We are still working hard on version 2 of Royal TS but over the last couple of months we also needed to take care of some bug of the current version. One of the current issues are some Windows 7 quirks which will hopefully be ironed out with the upcoming release 1.6.8. But here a complete list of fixes and features:
Windows 7 / Font related:
It seems that in Windows 7 the font size changed slightly. At least in some dialogs there are tiny text-cut-offs. These should be fixed now. Another issues for a lot of users is the text size in the tree view and the list view. We were always following the best practices and Windows design guidelines. We used the standard system font and size as recommended. So, when switching from XP to Vista/Win7, Royal TS will use a different (and larger) font. We got a lot of feedback about these issues and implemented a quick fix.
For once we will reduce the default font size back to 8.25pt instead of 9.0pt regardless of the OS.
Additionally we will provide a way to change the font and font size for both separately, the tree view and the list view. For now, there’s no UI for this because we basically rewrite all the UI for V2 and didn’t want to invest much in the soon to be obsolete UI. You need to edit some XML to set the font or font size.
Which brings us to another small but useful new feature: directly opening the config folder from Royal TS. A frequently asked question always is: Where are my task and application settings stored. And the answer is not always easy because it depends if you have some folder redirection policies and it also depends on the OS you use.
So, if you open up the Activity Log from the View menu, notice the Config Folder button on the toolbar:
Clicking on this button will open a File Explorer displaying the directory with your setting files.
When you now open the code4ward.RoyalTS.ApplicationSettingsData.xml you will see the following new settings:
The order of the items may be different on your system.
LegacyTreeStyle can be true or false: When true, it will display +/- signs (XP style) instead of the little triangles (Vista/7 style).
ListViewFontName can be Default or a font name of your choice: When set to Default it will use the system’s default font.
ListViewFontSize can be Default or a size of your choice: When set to Default it will use 8.25. If you use Vista or Windows 7 and want to use the system’s default font size you need to change it to 9.0!
TreeViewFontName and TreeViewFontSize will be the same as ListViewFontName and ListViewFontSize except it controls the font of the tree view.
TreeViewHighlightType is by default None and can be Full, Partial or TextOnly: Controls how the items in the tree view will be highlighted after selection.
Control on which Screen the session will appear when it’s not embedded
Notice that there’s now the possibility to setup on which display screen your external session will be opened. This option is only available when you have selected External Window or External Window (Full Screen) and when you have more than one display connected to your computer. The default value is Last Remembered, which saves the position of your session when the window is closed or the session is disconnected but selecting a specific display let’s you force to open it always on the specified screen.
Also note the shortcut to the Display Properties Control Panel, which might be handy if you do not know what display number corresponds to your actual screens.
If more than one display is connected, you can also use the Connect with Options functionality to temporarily open a connection on a specific monitor.
Changes to the Remote Desktop Module
Royal TS now sports a fancy Connecting and Reconnecting indicator:
An often requested feature is to have a better reconnect function to instruct Royal TS to keep on trying to reconnect during a reboot of the remote system. This feature is still NOT available but this indicator is the first of two steps to get it implemented. The idea is to have a checkbox of some sort which says Try to reconnect until server is available again.
Network Level Authentication (NLA):
Royal TS supports NLA and on Windows 2008(R2) and Vista/7 NLA is enabled by default meaning the client trying to connect needs to have NLA enabled. If NLA is not enabled the connection fails with the error code 2825. If this error occurs and the connection doesn’t have NLA checked in the advanced settings tab, Royal TS not only publishes a warning about that, it is trying again with NLA enabled automatically.
Single Sign On:
Royal TS now also supports SSO (big thanks to Wulfert on supporting me with testing and providing valuable information!). You need to setup your environment according to this blog post of the Terminal Services Team Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/rds/archive/2007/04/19/how-to-enable-single-sign-on-for-my-terminal-server-connections.aspx
If you can connect using mstsc.exe without your explicit credentials (your desktop credentials are passed through to the remote system using Kerberos) you can now also use Royal TS. Just leave the credential information blank (no Username, Domain and no Password), enable Network Level Authentication (NLA) in the Advanced tab of your connection and set Auth. Level to Connect, but warn me if server authentication fails.
- Individual disk redirection on Windows 7 is now working correctly.
- TS Gateway Credentials are now remembered.
- Bulk Reconnect from the list is now working.
- Some minor UI fixes.
One feature needed to be removed!
A quite handy feature I cannot miss anymore is to move an existing connection out of the main window into an external window using the Change menu. If you are working on two machines and you need to quickly compare something, you can easily pull out one session to an external window and put it on the second screen. Don’t worry, this will still be possible!
The feature that needed to be dropped is Window Mode: External (Full Screen). As you can see in the screen shot above, it’s not available anymore. You can of course still open an external session from scratch in external full screen mode, you just cannot do it with an initially embedded session. The ActiveX control seems to be very unstable when doing this and sometimes it worked but then again sometimes not. So for quality reasons I decided to take it out. Nobody is happy about application crashes…
When will 1.6.8 be available?
Beta testing of 1.6.8 will start within the next few days. If you want to participate and try out the beta you can easily join the beta group. To do so, you need to create an account on the code4ward site (if you do not have one already), sign in and click on this link: http://www.code4ward.net/main/Default.aspx?rsvp=RTSBETA
Clicking on this link doesn’t really give much feedback. To verify if you are member of the beta group, click on your user name on top, right side and click on Manage Services in your Profile. If you see Royal TS Beta Group, you are in.
Member of the beta group will get email announcements about new beta releases and access to the beta forum to discuss the current beta release.
If you decide to try out the beta, always make backup copies of your .rts files and setting files (like task settings if you have lots of them).
Depending on the issues found in the beta 1.6.8 will be publicly released within the next two or three weeks.
Thanks for all of you who provided feedback, suggestions and bug reports. Your help is very much appreciated!