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Author: Created: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 2:46:36 PM
Everything related to Royal TS
By Stefan Koell on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:23:30 PM

 

Thanks to Arsimael, who  blogged about that in German here, I’m happy to translate and re-blog his content on our blog in English. If you want to make Royal TS V2 portable and start it from a USB memory stick, external drive or even from a Dropbox folder, continue to read…

What does portable mean?

Portable means, that you do not have to install Royal TS to use it. You just put in your memory stick and start Royal TS from the memory stick – without installing it.

To make a portable version of Royal TS V2 you need to download and install it once. After you’ve installed it on your computer it’s a very simple procedure to make it portable:

1. Copy Royal TS V2 to the new location (memory stick, external drive, etc.)

Copy the contents from the Royal TS V2 installation directory to the new location.

By default Royal TS V2 is installed in “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\code4ward.net\Royal TS V2\”.

Note: Do not move the files to the new location. After you’ve copied the files to the new location, you may uninstall Royal TS again, since you will the start it from the new location.

2. Create a configuration folder

Royal TS needs a couple of configuration files. By default they are stored in the users profile directory. Since we also want to have our settings wherever we go, we need to create a new configuration folder in the new location where we copied the Royal TS files.

In the folder where RTS2App.exe was relocated, create a subfolder called with the name config

3. Change configuration path

In the new location, open the file RTS2App.exe.config in notepad and search for the following text:

%APPDATA%\code4ward

change the line above to:

.\config

4. Copy the configuration file to the new configuration folder

Go to: %APPDATA%\code4ward and copy the file code4ward.RoyalTS.UserPreferences.config to the folder you created in step 2.

Royal TS is now portable!

Things you should know

While the above works well in general, there might be the one or the other issue:

  • Royal TS V2 needs the .NET Framework 4 (Full Profile) and the setup installer makes sure that it’s installed before it proceeds. The portal version doesn’t have a check like this, so you have to take care and make sure that .NET Framework 4 is installed otherwise Royal TS will not work. Take a look at our System Requirements page for more information.
  • File associations are created by the installer. Since you do not install Royal TS when you use the portal version, double-clicking a .rtsx file may ask you to specify the application you want to open for the file. The Windows Explorer allows you to remember the setting and the next time you double-click a file it will open the application from your portable location.
  • Uninstall Royal TS using the Control Panel after you made your portable version. This avoids that the “original”/”non-portal” version is opened when you double-click a .rtsx file.
  • When you want to upgrade to a newer version of Royal TS, install it on a computer, execute step 1 from above without overwriting/deleting the config folder in the portable location.
  • When you start Royal TS the first time from the portable location you may have to re-enter your license information.

Have fun and thanks again to Arsimael for the blog post!

cheers,
Stefan

By Stefan Koell on Sunday, February 05, 2012 4:38:03 PM

 

A very popular feature request for Royal TS was the ability to save connections to a central repository and allow multiple users to access a shared set of connections. If you are working in a team, chances are that everyone in the team needs access to the same set of servers.

We’ve discussed several approaches to solve the problem. On the very top of the list was, of course, a central SQL server as a repository store. The more we thought about the implications, pros and cons, we realized that  a SQL server might not be the best way to implement a feature like this. So we chose a different route – at least for the initial release. We might extend Royal TS to additionally support SQL server as well in the future…

Royal TS V2 solves multi-user access in a simple and elegant way and offers additional advantages you may not be aware of:

  • Multiple users can open, access, edit and save a centrally shared document.
  • When a user saves a document,  it is not overwritten. It is merged (when you configure the document appropriately).
  • It’s still safe. Credentials are stored in different (personal and encrypted) documents and connections refer to them by name. So each user just needs another document containing a credential with the very same name as specified in the connection.
  • No need for SQL! Since this all works on the file system level, there’s no need to install, maintain, prepare or do anything on a SQL server. Just put the document for your team on a network share where everyone has at least read access.
  • Also works with all the cloud based file sync services! Even when you are not working in a team, you may use Royal TS from different computers. Put your document(s) in the cloud using services like DropboxSkyDrive, etc. and sync your changes to all your other machines instantly.
  • There are no licensing restrictions! This feature works with all Royal TS V2 licenses, even when you use it for free in limited shareware mode. Although, in shareware mode you cannot open multiple files and it’s only allowed to have up to 10 connections per application instance. In this case the credential(s) must be set in the Application document but in general it will work.

Have you seen our Royal TS V2 introduction video?

Team

The video doesn’t really explain all the technical details on how to setup a shared document but it will show you the general idea and it’s fun to watch! Click the picture above or this link to watch the video.

There’s also a step-by-step guide in the Royal TS V2 help file explaining how to setup a personal credential to use in a shared document.

Pre-requisites to make this work

As mentioned before, no SQL server is necessary and we think this is a huge advantage. Still, you need to be aware of some things before you start building up a shared document:

  1. You need to define or agree on the credential name(s) which will be used on the shared connection objects. The notes section of the shared document (or of the particular folder) might be a good place to write down the needed credentials.
  2. Agree on a file location where you put your shared document(s). This might be a network file share where everyone has access to or a shared folder in cloud based sync service (like Dropbox).

That’s it.

Create and prepare the shared document

image

Click on New on the Home tab to create a new Royal TS document. Enter a meaningful Display Name, optionally provide a Description text and make sure you set the Save Mode to Merge file on save. This will prevent the file from being overwritten when a user saves the document. The file on disk will be synced with the contents you have in memory.

In this example I will use 3 different accounts for my connections to illustrate how this is working:
The credential to access all servers in the LAB domain must be named: code4ward LAB Account
The credential to access all my production servers must be named: code4ward PROD Account
The credential to log on to the code4ward.net homepage must be named: code4ward Web Account

Like I said before, it would be a great idea to put that in the document Notes to instruct new users how to setup their credentials:

image

That’s all what it takes to create and prepare a document to share it with a team of users. All you need to do is to save it to a location everyone has access to and create your connections. I have saved the document to a shared folder on my network and prepared the folder structure the way I want it to be.

Note: We are not encrypting and password protecting this particular document. Since we aren’t using any usernames or passwords in that document it might not really be necessary to protect the document. Anyway, if you like to password protect (and encrypt) the document, you can do that, of course. If you do that, it requires the user to enter the appropriate password in order to open and access the document.

Create connections in the shared document

First I create a new remote desktop connection for a LAB server:

image

On the Edit tab, click on Remote Desktop to add a new Remote Desktop connection. Enter a Computer Name (host or IP address), a Display Name and optionally provide a Description. Then change to the Credentials settings page:

image

Select Specify a credential name from the drop down list and enter the exact name of the credential Royal TS should look for before the connection is established. Attention: the credential name is case sensitive and needs to match exactly the name of the credential we create afterwards!

You may configure other settings of the remote desktop connection as well. I will repeat those steps and create some more lab servers using the same credential configuration.

Then I will create my production servers and configure the remote desktop connections the same way as the lab servers except that I use code4ward PROD Account as credential name.

I will also create a new Web Page connection with Auto Fill for automatic logon. The credential configuration works the same way as for remote desktop connections:

image

In addition you need to create mappings for your resolved credential to the HTML elements of the web page’s log in form:

image

So, all connections are created, configured to use a credential (which doesn’t even exist yet) and stored to a central location. If you now want to try to connect to a server or web page now, Royal TS will start the connection but it cannot find the credential with the name specified. Royal TS will just leave the credentials blank. This means that in most cases you need to manually type in username and password.

Create your personal document and the credentials needed for the shared document

Now let’s create my personal and private document where I store my credentials:

image

Since we are putting usernames and passwords in the document, I strongly recommend to password protect and encrypt the document:

image

Save your personal document to a private location (your home drive, for example). You can use your personal document(s) to store personal connections and tasks as well but in this case we just create the 3 credentials in order to successfully use the shared document.

image

One the Edit tab, click on Credential to create a new credential. Make sure you enter the exact same Display Name as specified in the credential settings from the shared document connections.

I will repeat this step for the other credentials as well: code4ward PROD Account and code4ward Web Account

When you click on one of the credentials, the Dashboard will show you all connections referring to this credential. This is an easy way to verify that you configured the connections and credentials correctly:

image

After setting up your credentials, connecting to one of the connections will now resolve your credentials. You just need to ensure that the document with your personal credential details is loaded in the same application instance.

All the other users who want to use the same shared document in Royal TS only need to create their own personal document and setup their credentials the same way as explained above. Then, open up both, the shared document and the personal document to automatically log on to systems with your personal credentials.

Here’s a little timesaver

If you have to open multiple documents every time Royal TS starts up (the shared document and your personal document, for example), you can use the Application Start setting in the Options to specify a list of documents to open automatically when you start Royal TS:

image

Document-Changed-Indicator

If you use a shared document in a team, you might be interested to get notified as soon as someone in your team changed something in the shared document. Royal TS offers an indicator for that in the status bar:

image

If you see the little disk icon in the status bar, one or more documents have changed outside your Royal TS instance. Hovering over the icon will show you which documents were changed and double-clicking on it will save and merge the changed documents with your document version.

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s very easy and intuitive to link credentials to connections even from different files and this makes Royal TS a perfect candidate to work in teams without compromising security.

Royal TS offers the best way to work in teams and provides great flexibility to work in most, if not all scenarios. Because Royal TS can now operate in a multi-user environment without the need of SQL database systems or any other 3rd party tools for that matter, it’s one of the easiest and most powerful remote desktop management tool available today.

By Stefan Koell on Monday, January 23, 2012 11:53:55 AM

This new build of Royal TS includes a number of minor bug fixes, some performance optimizations (especially when huge files are loaded) and one new feature:

You can now rearrange the toolbar items (in the QAT) using the mouse and drag&drop. We’ve also posted our first Royal TS V2 Screencast video which will also show this new feature:

Watch on YouTube

Exploring the User Interface

Edit: You can find the newest beta build download on our download page:
http://www.code4ward.net/main/RoyalTS/Download.aspx

cheers,
Stefan

By Stefan Koell on Sunday, January 08, 2012 9:47:48 PM

This release incorporates a number of bug fixes and a couple of new things. Before I discuss the new stuff, I want to share some important information about the beta release first:

Installation:

As before, the beta release is shipped as a .zip file and can be downloaded here:
http://www.code4ward.net/dl/RoyalTS/RTS2App_2.00.00.20110.zip

Just extract the zip file in a directory, execute ngen.cmd to improve startup and general performance and start RTS2App.exe. Royal TS V2 beta has the same system requirements as V1.7:
http://www.code4ward.net/rtshelp/174/contents/systemrequirements.htm

Important:
In all the beta releases you can enter your Royal TS 1.7.x license key to “unlock” Royal TS from Shareware Mode!

What’s New?

Extended Command-Line Support

This release features some new and advanced command-line options, especially in combination with the new “Single Instance Mode” (on by default and can be changed in the RTS2App.exe.config file) this can be very useful. Here’s how it works:

Connect to an existing session using the display name (as seen in the navigation tree), optionally open a .rtsx file and optionally filter by type:
RTS2App.exe [filename.rtsx] /ConnectName:DisplayName [/FilterType:RDP|WEB]

Connect to an existing session using the URI (Hostname/IP or web page URL), optionally open a .rtsx file and optionally filter by type:
RTS2App.exe [filename.rtsx] /ConnectURI:Hostname/IP|URL [/FilterType:RDP|WEB]

Connect to a new AdHoc connection:
RTS2App.exe /ConnectAdHoc:Hostname/IP|URL /AdHocType:RDP|WEB

Executing one of the above commands in SingleInstance mode will actually invoke the session connect or ad-hoc connect in the running instance.

File Modified Indicator

The “Merge file on save” mode from the document properties makes it very easy to work with the same file in teams.

SNAGHTML1c4631a9

In this mode, saving a file will actually merge your contents with the content on the file system – which might have changed since you opened it. Another team member could have created or modified connections while you are working with it.

SNAGHTML1c48348d

The new indicator in the status bar will show up as soon as one of your opened documents was modified outside your Royal TS instance. Hovering your mouse over the icon will show you which file(s) were changed.

Here’s the complete change log for this release:

New: Command-Line Options
New: Indicator in the status bar when a file was modified outside of Royal TS
New: Option to show/hide the status bar
Fixed: Auto Fill issues with HTML elements
Fixed: Possible exception when deleted objects are viewed
Fixed: Send message dialog for terminal sessions
Fixed: Task Context not updated when object is deleted
Fixed: Deep keyboard hook issues with key sequences
Fixed: A drag and drop issue in the navigation tree
Fixed: Possible crash if computer name is invalid in Remote Desktop connections
Fixed: Focus issues for external or full screen Remote Desktop connections
Fixed: Active connection prompt
Fixed: Application settings for web page dashboards were not used

Feedback

As always, we are happy to hear your thoughts and feedback. Please join us in the beta forums to discuss features and share your feedback:
http://www.code4ward.net/main/Forums/tabid/61/forumid/9/scope/threads/Default.aspx

By Stefan Koell on Friday, December 23, 2011 4:51:00 PM

hmfile_hash_18eb2a16I wanted to take a brief moment and let you know that we’ve been working very hard on the new release of Royal TS V2 and that we remain dedicated to providing the best Remote Desktop and management solution to you and your team.

In a few weeks, we will officially ship Royal TS V2 – a brand new application, taking Remote Desktop and Hyper-V management to a whole new level with numerous new features, including:

  • Redesigned, modernized and most flexible user interface featuring Dock Panels, Tabs and the Ribbon
  • A revolutionary new file format allowing you to merge document changes on the fly and provide superb team work features – without the need for a central server. Just locate the file centrally on a file share or use a cloud based file synchronization service like Dropbox
  • Seamlessly integrated credential and task management in documents
  • Ability to open multiple documents and assign credentials from other documents makes file sharing simple, easy and absolutely secure.
  • Popular features like Tabs, Nested Folders and Navigation Auto-Hiding are included as well.
  • RDP File Import, CSV Import and CSV Export
  • Unique keyboard navigation support allowing you to switch between tabs, even when you’re actively working in a Remote Desktop session
  • Ad Hoc connections to quickly connect to a session
  • An enhanced Hyper-V dashboard which allows you to use the Ad Hoc feature and seamlessly connect to the Hyper-V instance console – without the need of any Hyper-V tools, such as vmconnect.exe

… and so much more

 

Royal TS V2 is rewritten from the ground up, providing a powerful framework which allows us to quickly and easily integrate new types of connections.

This release includes a new connection type called “Web Page Connection”, enabling you to integrate internal or external web pages (management interfaces to appliances, Sharepoint, Web Sites, etc.) in your management workflow.

 

Connection types like SSH are already on the roadmap for one of the releases after the final 2.0.

 

Pricing

As before, Royal TS can also be used free (for personal or commercial use) with the following limitation:
You cannot open and use more than one document and you cannot create more than 10 connections per application instance.

The significant growth in both scope and breadth of Royal TS and to maintain the highest possible quality, this release will include the first change in our pricing.

Individual User License: EUR 25
Volume Discount: 5% off for 6 – 10 User Licenses
Volume Discount: 10% off from 11 User Licenses
A single license unlocks the 10 connection limit and can be used on an additional machine (e.g. the user’s laptop or home workstation).


Site License: EUR 400
The site license grants you the right to use Royal TS for all your employees for a single site (single office).


Enterprise License: EUR 700
The enterprise license grants you the right to use Royal TS for all your employees globally (multiple offices).


Extended Enterprise License: EUR 1500
This license grants you the same rights as the Enterprise License and additionally includes 3 years of email support and 3 years of free major and minor updates.

 

Included Support and Updates

Each license includes 1 year of email support and 1 year of free major and minor updates. The Extended Enterprise license includes 3 years of email support and updates.

 

Beta Download

If you want to test the new Version of Royal TS, you’re welcome to download it from: http://www.code4ward.net/dl/RoyalTS/RTS2App_2.00.00.11223.zip
To use this release, ensure you have installed the .NET 4 Full Profile (not the Client Profile!): http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=17851
Extract the zip file to a folder of your choice and start RTS2App.exe. You can also execute ngen.cmd to precompile Royal TS and improve start up time. Of course, the final release will come with an installer.
Keep in mind; this is still a beta release. I strongly recommend making regular backup copies of your files. Explore our blog or the online help to find out about all the new features in this release.

 

As always, I thank you for your business. We are here to help and answer any question you may have about the new version and about this price change. Feel free to contact me at stefan.koell@code4ward.net

 

The code4ward.net Team wishes you a Happy Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year 2012!

 

Sincerely,

Stefan Koell
code4ward.net

By Stefan Koell on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 5:51:54 PM

We’re getting closer to release and here’s another build with many new features and fixes. Based on feedback from our beta testers, we decided to implement a couple of popular features which were originally planned for 2.1. This might slightly delay the 2.0 final release but I guess everyone will be happy to have those features in the next release.

Here are the top 3 new features:

1. Better keyboard and mouse support

image

Enabling Auto Focus will automatically transfer the keyboard focus from the Navigation panel to the active remote session when it is clicked using the mouse. Changing a selection using the cursor keys will not transfer the focus. If you want to transfer the focus using the keyboard, just hit the Enter key.

image

Deep Keyboard Hooks allows you to get out from an active Remote Desktop session using the keyboard. In this release Royal TS supports the following keyboard shortcuts:

LEFT CTRL + LEFT SHIFT + N  :  
Activates/Shows the Navigation Panel

LEFT CTRL + LEFT SHIFT + D :
Activates/Shows the Dashboard Panel

LEFT CTRL + LEFT SHIFT + C :
Activates/Shows the Credentials Panel

LEFT CTRL + LEFT SHIFT + T :
Activates/Shows the Tasks Panel

Once you have focused one of the panels you can use CTRL + TAB to show the document selector widget.

We are also working on shortcuts to toggle through tabs…

Auto Fill with Credential Support for Web Page Connections

image

Web Page connections can now make use of credentials, just like Remote Desktop connections. When you set up or assign a credential to a web page connection, you can use the Auto Fill options to create multiple mappings for HTML Elements with properties of your connection (like credentials or custom fields). The $ – escaped properties are replaced during connect and can also be used in combination with static text or other properties.

The HTML Elements combo box is populated / refreshed with the found INPUT elements from the URL configured in the Web Page settings (first property page of the wizard).

Key Sequence

SNAGHTMLb3c97f5

The Key Sequence settings are available for both connection types (Remote Desktop and Web Page). This allows you to send a sequence of key strokes to the remote session after the connection is established or the web page is loaded. You can configure variable delays using the {WAIT:x} command (where x is the delay in ms), configure to send static text by just entering the characters, configure to send property values from the connection and you can send special keys (like TAB or ENTER).

This allows you to automatically confirm remote desktop banner prompts or even allows you to setup automatic logon for web sites hosting a flash application.

Download and Installation

If you want to download and test the most recent release of Royal TS V2 Beta, go to http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/EntryId/106/Royal-TS-2-0-First-Preview.aspx

Download links will be kept updated on that page. You will also find all the download and installation instructions as well as a short getting started chapter.

Feedback is always welcome. To report issues or discuss Royal TS V2, go to: http://www.code4ward.net/main/Forums/tabid/61/forumid/9/scope/threads/Default.aspx

By Stefan Koell on Thursday, November 24, 2011 4:02:22 PM

 

In the last couple of weeks we processed all the great feedback and were able to implement some new stuff and also fix some stuff. We’re right on track for a release soon. Stability and performance is increasing and feedback has been extremely positive so far. A big “Thank you!” to all the beta testers out there for giving the new release a try and more importantly to provide valuable feedback.

During the last couple of releases we fixed and improved Royal TS in many areas. Here are some highlights:

  • Multi-monitor support was greatly improved and Royal TS V2 now also supports the using multiple monitors for remote desktop sessions, similar to the /multimon switch. This requires Win7/Win2008R2 on the client side and Win2008R2 on the server side.
  • A “Connect/Disconnect all in Folder” command was introduced in the folder context menu.
  • Configurable “Mouse Events” allowing you to individually execute the command of your choice when an object is double-clicked.
  • To read more about the above, visit http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/EntryId/111/Another-week-another-build-11020.aspx
  • A getting started page, especially for new users who want to try Royal TS.
  • Legacy .rts file import and also .csv file import/export improvements
  • Proxy settings for those who wanted to check for updates behind a proxy server
  • A new “Connect with Options” menu allowing you to connect to any of your connections ad hoc
  • Some enhancements around the web page connection
  • Enhanced automatic update checker which now allows you to check for beta versions as well

There are still a couple of known issues we are working on right now:

  • Sometimes it’s hard to find out which tab is active. Especially when tab groups are split. This of course, depends on the theme you are using but we are also working on a better visual representation of the active tab in lower contrast themes.
  • Restoring of closed dock panels in the tab view (like the dashboard) is currently broken.
  • Save merge isn’t working correctly (this feature will be discussed in more detail when those issues are fixed)

Now, let’s talk about some cool new improvements:

Tab Context Menu

SNAGHTML25a4f065

There are a couple of new useful commands in the context menu for you to execute directly from the tab without looking for the command in the ribbon or locating the node in the navigation panel. Reconnect, for those who constantly need this command after the screen saver kicked in, is now available as well as commands to change the window mode from embedded to external and vice versa. As before, closing a tab will disconnect the session automatically.

Proxy Server

SNAGHTML25a8c460

There were a couple of requests to bring back proxy server support for the update check. So here we go, the above picture shows the proxy configuration page.

How to make Royal TS faster (ngen, pre-compilation)

We started to change our deployment from single assembly to individual assembly. The single assembly approach had its advantages, especially for deployment and memory stick usage but in the end, we experienced huge problems with pre-compilation (ngen). User feedback showed us that users prefer faster applications and are willing to sacrifice deployment simplicity. From now on, all the beta releases are deployed in a zip file containing the executable and all required dlls. For the beta version we also included a file called “ngen.cmd” which will pre-compile Royal TS for better startup time and runtime performance. Once we release V2 and provide an .msi, it will be pre-compiled automatically during the setup process.

Interesting Blog Posts

Here’s a list of all previous blog posts about releases, features and general information of Royal TS:


 

Download and Installation

If you want to download and test the most recent release of Royal TS V2 Beta, go to http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/EntryId/106/Royal-TS-2-0-First-Preview.aspx

Download links will be kept updated on that page. You will also find all the download and installation instructions as well as a short getting started chapter.

Feedback is always welcome. To report issues or discuss Royal TS V2, go to: http://www.code4ward.net/main/Forums/tabid/61/forumid/9/scope/threads/Default.aspx

cheers,
Stefan

By Stefan Koell on Thursday, November 10, 2011 2:54:37 PM

Here are some highlights of what changed and what was fixed since out last blog post:

Connect with Options

Since release 11107 we restored the ability to “override” some more settings when you use connect with options. You can now select on which screen the external or full screen window will appear when you connect with options (screen selection is ignored in embedded mode). As you may know from the previous versions, the check states can be cleared by clicking on a checked again:

SNAGHTML4d1e801

 

Suppress Web Browser Dialogs

A web page connection can now be configured to suppress all web browser dialogs (like JavaScript errors, ActiveX installation prompts, etc.). You can find the option in the Advanced property page of the web page connection properties:

image

Getting Started Page

When Royal TS is started for the first time, a “Getting Started” page will help you with your first steps:

SNAGHTML4d730c9

Other Tweaks and Fixes

  • The Wizard dialog now has keyboard accelerators to for Back, Next, OK and Cancel which makes navigating the wizard using the keyboard only much more easier
  • Fixed some sort order issues
  • Quick search was fixed and improved (Ctrl-F brings you to the search boxes)
  • Bulk-edit issues were fixed
  • .rts File import password issues were fixed
  • and many other minor things

Want to test Royal TS V2?

Go to http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/EntryId/106/Royal-TS-2-0-First-Preview.aspx for download and installation instructions.

I also strongly recommend to consume our blog as you will find tons of Royal TS V2 related posts and feature spotlights (like this one): http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/BlogID/6/ParentBlogID/3/Default.aspx

cheers,
Stefan

By Stefan Koell on Friday, November 04, 2011 4:05:16 PM

 

One often requested feature for Royal TS was allowing to have more documents open at the same time. We not only picked up the feature request, we took the idea even further. In short, you can have multiple files open at the same time, you can move things around, even across documents and you can refer to tasks and credentials from other documents as well. In this blog post I will explain how and when you can handle multiple documents as well as how to protect your passwords.

Why Documents?

 

imageFirst you might wonder why we chose the term document and why we picked a file based configuration management. We also could have chosen database driven storage or a seamless configuration file in the backend which just tracks what you’ve got.

We found that most users are very used to the approach working with files and having documents to store their stuff. So, why change something users are already used to? Another reason for the file based approach is flexibility. It’s easy to share, easy to construct (if you know what you are doing) and easy to handle.

With Royal TS V2 we’ve also streamlined the way you work with different object types. A document can have a folder structure holding connections, tasks and credentials. You add new objects to the folder structure, move around those objects, duplicate, edit or delete them.

What’s the “Application” Document?

image

When you start Royal TS, you will see an “Application” document in the navigation panel. This is a special kind of document which is always present and has some “limitations”.

You can create folders, credentials and tasks in the application document but you cannot create connections and you cannot close the application document. You can also password protect (using the Encryption settings in the Options) the application document. The default templates for connections (one for each connection type) are also stored in the application document. Besides that, the application settings (from the Options dialog) are also stored in there but it is not displayed in the tree. To edit the options you need to open the Options dialog from the backstage view or from the View ribbon tab.

When can I open multiple documents?

Royal TS is available as freeware and as shareware with the same download. There are two restrictions of the freeware versions:

  1. You cannot have more than 10 connections per Royal TS instance
  2. You cannot open more than 1 document per Royal TS instance (in addition to the Application document)

At any time you can obtain and enter a license key and “unlock” Royal TS. Licenses are mostly user based and with a single user license the above restrictions are gone.

Since V2, Royal TS is a single instance application by default. If you want to open multiple instances of Royal TS you need to edit the RTS2App.exe.config file from the installation directory and change the setting: “SingleInstanceMode” from “True” to “False”.

After you’ve entered your license information in Royal TS, you can just open additional documents using the File –> Open command from the Home ribbon tab.

How to open multiple documents at once?

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You can Ctrl-/Shift-Click on multiple documents in a directory and open them in one step using the File –> Open command.

How to automatically open documents when Royal TS starts up?

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Using the Options dialog you can set up one or more documents to open automatically when Royal TS starts up.

How to protect my documents?

A very common scenario where you work with multiple documents is, when you want to use a shared document within a team and your personal document. This scenario will be explained in detail in another blog post but in general we strongly recommend to protect those documents where passwords are stored.

To protect your personal documents from others to be opened, click on the document in the navigation panel and select the Edit –> Properties command from the Home ribbon tab:
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After you’ve set your password, you need to enter the password whenever you open the file or whenever you want to edit the properties of the document:
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How to protect my credentials I’ve stored in the Application document?

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Once you have set an encryption password for the “Application” document, you need to enter the password when Royal TS starts up:
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What happens if I forgot my password?

If you forgot the passwords you’ve set for your documents, you will not be able to open the file in Royal TS.

If you forgot the password you’ve set in the Options dialog, you can click on Cancel when you are prompted for the password and have a chance to reset all your stored credentials. This way you can still open up Royal TS but all your saved passwords are gone and you must set them again.

Conclusion

The way we designed the document centric approach in V2 allows you to do very powerful and flexible things. You can setup your documents to be encrypted and secure your personal data (passwords). In the next blog post I will illustrate how a team can work with a single shared document and have multiple users access this document with the ability to automatically log on to remote systems using referenced credentials.

 

Want to test Royal TS V2 Beta?

Go to http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/EntryId/106/Royal-TS-2-0-First-Preview.aspx for download and installation instructions.

I also strongly recommend to consume our blog as you will find tons of Royal TS V2 related posts and feature spotlights (like this one): http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/BlogID/6/ParentBlogID/3/Default.aspx

cheers,
Stefan

By Stefan Koell on Thursday, November 03, 2011 3:11:23 PM

Here’s another killer blog post from my colleague: http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/EntryId/123/Royal-TS-V2-How-to-import-CSV-files.aspx

Want to test the V2 Beta?

Want to test drive Royal TS V2 Beta? Go to http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/EntryId/106/Royal-TS-2-0-First-Preview.aspx for download and installation instructions.

I also strongly recommend to consume our blog as you will find tons of Royal TS V2 related posts and feature spotlights (like this one): http://www.code4ward.net/main/Blog/tabid/70/BlogID/6/ParentBlogID/3/Default.aspx