Though it is advised to use Active Directory to manage and control access to software installations in your network you can use Workgroups too. When do you need to use Active Directory and when do you need to use a Workgroup?

You want to use Active Directory when:

  • you want centralized management of IT resources in your network;
  • you already use Active Directory;
  • all computers run a Microsoft Windows operating system.

You want to use a Workgroup when:

  • you don’t have or plan to set up centralized IT resources;
  • you only have a handful of computers to manage;

ESD supports both Active Directory and Workgroups. The choice is up to you. But when you do decide to use Workgroups please take note of the following:

  1. All user accounts and passwords are decentralized (ie every computer can have different user accounts and passwords for the same person) and need to be exactly the same on all computers. If you don’t abide to this you can run into connectivity issues.
  2. Guest accounts need to be active at all times (Windows XP and higher)
  3. Simple Sharing needs to be turned off.
  4. UAC needs to be off via local policy and the control panel to be able to access drives on other computers. Using Windows Store is not possible with UAC off. (Windows 8.1 and higher)
  5. Besides Workgroups you can also set up HomeGroups which are the equivalent of Workgroups for private/home use, read more here.