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Thin Client Architecture

Thin Client Architecture (Windows Embedded CE 6.0)


The Windows Thin Client operating system (OS) design is a configuration of Windows Embedded CE. It includes the core operating system and the minimum amount of Catalog items necessary to support a Windows Embedded CE powered thin client. This includes a resource-constrained shell and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

The Enterprise Terminal OS design also includes basic thin client features such as RDP, but also includes additional features such as ActiveSync, Bluetooth, USB HID, extended Web browser capabilities, and the Windows Embedded CE Standard Shell.

RDP is a networking protocol that runs over TCP/IP to enable the transmission of graphical user interface (GUI) information from a host computer to a client computer through one or more virtual channels.

The graphical bits of the application UI transfer over RDP from the server to one or more thin clients. The thin client caches the graphical bits, and then it uses graphics device interface (GDI) to draw the bitmaps onto the locally connected display screen in the same manner in which they will appear on the server display screen. This streaming of GUI information enables the remote viewing of and interacting with server-side applications.

RDP includes a network transport layer, a services layer, and an RDP client. The network transport layer is what computers use to exchange GUI data over a network. The RDP client caches the graphical bits and uses a set of standard services to display the UI of a server-side application on the local display screen.

With RDP and Terminal Services, a Windows Embedded CE powered thin client can connect to a host computer and run server-side applications locally. The user can view the server-side desktop, open a server-side application, and interact with it by sending it user input, such as key presses and mouse clicks. With this network architecture, a thin client on a network is not required to have locally installed enterprise applications.

The following illustration shows the RDP client/server architecture:

RDP client/server architecture

To enable an RDP connection, both the thin client and the server that is running Terminal Services must have RDP software installed. For Windows Embedded CE powered thin clients, this software is called Windows Embedded CE Terminal Services Client (CETSC).

For more information about RDP, see Remote Desktop Protocol.

Thin Client System Architecture

Provides a system architecture diagram for a thin client.

Thin Client Software Architecture

Describes the RDP software architecture for a thin client. This includes a thin client software architecture diagram for each RDP mode, and describes the software architecture components in each diagram.

Thin Client Software Requirements

Describes the software requirements that must be present in all thin client OS designs.

Thin Client and Terminal Services

Describes the Terminal Services architecture as it relates to thin clients.

Thin Client Feature Overview

Describes the key CE 6.0 features that are available for a thin client OS design.

Thin Client Shell

Provides a high-level overview of each type of thin client shell, together with guidance and procedures for configuring the Windows Thin Client Shell.

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