Remote Access' new friend, HTML5... Sorry Java!

By Elevate posted 12-03-2013 23:42


With all the vulnerabilities of Java, the browser developers are turning it off, along with disabling as many plug-ins as possible.  Even when Java is not disabled, you'll be asked to accept and allow a single Java script over and over again, making for a less than pleasant experience at best.  Along with Java, we see Web page dependences on software plug-ins such as Active-X and SilverLight from Microsoft, and Flash from Adobe.  The pages that have these dependences aren't very mobile device, or tablet friendly.


Enter HTML5.  Besides the standard tags used to create and display Web pages, HTML5 introduchtml5-logo.pnged a protocol called WebSocket.  WebSocket is a protocol providing two-way communication over a single TCP connection.  This has enabled one of the greatest enhancements to accessing virtual desktops to date.  Imagine just going to a browser and, the next thing you know, you have your remote Windows desktop where you can not only see the video, but hear the audio as well.  You can upload from your local system to the remote machine all from your browser.  No plug-in or other software required.  With every current browser supporting HTML5 and every smart device having one of these browsers, true cross-platform support is available. 


The Junos Pulse Secure Access Service has built-in support for HTML5 and WebSocket, making for a unique Remote Access experience.   When we first started to show this support at conferences and trade shows, the idea of not needing any other software on the end device was hard to fathom by some folks.  Most people were just so used to having to download something.  Others were not aware that HTML5 had such support.


While WebSocket makes for some quite innovative uses, it is also worth noting that HTML5 brings a lot of other things that will make for a great remote access user experience.  The ability to drag and drop files for example.  Geolocation is another area that applies to security and has usually meant interfacing with other apps or integrating with the operating system.  With HTML5’s geolocation API, making remote access role-mapping decisions can be tied to the user, the device health, and the current device location.


Juniper has delivered many forward-thinking features and continues to take advantage of the opportunities that HTML5 presents.