Citrix and Terminal Server Support
Citrix and Terminal Server are very popular modern computing environments that allow for centralized processing through the use of client-connected computers/terminals. Such virtualization and remote access allow for the delivery of applications and files over a network, where the processing takes place on the server rather than the client. Topaz offers several options for adding signature capture to a Citrix or Terminal Server-based environment.
1. 9-pin serial signature pads and Com Port redirection
Topaz serial pads can be plugged into a terminal or fat-client machine, and the com port on the client mapped via back to a com port on the server. Ultimately, through this mapping, a serial pad physically connected to the client is virtually plugged directly into the server's com port. There is a guide available here that will aid you in setting up a 9-pin serial pad for use in a thin client environment. Be sure to review the SigPlus.ini file requirements, as these INI file requirements do apply to all options below as well.
A big advantage to this approach is that there are no signature pad drivers required on the client machine, therefore allowing it to be installation-free and maintenance-free.
2. 9-pin serial signature pads in conjunction with an external serial to USB converter
Topaz serial pads can also be used in conjunction with a Citrix- or Terminal Server-rated serial to USB converter. This would allow the Topaz serial pad to ultimately plug into a USB port on the client machine, and a "virtual com port" created there to be mapped over to the server's com port. For example, the Edgeport from Digi is a candidate. These are not the extent of the possibilities, as other Citrix / Terminal Server compliant serial to USB converters are available on the market as well. Once in place, the com port redirection as described in #1 above would apply. Finally, there is a guide available here that will aid you in setting up a 9-pin serial pad for use in a thin client environment, once the virtual com port is assigned to the converter.
3. Topaz "SigSock" socket interface, for use with "HSB" signature pads
SigSock is an interface that allows Topaz "HSB" (HID USB) signature pads to be used in a Citrix or Terminal Server environment. Essentially, a small client utility is placed on the client computer and run, which collects data from the signature pad as the author signs. From there, the data is sent over to the server (using TCP Ports 47289 and 47290) where SigPlus collects it. You can download the installation for SigSock at this location. For an installation that includes only the SigSock.exe client utility (for use on the client machine directly), you will find an install here. There is also a PDF file that goes along with SigSock to explain how it is implemented and used.
There are a few current requirements for using the SigSock system:
1. The client machines must be full Windows-based fat clients (for example, running 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7). Alternately, thin client terminals running XPe are also an option. However, thin client terminals running any other operating system (for example, Wyse terminals running Linux-based thin operating systems or WinCE) will not work with SigSock.
2. You must copy a small EXE on the client machine and run it, passing command line parameters to set up the system properly
4. Topaz "BSB" signature pads
Topaz offer a few signature models with an internal serial to USB converter. The results are very similar to what you can obtain given the #2 option above, except the converter is built directly into the signature pad casing. You end up with what appears to be a native USB-connected signature pad (with all power pulled directly from the USB port), but works in the same manner as a serial pad, in that it converts the USB port into which it is plugged into a virtual com port. From there, the virtual com port can be mapped to the server in a fashion as described in #1 above.
Topaz offers the BSB signature pads in the TLBK462-BSB (SignatureGem LCD1X5) configuration. The BSB signature pads use a converter from ftdichip.com, and you can find the virtual com port drivers here.  Once installed, and the BSB pad plugged in, the virtual com port should be available for mapping. There is a guide available here that will aid you in setting up the BSB pad for use in a thin client environment, once you have the virtual com port assigned to the device.
5. Topaz A-ETH1-1 Serial to Ethernet converter
Lastly, Topaz offers a serial-to-ethernet converter that maps a virtual com port to an IP address. This allows a Topaz serial signature pad to be plugged into the network, thereby providing any application running under Citrix or Terminal Server to gain access to the network-connected pad. This device can be plugged into the network at any point, for example, right next to the client machine. Once the converter is plugged into the network and the proper drivers installed to the server, a virtual com port is created right on on the server, which can then simply be chosen as the COM port assignemnt during the SigPlus install on the server. This option really simply bypasses the client machine altogether, as the IP-mapped virtual com port simply exists on the server directly. There is a stipulation: the signature pad and the server must be on the same local network. There is an A-ETH1-1 User Guide available here that will provide information on connecting and using the device. There is also a guide available here that will aid you in setting up the serial pad for use with a thin client environment once the virtual com port is assigned to the converter.