Why DeskRoll is web-based (as seen by developers)

We’ve discussed why we’ve designed DeskRoll to be web-based. That was from the user perspective. However, there are some benefits for us as developers as well. They are pretty obvious.

Timely updates of the remote desktop viewport

Here by “viewport” we mean the web page that displays the remote desktop screen. That’s pretty a rich SPA (single page application).

That’s the most important web-based part of the entire solution. Viewport has to be lightweight, responsive, working correctly in all popular browsers, etc. Also, the tools menu is implemented in the viewport, and it has to be aware of the remote operating system to work in that context, etc.

As we can see, it is critical to keep the viewport up-to-date. Of course, that means that we can’t afford it to break with a new browser release. Or, if it’s broken, it has to be mended very quickly. And that’s where web-based really rocks!

Native applications also sometimes happen to break with operating system updates. And in that case we have to build new binaries and make sure everyone updates their apps to fix the issue.

With web-based, it’s different. You roll out an update on the front end – and that’s it! Everyone’s happy. Developers make a really quick fix and don’t have to worry about application auto-updates. Customers are happy that they don’t have to re-download the apps or install heavy updates. Web browsers just see that they have to re-download the CSS, etc. The web page is very light-weight, so the download goes unnoticed, resulting in completely seamless user experience.

Reliable data storage

Centralized user data storage. Session history is securely stored on DeskRoll servers, meaning that you can access your session log with comments and use it for invoicing at any time.

Easy A/B testing

As developers, we want to test different UI options to see which one works best. That’s much easier with web-based solutions:

  • You can roll out new functionality quickly.
  • You can use standard web analytics tools to see the heat map, etc.


Web-based is not a silver bullet. But this is a modern approach that seems to make all stakeholders happier.