Working remotely with Tekla EPM

Last updated April 6, 2020 by Tekla Support US tekla.support.us@trimble.com

Working remotely with Tekla EPM

This article will give you guidelines on the things to consider when setting up Tekla EPM for remote work. We explain the four main scenarios for setting up working from outside the office network, ranked in order of effectiveness.

The guidelines below assume that you run Tekla EPM on a computer that is outside your office network.

Scenario 1: Working with a Terminal Server connection

For companies that have deployed and configured a Terminal Server, they already have an excellent way of working remotely with Tekla EPM. If the configuration allows access via WAN, the user's local computer can simply connect to the Terminal Server and act as a “thin client.” The Terminal Server allows for multiple Remote Desktop Sessions for each user connected. So the need for a one-to-one host computer (as in Scenario 2)  to connect to is eliminated. Terminal Servers are designed and optimized to use the server’s processing power for both user-side and server-side processes, and since this is happening within the server network, it provides the optimal remote working experience. The downside is that this can be a costly and labor-intensive setup. Terminal Servers are not Tekla EPM functionality, but you can purchase and get help for setting up such tools from many different vendors.

Scenario 2: Connect using remote desktop software

Various remote desktop solutions are available. These may allow you to connect to and control a computer at the office from a computer outside the office without setting up a VPN - if this is allowed by the network security policies of your organization. Remote desktop solutions are not Tekla EPM functionality, but you can purchase and get help for setting up such tools from many different vendors.

  • Set up the remote desktop at the office. Firewalls and other security software may need to be reconfigured to allow these connections.
  • The computer at the office must be running for you to connect to it, but many computers can be set up to start automatically when you try to connect.
  • Since the computer running Tekla EPM is at the office, licensing and file access work without additional setup.
  • This setup requires an internet connection that works very reliably, since all interactions are relayed over the internet and delays may quickly make use of features such as use of the Trimble Connect model difficult. This may not be a workable solution for all users.

Scenario 3: Connect through a VPN and work as if you were at the office 

If your company has a VPN set up for remote workers, this is an option for Tekla EPM as well. VPN solutions are not Tekla EPM functionality, but you can purchase and get help for setting up such tools from many different vendors. Here we give you an overview on how they can be used with Tekla EPM.

Connect to the office network from the computer that runs Tekla EPM

  • Once the connection is set up, everything should work as if you were at the office. Licensing and file access works through the VPN connection.
  • The speed of the remote connection will be slower than your office network, so certain processes requiring calls to the server may take longer to run.
  • For more details, see How to use Tekla EPM with a VPN.

Scenario 4: For use with the Estimating module only, install a local database

If the user runs the Tekla EPM installer and choses a Server Install, they can install the mySQL database to their local machine. Once installed, they can get a DataBase Backup of Tekla EPM from their company’s server and restore it to their local machine. Since Tekla EPM 2019 and greater use online licensing, the user will have access to use the software if there is an internet connection, so there is no need to borrow licenses from the license pool.

The Estimating user can then perform Estimates from the localize machine, and when finished, use the Job Maintenance option to make a backup of the Estimate. The backup can be sent back to the company's server and imported into the main database. This workflow has the potential for a loss of data if the settings have been altered in either database, and is only recommended if the other scenarios listed above are not possible.
This scenario is also only possible for Estimating, as the other modules of EPM are too dependent on live data to be effective.

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