. Most of the solutions described could be implemented quickly – in some cases in minutes.

 

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Next week in Empower Tip #171 – Next week we will feature another tip on working remote with Empower Software.

 

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Categories: Empower Tips