(One ofmy summaries of a talk at the 2017 fossgis conference).
GIS workplace? He means how you work day-to-day with you computer. “Fat” client with local files? Perhaps reaching out to web services? A problem is that it is quite expensive to support and maintain. It also doesn’t scale well.
A GIS workplace is quite complex when compared to many other use cases. Lots of different data, lots of tools, lots of data sources, lots of necessary connections.
You could look at full-features “web gis”, so more-or-less a desktop GIS application on a server. It is still expensive to build. Normally, it is less feature-rich. Scaling is still a problem as you need to build a web server cluster or so.
What looks promising: look at the cloud.
- “Desktop as a service”: AWS workspace, for instance.
- Streaming applications. Azure RemoteApp, AWS Appstream.
- Online databases. AWS RDS, hadoop, etc.
A closer look at AWS appstream 2.0, available since late 2016. You only need a modern html5 browser. It starts up quickly. You pay per use. And you can configure it just as you wish to, including data that you already configure for your users.
You can make it even more easy when you use devops tools like Ansible for continious delivery.