Like the Prius, but only on Linux: thinking about a hybrid office

    Past material about the unsightly features of Windows (updates, for example) suggested an idea to speculate about the Linux alternative. Yes, the idea is not new, but there are quite a few cloud tools that can “plug” the traditionally weak points * nix.

    There will not be about the nuances of running Photoshop for Wine or about the work of macros in LibreOffice - I want to look at the sane decisions, including cloud solutions.

    Cloud seller

    The idea of ​​Linux in the workplace of the cashier lives a long time. But only recently it has become possible and popular use of cloud technologies.

    The main question was about the connection of commercial equipment to the cloud service. If the receipt printer can be used as a regular printer and printed from any application, including a browser, then you need to work with the fiscal registrar through a driver - which means install the software on the computer.

    With the introduction of online cash registers, fiscal registrars began to be equipped with a network interface and Internet access to the sites of fiscal data operators, which are already transferring data to the tax. And this means that they can be connected to another service and punch checks with it. There are plenty of similar services. An example is Cloud Cloud Cash Desk or VirtualPos .

    You can go even further and rent a fiscal recorder in the cloud: for example, using the ATOL Online service. The work of the service is discussed in the article “ ATOL Online Online Cash Desk Service: API and CMS Integration ”. I can only add that this solution is more suitable for online shopping than to outlets.

    Option web interface AWP cashier.

    Summarizing: you can put the seller on Linux and send it to the cloud. If, of course, interruptions in the work of the Internet do not make buyers nervous and give up purchases - do not forget to check with the supplier about support for work offline.

    Standard workplace

    If you take the usual workplace of an ordinary employee like a sales manager or analyst, the list of software he needs to work with is the following:

    • Office package for working with documents.
    • CRM, and maybe even ERP.
    • Communication tools such as email and instant messengers.

    Let's look at whether Linux can handle them in conjunction with clouds.

    All the described mechanisms are relevant for other employees, which will be discussed in the following sections.

    In terms of the office suite, everything is pretty simple. If earlier, Microsoft Office was out of competition, then today there are not only free alternatives of varying degrees of completeness, but also cloud-based ones - Microsoft Office 365, noticeably matured in the G Suite (formerly Google Apps), Zoho and the army of clones.

    And now the pain is about working with macros, which, although rarely, are found in the documents sent. Of course, Google has Apps Script , which allows quite a lot. But you will have to manually translate VBA macros in a “magic tablet” of 2003, which sends invoices to counterparties. In fact, you will have to rewrite them from scratch, since there are no ready-made conversion options. If you suddenly decide, I recommend to familiarize yourself with the material From VBA to Google Apps Script .

    There is no point in talking about e-mail clients, since there is certainly no shortage of them, and the format is subject to common standards. Other communication tools like Skype, Whatsapp and Telegram have long been acquired by web versions or native clients, including those under Linux. For communication within the company are actively used cloud "talker" type Slack.

    If we talk about CRM systems and other document flow, then almost every manufacturer has a cloud solution with support for working in the browser, be it Bitrix-24 or Jira Atlassian . Of course, if you have a self-written solution based on 1C 7.7 or a terrible Delphi legacy from the 90s as the main system, then it will be more difficult - you can't do without a terminal server (in the same cloud) or application virtualization.

    Cloud Accountant

    The list of software that a weighted average accountant needs is this:

    • Accounting program.
    • Means of reporting with a qualified digital signature.
    • Bank customers.

    As a means of accounting, the de facto standard has become 1C. Fortunately, or rather, thanks to the hard work of developers, modern configurations work in the web client mode. So, it is possible to provide and receive 1C service in the cloud .

    1C in the browser.

    Let me remind you about the differences modes 1C under the spoiler
    • Thick client. Standard, old mode of operation, demanding of the user's computer and the width of the channel to the server.
    • Тонкий клиент. Относительно новый режим работы — вся обработка данных происходит на сервере, клиент отображает лишь результат. Конечно, не все конфигурации поддерживают этот режим, но стандартные — уже все.
    • Веб-клиент. То же самое, что Тонкий клиент по сути, но в качестве клиента используется веб-браузер. Требует помимо прочего публикации на веб-сервере.

    Different hosters have options for providing access to a virtual machine with a full-fledged 1C, but it’s still not as stylish, fashionable and youthful as to carry documents directly in the browser.

    If you don’t feel like contacting 1C, and the accountants are ready for experiments (if you understand what I mean - and I’m talking about putting the cactus away from the monitor under the table) - there are more options.

    The main disadvantage of cloud 1C and other systems is the need to synchronize with other systems. When using 1C in the browser, even with the banal loading of payments from the bank client, you need to install a special plug-in, not to mention more complex tasks. When accessing 1C via RDP, I came across solutions with connecting a separate network drive via SMB or WebDAV. Of course, there is no talk about direct COM connection.

    Means of submission of reports not only save from the bustle of the tax, but also support modules for the exchange of documents with government agencies. Most reporting services, such as SBiS and SKB Kontur, support work through a web interface and no longer require the installation of monstrous software.

    And again a fly in the ointment : fashionable technologies are not available to all companies. For example, Contour offers convenient online tools for small businesses only. And if you are a large corporate, then welcome to the good old “fat” classics.

    If the service still works in a browser under Linux, then the main problem will be due to the digital signature.

    There is an option to start a crypto-provider under Linux, the benefit of the solution is already there, that from CryptoPro , that from VipNet , but nuances are possible. The alternative would be to trust any service (including reporting services) and store the electronic signature in the cloud - the so-called. Cloud CEP. If, of course, your lawyers and security guards are not shooting you for this.

    Separately, we note that reporting operators have solutions for bookkeeping: for example, Kontur. Accounting. You can read about success stories in “ Accounting and Electronic Reporting in Linux ”.

    Unlike reporting systems, everything is pretty good with bank clients . Monstrous solutions with proprietary VPN systems have fallen into oblivion, and all banks work through a web interface, work with tokens is usually implemented in Java.

    Potentially, accounting can be transplanted to Linux, but a thoughtful study of their tools and at least indifference to this issue will be required. If the bookkeeping “suits everything”, then it is easier to leave this fortress alone.

    This section can not be read at all - just put the Mac designers

    In the end, he, too, * nix, and in the design community is warmly welcome.

    All because of the multimedia software on Linux is sad. Analogs of Photoshop, Corel and AutoCad exist, but when I inadvertently asked our artist about Gimp, I saw in his eyes such a strong and contradictory feeling that I had to turn everything into a joke. But seriously, the Gimp is suitable only for home use, despite the apparent similarity.

    Adobe products, despite the name Adobe Creative Cloud , with the cloud has little in common. Cloud in this case symbolizes the subscription model rather than cloud technology. There is data synchronization, there are even simple photo processors, but only that.

    Autodesk is a little better off. Their Autodesk Fusion 360 even allows you to work on projects in the browser and render renders using the company's capabilities. Unfortunately, the possibilities of a browser solution are limited, and AutoCad is not a full-fledged alternative to the same - in particular, there is no 3D support.

    AutoCad in the browser - what could be better.

    At the third whale - Corel Draw - I couldn’t find any official cloud solutions.

    The solution to the situation, of course, is the delivery of applications. An example is the AppOnFly service , which allows you to run any applications on a virtual machine using RDP. In addition to RDP, you can also use a browser, but the clipboard, disk forwarding and printers will not be available.

    To be or not to be

    Yes, the article didn’t get exotic, such as replacing Talantix with E-Staff in the HR department \ HR, but it’s enough for food conclusions. And the conclusions are that native Linux alternatives to desktop software may well be inconvenient to use. Or they will require the active participation of IT specialists at first. One has to be ready for this and not build the illusions with which the booklets of manufacturers of Linux distributions bloom.

    If you are enthusiastic about this, I would recommend to install some popular Linux distribution on your workstation and live with it for a month or two. At a minimum, you will be ready to solve half of the user problems.

    If the article caused you a vague nostalgia for such transitions, tell me, are you using Linux in conjunction with clouds on workstations?

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    Do you use Linux in conjunction with clouds on workstations?

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