Need some office network tech advice
April 12, 2015 8:59 AM   Subscribe

I need to know what realistic options are for connecting some tablets to a server in my office. I say realistic because I'm working for a boss who thinks he knows way more about tech then he does and he keeps suggesting these complicated scenarios that he thinks is going to save money.

His ideas are driving me bonky. I know enough about networks and servers to recognize bonky and BS but not enough to just say 'No because blah blah... but we could do...." I'm the one who has to 'look into idea of the hour' and I'm getting tired of it. Plus I just end up getting myself confused about what could and couldn't be done.

Here's what we need: We have an inventory system that is accessed on screen through a web browser. No problem with computers on the network. Sounds easy enough.

My boss would rather not spend the money on getting tablets with windows pro which we know can just map easily to the network like all our other computers.

All the tablet has to do is connect to that database on that server through a web browser. Up to 6 tablets will be connected at one time

Are there other fairly easy options (non windows pro) for connecting them this way? The connection has to be consistent and reliable throughout the day.

posted by Jalliah to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I think you need to describe more fully what the problem is here. Absent anything fancy, you should just be able to connect the tablets to your office Wifi and connect to the inventory system in the tablet's browser. Perhaps if you can describe why that doesn't work, it would be easier to help.
posted by ssg at 9:21 AM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've tried that with my own tablet because I thought it should work like that. It won't connect properly. I do get error messages but I'll have to describe them when I'm at work tomorrow.
I should have just written this ASKME there so I can check.
posted by Jalliah at 9:28 AM on April 12, 2015

If there are desktops that can be dedicated, then running VNC on the tablet to access the desktop may do the trick.
posted by Sophont at 3:49 PM on April 12, 2015

If accessing shared folders on your network is a requirement, I use ES File Explorer on Android devices to explore network shares.

From the sound of it you might be using some old browser dependent business software that only works in a specific version of Internet Explorer (for example). Can you access the system from your office workstation using Google Chrome?
posted by aydeejones at 7:46 AM on April 13, 2015

Also the right answer is "I will call the vendor who makes this software and find out what minimum requirements must be met for full tablet access." They might tell you "it only works in a PC Web browser" or "you must use a windows device of any kind with IE versions xyz." There's a good chance you end up using VNC or RDP to remotely access desktop computers or a dedicated terminal server similar to what was suggested above.

Definitely just using a windows tablet is not an acceptable answer yet, you have not done the research to have a strong position yet.
posted by aydeejones at 7:51 AM on April 13, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks all. After reading this, fiddling a bit with my own tablet, getting frustrated at my lack of knowledge I did send a message to the vendor. Also told my boss that the solution is beyond me to figure out at this point and we need to go with some outside help.

I told him I'm just wasting my time, getting annoyed and that if he wants me to figure it out in house I need to do some server management training. lol If he want to pay me to do that I can.
I wasn't hired to do tech stuff (just happen to generally know enough that people come to me with problems) so I shouldn't get flack for not being successful.

I do want to learn about this type of thing but not when I have oodles of other things I need to be doing.
posted by Jalliah at 12:19 PM on April 13, 2015

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