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

File Transfer and VMware Connection Types

File Transfer Connections File Transfer Connections

A feature that has been requested time and again is to be able to browse and transfer files on (S)FTP and SCP enabled devices. In the latest major releases we finally added support for this to the arsenal of Royal TS/X weapons.

Here’s a complete list of supported protocols of the new File Transfer connection type:

  • FTP
  • FTP with Implicit SSL
  • FTP with Explicit TLS/SSL
  • SFTP
  • SCP

In addition to plain old username/password authentication we also support key file based authentication (SFTP and SCP), certificate and fingerprint validation and multi-factor authentication.

Naturally, tightly integrated Secure Gateway (SSH Tunneling) support is included as well as Passive Mode, support for showing hidden files, resolving symlinks and large buffers for file transfers.

For the actual file transfer sessions we adopted the popular dual pane browser UI, breadcrumb controls for easily navigating between directories and a status bar that displays the current running action and allows you to cancel it at any time.

File Transfer Connection

And because we want you to get started quickly you can simply use your existing SSH connections to create ad hoc file transfer connections (Connect with Options – Connect using SFTP/SCP).

While our file transfer connection might not yet be ready to completely replace dedicated file transfer applications, we’re constantly improving it and have lots of additional features in the pipeline. If you would like to suggest a specific feature or just have general feedback, feel free to get in touch with us via our support portal.

 

VMware Connections VMware Connections

Many users are already enjoying the Hyper-V management capabilities in Royal TS/X. Now we provide a similar management connection for VMware to connect to your ESXi and vSphere environments.

VMware Connection

Here is a list of features our VMware integration offers:

  • Detailed Information about the VM is provided (Provisioned and Used Space, Used Memory, CPU data, Uptime, all IP addresses, datastore paths, etc.)
  • You can Power On, Power Off, Suspend, Shutdown, Restart and Reset VMs
  • You can quickly connect to VMs via Console or VNC and to the Host via SSH
  • Shutdown Guest and Restart Guest are supported (if VMware tools are installed in the Guest VM)
  • On Windows, the integration is based on PowerCLI and works from 5.5. r2 up to 6.5 installations
  • No additional software is required on macOS

The VMware management module is available for Royal TS/X directly (no Royal Server needed) and for Royal Server.

There are tons of additional features when it comes to VMware integration and we are interested to hear your opinions. Please contact us via our support portal if you want to see additional functionality integrated in Royal TS/X and Royal Server.



Major Version Release

As most of you already noticed, we recently published fresh new major releases of Royal TS, Royal TSX and Royal Server. In this blog post we want to highlight all the major new features. We will also post dedicated blog posts for some of the hotter features which will be much more detailed.

New in Royal TS V4 (for Windows) and Royal TSX V3 (for macOS)

Unless stated otherwise, all new features apply to both platforms, Windows and macOS.

File Transfer Connection New File Transfer Connection Plugin

A new connection type “File Transfer” is now available which allows you to do basic (S)FTP/SCP operations. Not only can you create dedicated file transfer connections, you can also quickly create ad hoc file transfer connections based on existing terminal connections from the “Connect with Options” menu.
Read more about the new File Transfer connection in this blog post.

VMware Connection New VMware Connection Plugin

Many users are already enjoying the Hyper-V management capabilities in Royal TS/X. Now we provide a similar management connection for VMware to connect to your ESXi or vSphere environment and also launch terminal, VMware console or VNC connections.
Read more about the new VMware connection in this blog post.

Enhancements and new Document features Enhancements and new Document features

  • Custom Properties: Quite similar to Custom Fields but much more flexible and not limited to 20 fields. Create and organize custom properties for your objects and even use their values in tasks or templates through replacement tokens.
  • Favorites: Mark any of your objects as a favorite. You will see a visual indicator in the navigation tree for all your favorite objects and also be able to quickly filter the navigation tree to only show your favorite objects.
  • User Specific Settings: Enabling this setting allows you to control whether favorites and/or the navigation folder expansion state is stored in the document or as a user specific setting.
  • Built-In Icon Library: There was always a way to specify your own icons for each object in the navigation tree but it required you to supply your own icon file. Now we ship a set of common icons and make it even easier to personalize your navigation tree.
  • Embedded Key Files: Connection types like Terminal allow you to specify a key file for authentication. Previously, it was required to enter a path to the key file on the file system. In this release we provide a way to not only embed the key files into your document, we also take care of different formats and make it seamlessly work, regardless which key file format is required.
  • Reconnect on Startup: When starting Royal TS/X you’re now offered to reconnect to the sessions that were open when you quit Royal TS/X the last time.
  • Save after Edit (Windows only): Enabling this feature in the document properties will automatically invoke a document save/merge whenever the properties dialog changed or created an object. This, combined with the automatic backup feature, will ensure that your document is always up-to-date.
  • Touch ID (macOS only): For all of you who have a brand new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, you can now configure your password protected documents to open by providing your fingerprint.
  • Bonjour Computer browser toolbar item (macOS only): This brand new toolbar item allows you to quickly initiate ad hoc connections to computers and other devices that are discovered on your local network.

LastPass Credential Vault LastPass Credential Vault

Similar to KeePass, you can now also open all your LastPass credentials in Royal TS/X and refer to them as they were Royal TS/X credentials. Many of the multi-factor authentication providers (like Google Authenticator, Duo, etc.) are supported as well.

1Password Credential Vault 1Password Credential Vault (macOS only)

If you are using 1Password on macOS, you can also open your 1Password vaults and use credentials from there within Royal TSX. We even support 1Password for Teams.

More new stuff…

To learn what else is new and improved, check out the following pages:

New Features in Royal TS (for Windows)
New Feature in Royal TSX (for macOS)

New in Royal Server V2

The new version of Royal Server contains two major features as well as many smaller tweaks and improvements.

Document Store Document Store

Since V2 you can host your Royal TS/X Documents on Royal Server. This is perfect if you need to share some documents within your team and you don’t want to put them on shared folders or even mail them around. This feature is also the basis for more fine grained security when it comes to provisioning Royal Documents centrally.

VMware Connection

VMware Module

As described above, our new VMware plugin provides similar virtual machine management capabilities as we have them for Hyper-V hosted VMs.

Other small enhancements

  • Extended Information for Hyper-V virtual machines (network data, performance data)
  • Improved error handling for PowerShell connections
  • Security-related new features for Secure Gateways (timeouts, IP blocks, client restrictions)
  • New Management Connection features (compression, IP blocks)
  • New and extended logging capabilities of Royal Server


Setup and configuration of the Document Store

In Royal Server V2 we introduced the “Document Store” – a central place for your Royal TS/X documents that can be used in teams.

 

Use Cases for the Document Store

Consider the following scenarios where the Document Store comes in handy:

  • you do not want to have .rtsz files lying around on various discs, file shares, etc.
  • you want to make sure, you always have one file that’s the “source of truth”
  • you want to share a .rtsz file within your team but still want to control access to it
  • you have external employees that should not be able to copy the .rtsz file on e.g. a usb stick and take it home

 

The process of using the Document Store consists of two steps:

  1. A Royal Server administrator sets up the documents by specifying the preferred security settings
  2. The documents can be modified and used from Royal TS/X clients

 

Setting up Royal Server

Note: Royal Server is distributed with a “Standard Free License (3 Pack)” which allows for working with 3 managed servers or three Secure Gateway connections. In order to use the Document Store you need to install one of our paid licenses. For evaluation purposes, just drop us a message at http://support.royalapplications.com and we’ll issue an eval license.

 

Configuring Royal Server Document Store

The setup of your documents in Royal Server is done by an administrator who has access to the Royal Server Configuration Tool.

2017-01-07 10_10_22-RoyalServer_DocumentStore

 

Click on Document Store in the left navigation pane and Enable Document Store to work with it. Royal Server is still working with .rtsz documents behind the scenes. Therefore you need to specify where Royal Server should store these. Whenever the document is modified by a client, Royal Server can store a backup file. The default number of backups is 10.

 

Permissions for using the Document Store

The Document Store component is using the same configuration as Royal Server for allowing users to access it. In order to give users access to the Document Store, select “Royal Server” and then on “Permissions” in the Navigation tab. Click on “Configure…” to open the Windows UI for managing Users and Groups. Add the Users and Groups to the local Windows Group “Royal Server Users” to give them access.

Then, either restart the Royal Server service or give it some minutes to pick up the changed configuration.

 

 

Creating a Document

In order to create a new document, click Documents in the left navigation pane.

2017-01-07 10_28_38-Royal Server Configuration Tool

 

Click the Add… button and specify the options for creating a Royal Server hosted document:

2016-12-22 11_52_35-Add Document

Specify a Document Name and optionally a Document Comment. This information is shown when opening the document from Royal TS/X clients.

 

The setting Document can only be opened by Royal Server enables additional encryption that prevents someone who has access to the machine where Royal Server is running from “stealing” the documents.

The setting Enable Document Password sets an encryption password for opening the document. Royal TS/X will require this password when opening the document.

 

The Lockdown feature

The Lockdown feature is an additional, more fine-grained way of controlling access to documents:

As a requirement, you need to have an document encryption password set.

2016-12-22 11_59_51-Add Document

When a document is locked down, the user can not modify it unless the lockdown password is entered. Additionally, a set of policies can be enforced:

  • Do not allow to reveal passwords in this document
  • Do not allow to modify or edit this document

 

Note: If you create a document, only the Document Name and Document Comment can be changed later via the Settings… button.

 

Importing an existing Document

In order to import an existing document, click Import existing… button.

2017-01-07 10_29_21-Import Document

Specify which file should be imported, a name and comment as well as the document password (if needed). A document can only be imported, if its Document Type is “Shared (Merge File)”.

Remark: Please be aware, that the Royal Document uses unique IDs (GUIDS) to identify its objects. When importing a file to Royal Server please make sure, no Royal TS/X client is working with this file loaded from the file system. Since these documents will contain the same IDs, merge errors can break the document integrity.

 

Deleting a Document

Simply select the document in the list and click the Delete… button.

Remark: Royal Server is not physically deleting the document but moving it to the “DeletedDocuments” folder within the Document Store root folder. If the same document is imported and deleted multiple times, the directory in the “DeletedDocuments” will be overwritten.

 

Working with documents from the Document Store in Royal TS/X

In order to open a document from Royal Server you need to perform two steps:

  • create a Royal Server object that points to the Royal Server where you host your documents
  • open the document in Royal TS (for Windows) or Royal TSX (for macOS) from there

 

A detailed walkthrough on how to create a Royal Server object can be found in this blogpost.

 

Opening the document in Royal TS (for Windows)

After you have created your Royal Server object, you can click on FILE in the Ribbon and then Open.

Click on the just created Royal Server object and you can see the list of available documents in the right pane:

RoyalServer2

 

After opening the document, it behaves similar to any other document loaded from the filesystem. When you hit Save, it is stored on the Royal Server.

 

Opening the document in Royal TSX (for macOS)

Similar to the Windows version, you need to select File and Open Royal Server Document… from the menu bar:

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 15.37.49

In the Royal Server dropdown you’ll find all Royal Server objects that are available in the opened documents.

 

One important difference to a file loaded from the filesystems is that for Royal Server documents, you can not change the Document Type – it is Shared (Merge File) by default.

 

Offline Scenarios when working with Documents from Royal Server

Please be aware that we do not support a complete “offline” scenario at the time. The behaviour when working with documents from Royal Server is as follows:

  • when you opened a document from Royal Server and the server is not reachable anymore (e.g. because you are in a different network) you can not save back any changes. If you happen to be online again, you can save back the changes. So as long as you do not close Royal TS/X, you are good.
  • when you save a Royal Server document locally via “Save as…” you can work with it offline, but you cannot merge it back to Royal Server. If you are the only one that changed this document, you can delete and reimport it to Royal Server though

 

We are aware that a full “offline mode” would be a cool feature and we are working in the direction to make this experience much more smoother in future releases.

 

 



Should I install the new macOS/iOS/Windows/Android Beta?

Quick Answer

No, you definitely shouldn’t install a beta OS on your primary device!

If you really want to try a new OS while still in development, please do so in a separate test environment. Otherwise you might encounter data losses and all kinds of unpredictable things might happen.

Long(ish) Answer

First of all, please remember that betas are – by definitionunstable.

A beta OS is still in development, hasn’t been fully tested and we can’t guarantee that everything in the OS works as expected by our apps.

Furthermore, beta OS’s are evolving over time and things that don’t work in the first beta version, might work in the next update for example. We might fix an issue on our end but as the beta evolves, the OS vendor might fix the issue on their end or there might be another change that breaks our fix.

Since we’re software developers, we’re used to this. But we want you, our users, not to be confronted with these unpredictable changes and we definitely don’t want you to loose your data.

So we highly recommend that you stick to official, stable releases to ensure your data is safe and you can get your work done.

Betas are Unsupported

Unfortunately, we cannot support our apps on unstable, un-tested, in-development platforms. So until the OS in question is officially released (out of beta) it remains unsupported by us and you’re basically on your own if you choose to install it.

Thanks for understanding,
The Royal Applications Team



Royal TSX and macOS 10.12 Developer Preview

Hello early adopters,

now that the first developer preview of the rebranded macOS 10.12 Sierra has been released, we wanted to give you a quick update on Royal TSX’ compatibility with the new OS.

Like with every beta OS, we want to remind you that we do NOT generally support beta/developer preview releases and we do NOT recommend to install OS betas if your daily workflow depends on Royal TSX. However, it’s obviously in our own interest that our products are compatible as soon as possible.

Right now, only our Royal TSX V3 beta is compatible with the first developer preview. The current stable release of Royal TSX (V2.2.4) does NOT run on the developer preview and will crash when launched! The reason behind this is that Apple removed certain features from the OS that Royal TSX depended on. We plan on making the stable release compatible with the new OS once the first public beta of macOS 10.12 is out.

The first stable release (V2.2.5) that supports macOS 10.12 Sierra is out now. As usual, you can get the update on our website.

Our latest Royal TSX V3 beta release which is compatible with the developer preview is available here.

For any feedback about Royal TSX V3 beta or compatibility issues with the developer preview, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our support portal.

cheers,
The Royal Applications Team