Blogging about Royal TS/X, Royal Server and Royal Passwords

1 2 3 – Royal Revolution

Timeline
The past weeks have been crazy! As you may already know, we recently released new major versions of our core products, Royal TS for Windows, Royal TSX for OS X and a brand new product: Royal Server. The user feedback was overwhelming to say the least! As our users, we’re very happy with these new releases and want to reflect a bit on what we have done and what’s coming up.

Royal Server V1

We are not exaggerating when we claim that we reinvented remote management! With Royal Server you can manage your Windows Environment directly from your Mac using Royal TSX. Think of Royal Server as your secure gateway to your Windows environment to easily manage Windows Services, Processes, Terminal Service Sessions, Hyper-V instances and even examine and analyze Windows Event Log entries. Royal TS (for Windows), Royal TSX (for OS X) and soon our mobile clients can all access these management tasks through Royal Server. A unique true cross-platform management solution!

Click here for more information about Royal Server.

Royal TSX V2 (for OS X)

Our native Royal TS implementation on OS X got even better now. The V2 release now includes dashboards like the folder dashboard to easily manage hundreds or thousands of objects using the bulk-edit feature. Full Royal Server support as mentioned above to natively allow management of Windows Services, Hyper-V instances, Terminal Service Sessions and even view the Windows Event Log without even RDP’ing to your machines. Another killer feature in Royal TSX is the new Apple Remote Desktop based VNC plugin which provides embedded ARD/Screen Sharing connections. We are the first in the industry with this kind of integration!

Click here to see all major new features of Royal TSX 2.0.

Royal TS V3 (for Windows)

Royal TS for Windows has been around for more than 10 years now and we are still packing tons of new features into each release. V3 now features a new plugin for Web Page connections based on Chrome. We’ve updated the look and feel, improved usability and added many new connection types to manage Hyper-V Instances, Terminal Service Sessions, Windows Services, Processes and analyze Windows Event Log entries – all with full Royal Server support! On top of that, we now ship a rich PowerShell module to create or update Royal TS documents.

Click here to see all major new features in Royal TS 3.0.

Mobile Apps

We have updated our current releases for iOS and Android to handle the all new and much more efficient document file format (.rtsz). Royal Server support for our mobile clients will soon be available. Stay tuned…

What’s next?

We are already working on new features on all of our products. You can expect much more modules in Royal Server and many new connection types for Royal TS/X. To help us prioritize all the features on our roadmap, make sure to visit our support portal and vote for your favorite feature or submit an idea.

We’re looking forward to hear from you soon!

The Royal Applications Team



Royal Server – Windows Events Management

Remark: This blog post is part of a series of posts explaining Royal Server and the new connection types we have introduced with Royal TS V3 beta (for Windows) and Royal TSX V2 beta (for OS X).

Here’s a complete list of our blog post series:

 

Working with Windows Events using Royal TSX and Royal Server

Often when you’re responsible for the health and performance of a server farm, your job involves checking the Windows Event Log for Errors and Warnings.

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With Royal TS/X it’s easy to configure a Windows Events connection: specify the Computer Name, the Management Endpoint, Credentials, etc. as usual.

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Specify a computer name (multiple ones are separated with a semicolon)

 

 

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Specify a Management Endpoint (or use the one from the parent folder)

 

If you want to continuously check for specific entries in the EventLog you can enable the auto refresh feature:

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Checking periodically and limiting the results

The Windows Events view allows you to filter the EventLog entries in two ways: a “Basic” and an “Advanced” filter.

 

For example, this configuration shows all Errors that occurred in the last 2 days:

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If you need more flexibility, you can switch over to “Advanced” and enter your WMI query. As a starting point, it takes the configuration of the “Basic” tab but you can add your own complex queries:

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 Remark: This query is executed on the server, so only the necessary data is transported back to the client (Royal TS/X)

 

Cross-Platform!

If you want to achieve the same thing with Royal TS (for Windows) or even share the Document – no problem!

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Windows Processes Management with Royal TS/X and Royal Server

Remark: This blogpost is part of a series of blog posts explaining Royal Server and the new connection types we have introduced in Royal TS V3 for Windows and Royal TSX V2 for OS X. Here is a complete list of our blog post series:

 

Use Case

The Windows Processes module enables you to kill an out-of-control process from Royal TSX directly:

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Configuring a Windows Process Connection

The basic configuration only needs a Computer Name:

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Additionally, you specify an account on the machine, on which you want to manage the Windows Services:

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When you connect, you get all running Windows Processes:

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Customizing the Windows Process Connection

You can also show the Process Owner in the view, but since this is a CPU heavy operation, we have made this optional:Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 14.21.32

You may need to enable the “Process Owner” column via the context-menu of the columns:

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As a result, you get a view with the Process Owner included:

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Additionally, as with all Management Endpoint Connections, you can configure an automatic refresh:

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This is handy when you want to regularly check for a special running process. You can use the Toolbar filtering for this:

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Share your Royal Documents between Royal TS (for Windows) and Royal TSX

And of course, all the mentioned features work identically on Royal TS (for Windows).

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Windows Services Management with Royal TS/X and Royal Server

Remark: This blogpost is part of a series of blog posts explaining Royal Server and the new connection types we have introduced in Royal TS V3 for Windows and Royal TSX V2 for OS X. Here is a complete list of our blog post series:

 

Use Case

With Royal Server, you can manage Windows Services directly from OS X – without opening an RDP connection, firing up services.msc, miscellaneous scrolling around, etc.

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Remark: To manage Windows Services, Royal TSX needs a Royal Server installation. This blogpost explains how to quickly install and configure it.

 

Configuring a Windows Services Connection

The basic configuration only needs a Computer Name:

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Additionally, you specify an account on the machine where you want to manage the Windows Services.

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When you connect, you get all the installed Windows Services with their status and additional information.

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Using the quick filter in the Toolbar, you can further drill down.

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With the Toolbar or the Context Menu, you can Start, Stop or Restart one or multiple services.

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Customizing the Windows Services view

Right-clicking on the column headers offers more options: you can view/hide more columns (e.g. Process ID) and filter based on the content of the column.

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Share your Royal Documents between Royal TS (for Windows) and Royal TSX

And of course, all the mentioned features work identically on Royal TS (for Windows).

 



Using Royal Server with PowerShell

Some time ago, we released a new PowerShell module together with Royal TS that enables you to manage Royal TS documents via PowerShell (check out the awesome PowerShell Magazine introduction article about this module by Jan Egil Ring). Now we follow up with commandlets to work with Royal Server.

 

What can I do with Royal Server commandlets?

In general, the Royal Server commandlets let you work with Royal Server without having Royal TS running. All Management Endpoint based connections can be used form this commandlets directly. E.g. you can achieve these scenarios easily in a PowerShell console:

  • Reboot your Webserver Farm via Royal Server
  • Start the Windows Service “World Wide Web Publishing Service” on all machines from your Webserver Farm where it is currently stopped
  • Send a message to running Terminal Sessions
  • and many other use cases…

 

Benefits of using Royal Server with PowerShell

While it’s cool to work with Royal Server from Royal TS in some scenarios (think scripting and automation), you can achieve most of the functionality with built-in PowerShell modules – so why should you go to for the Royal Server PowerShell commandlets?

  1. No running Royal TS is needed to talk to Royal Server (Windows Events, Windows Processes, Windows Services, Terminal Services and Hyper-V is currently available)
  2. Royal Server adds an additional security layer if Authentication is configured
  3. Royal Server adds centralized logging that can not be disabled by the client
  4. Royal Server with its current feature set is just the beginning. You can expect more exciting stuff in the future – and some new functionality you will not be able to find in other PowerShell modules
  5. TerminalServices can not be managed by PowerShell (unless you deploy and load additional Modules)

Note: Right now, the Royal Server commandlets are in beta and the interface of the commandlets might change in the future. But we would be very interested in your thoughts on this way to use Royal Server. Please use our support portal for features suggestions or reporting bugs.

 

First Steps

If you install Royal Server, you will find a RoyalServer.PowerShell.dll in the installation directory. Import this module as you would usually do:

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Before we begin, we have to specify the Royal Server to which we want to talk:

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Now we are ready to issue our first command: lets fetch the last 10 EventLog entries:

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Now, we can get a bit more sophisticated with our query. The next examples is using query arguments (and specifies only Log entries from the Application log):

Querying Metadata about Module Commands and Parameters

The Module-Parameter is using the Enum “ModuleNames” which can be specified like this:

This enables the PowerShell console to offer tab-completion in your console. But how can we find out which values are allowed for the parameters -Command and even -Arguments?

Get-RoyalServerModule shows available modules:

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Get-RoyalServerModuleCommand shows the available commands:

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Get-RoyalServerModuleCommandParameter shows available parameters:

Remark: Note the ” | Format-List” at the end, which produces an output that is better readable ;)

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Working with Credentials

The commandlets New-RoyalServerConfig and Invoke-RoyalServerCommand need (if Royal Server is properly configured) some credentials to work. There are two ways to provide this information:

  1. The -Credential parameter and Get-Credential
    This is the standard way to work with credentials in PowerShell – though its limited to be provided at runtime form a human.
  2. The -Credential parameter hardcoded in the PowerShell script
    This approach can be used for automated scripts:

    Note: We do not recommend this for production usage.

PS: It is not required that you have the same color configuration in your PowerShell console as I have ;)