Monday, September 28, 2009

More tools for the common (or uncommon) Service Desk folk

It has been a few weeks since my last entry, so I figure I would post something useful (not that I find any of my other posts).

Most of us need to RDC into several different domain controllers, terminal servers, and other application servers during the day. Some of them need to remain open during the entire shift. The thing that stinks is how many apps show on the Windows task bars. Having just 2 different RDC connection windows on the task bar can take up half of the taskbar real-estate. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of them in a tabbed view and switch between any of the connections firefox style? Enter visionApp Remote Desktop 1.5. Take a look at the screenshot below:

You can have as many RDC connections open within the app as you want. In addition to this, there is a nice overview screen with snapshots to remind you what you were working on before you switched screens. One of the best features is that you can add as many connections in a tree view on the left side of the screen – acting as a quick link to servers that you connect to frequently. You also can save your credentials if you wish and automatically apply them to the connection. The last notable feature is the backup feature. You can backup the connection list and share it with others. visionApp Remote Desktop 1.5 is the last version of this app that is freeware. However, visionApp removed this version from their site and it is somewhat difficult to find. But I found a working link. Click here to download it.

There is another free RDC management app that works very similar to vRD, but it also shows the active sessions and users connected to the servers. This one is RoyalTS 1.5.1. Like vRD, v1.5.1 is the last version of RoyalTS that is freeware. Take a look at the screen below for a demo:

As you can see, it is a little more cluttered than vRD, but it works in the same way. Here is a link to the download.