First of all: don’t panic! We are still working hard on V2 of Royal TS (including all the cool features like nested folders, credential manager, database sync, etc.). Because of some delays with V2 I decided to do spend a couple of weeks to merge back some of the features to the current code base. Monster blog-post starting now…
This release also has some bug fixes and minor features, like:
If a config file is corrupt, it will automatically recreate a new one.
If your remote session lost your keyboard focus, clicking inside the session will restore the keyboard focus.
Grab keyboard input behaves differently now: if checked (default), selecting an active connection will transfer the keyboard focus to the remote session.
Expand all/Collapse all in navigation tree.
Specify the remote keyboard layout.
Option in Pre-Connect task to abort connection if the result code is not ‘0’.
Additional custom display sizes can be added in the RTSApp.exe.config file.
Fully 120dpi – large font mode – compliant.
Many, many more…
Features in Detail
Better Search and Filtering
The double-arrow icon indicates that you can expand or collapse the search and filter panel in the navigation tree as well as in the connection list. Once expanded, you can either search for connection name OR host name (yes, if your text is a match you will see the connection in the tree) or you click on the little light bulbs to filter and only show connected, disconnected or (as by default) all connections in the tree.
The sample shown in the screenshot shows all connected items where the host name or the connection name contains “TFS”. The search is not case sensitive and as long as a filter is active, drag & drop operations are not allowed.
When you collapse the search and filter panel, the filter will be cleared and everything is shown again.
The very same behavior applies to the search and filter panel in the connection list.
Another underestimated feature of the navigation tree is the “Find-As-You-Type” search functionality. When the navigation tree has the keyboard focus, you can just start typing a fragment of your connection name. As soon as you pause for more than 500ms between the keystrokes, the selected node will jump to the first search result.
Attention: by default, the keyboard focus is moved to the active session if the navigation tree selection is an active session.
This is a huge leap forward and if you are using a lot of Hyper-V machines, I’m sure you’ll love it. To start from the beginning, here’s the new config screen for a connection:
This is a standard RDP connection (Default)
Royal TS will handle this connection as a standard RDP connection – exactly the same as in all previous versions and displays the standard dashboard.
This is a Hyper-V host, show VM instances in dashboard
Royal TS will display an additional dashboard panel showing all the VM instances on the machine. When this option is selected you can also change the standard Hyper-V proxy-ing port (default 2179).
To successfully retrieve the list of instances you or the credentials specified need to have the appropriate rights (local admin) and the machine running Royal TS needs to have RPC access to the Hyper-V machine (firewall policies!).
This is a Hyper-V host, connect to a specific instance
The last option lets you specify an instance ID (or browse for one). The connection will show up in the navigation tree as any other connection but instead of connecting to the host machine you will connect directly to the instance.
In Hyper-V mode, most of the display settings will not apply. Since this is handled by the instance, you do not have control over the screen resolution.
Finally, to simulate a CTRL-ALT-DELETE to unlock a remote instance you need to press CTRL-ALT-END.
The Hyper-V Dashboard
Get VM: Updates the VM instance list
Start: The selected instance will be started
Shut Down: The selected instance will shut down
Save: The state of the selected instance will be saved
Pause: The machine will be paused
Create RDP Connection: A standard RDP connection for the selected instance will be created. This shortcut will pre-populate the properties of the new connection. You just need to verify/enter the host name or IP and other settings like credentials.
Create Hyper-V Connection: Clicking on this button will create a new Hyper-V connection, all properties pre-populated based on the selection in the dashboard.
This was a very popular feature request. Still, I personally prefer setting my credentials using Bulk-Edit instead of Folder credentials but since this was very popular, I finally implemented it.
Also very popular request. We are still not there where we want to be but it’s a start. The import lets you open another .rts file and combine both files. Import is only available for licensed users. We are still missing .csv and .rdp file import but we are confident to have those in V2.
In case you desperately need a .csv import, you can still use the PowerShell script provided in the “Toolbox Forums”: http://www.code4ward.net/main/Support/Forum/tabid/61/forumid/4/threadid/10/scope/posts/Default.aspx
First thing you’ll notice that there are now lots of tooltips. This should help to find out about special fields. Another thing to note is that you can use the default network browser by clicking on the button next to the RDP port to browse for one or more computers in your network. If you select multiple computers, they will appear semi-colon separated in the Computer field. Of course you can enter multiple computers on your own with semi-colons or copy them from somewhere else.
As soon as you specify more than one computer, you cannot change the display name field anymore. This is by design and for bulk-add, the computer name will be set as display name.
The Bulk-Edit dialog was enhanced to support the folder credentials and the Hyper-V settings.
Another important detail about 1.7 is, that it will need a new license key. All of you who are still within the software-upgrade-protection period will get automatically a new license key delivered by email. All of you who bought Royal TS 1.6 more than 12 months ago will get a coupon code for a discount. Let me also take this opportunity to thank all of you who supported Royal TS over the last years. It’s very much appreciated!
There’s a beta version available where the 1.6 key will work – at least until February 2011. To sign up for the beta program (Forums access, download information and beta newsletter delivery) you need to register an account on www.code4ward.net and click the following link after you have been logged in to our site: http://www.code4ward.net/main/Default.aspx?rsvp=RTSBETA
We are also working on a local help file instead of redirecting to the online help. The help file is not ready yet, so the beta will still open the online help for now.
Because of the need for a new license key, we are considering to ship 1.7 with an installer which installs the new version side-by-side to 1.6x versions. We haven’t decided yet and would appreciate any feedback on that matter as well. We think that people may be upset if they install 1.7 and realize upon the first start that they need to upgrade their license. Having both versions installed lets everyone take a sneak peak to the new version without loosing the old one.