KeepAlive for everybody

Mar 16, 2018

Yesterday I was asked whether there was a global change facility for the ‘KeepAlive’ setting.  A school wanted to set this on for all staff.  Do we implement a global change facility or do we simply turn it on for all staff?

When we originally implemented this we considered who would need this, and who should have access to this feature.  Were there security implications?  What was the performance hit on the server?  We’ve had a think and we’re going to turn it on for all staff.  Let’s consider the arguments.

  1. Security – there is a security risk, in that a browser tab where SOBS is left open will not timeout, so anybody coming to the computer after a period of inactivity will find SOBS is still responsive.  You have probably seen the timeouts implemented by the online banking sites, however I can understand their need for security.  SOBS however is not looking after your money.  If you are concerned all computers come with the option for a screen saver password – you should implement that to protect all of your applications if you have to leave your computer at short notice.  If you don’t have a screen saver password or any login password for your computer, then you should not leave your computer alone.
  2. Performance impact – virtually zero.  The act of pinging the server uses very little resource, even with the additional user sessions that will remain active, there is no need to worry.
  3. All staff – why not?  I can’t really think of any good reason that all staff shouldn’t benefit from this option.  If you have a reason then we may implement a negative switch, ie ‘Disable KeepAlive’

This change has been rolled out today.