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

Customizing Royal TS/X settings

Aside from software functionality and performance, a personalized working space which fulfils your needs and requirements, is half the battle won. Royal TS/X provides a full range of settings to customize the way that you work with it. In this blog post we want to introduce the most common tweaks, which will help you configure the app according to your everyday requirements.

1. Navigation Panel

First things first – you can personalize the Navigation Panel (also known as “Sidebar” on the Mac). Here’s a list of settings that can be tweaked according to your personal preferences:

  • The item/object colors can be changed – please find the instructions in our “User Interface Personalization” Blog post.
  • To adapt the font size in Royal TSX (for macOS) please open the “User Interface” section in the “Preferences” dialog (⌘,). In Royal TS (for Windows) you can find the font size configuration under “Options” – “User Interface”.
  • The “Behavior” section of the “Preferences”/”Options” allows you to configure the default behavior when single- and double-clicking on objects in the Navigation Panel. In detail, you can assign different actions for inactive connections, active connections, credentials and task objects. So feel free to try out this feature and find out which settings you feel the most comfortable with.
  • Royal TSX (for macOS) specific:
    You can let Royal TSX automatically hide the Navigation Panel by enabling “View” – “Autohide Navigation Panel”. This feature is a smart tool to get some more screen real estate. To display the Navigation Panel in this mode, simply hover with the mouse over the left window edge. If you prefer the Navigation Panel on the right side of your screen, don’t worry, you can change the side in the “Preferences” in the “Navigation Panel” section. And if that’s still not enough, you can even adjust the Delay, when the Navigation Panel shows up 😉
  • Royal TS (for Windows) specific:
    The Navigation Panel, as all panels, can be moved, rearranged and docked anywhere in your UI. Similar to Royal TSX (for macOS) you can “Auto-Hide” the Ribbon by clicking the “Ribbon Display Options” in the top right of the panel:

Docking Panels

2. Customizable Toolbar (for macOS)/Ribbon (for Windows)

Next, we would like to introduce you to another useful feature to customize your UI. As a Mac user, you can personalize the Toolbar in Royal TSX, whereas Windows users have similar options to change the so-called Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) and the Ribbon in Royal TS. You can find all you need to know about these settings in our “User Interface Personalization” blog post.

3. Full Screen Mode

If you prefer to make the most out of your available screen space, Royal TSX (for macOS) also supports the native macOS full screen mode. As in all macOS apps simply click the green Traffic Light Button and et voilà – full screen on!

Quick Tip: Before entering the Full Screen Mode activate “Use Extended Full Screen” in the “View” menu to (a) hide the Toolbar and (b) switch the Navigation Panel into “Auto-Hide” mode.

Though Windows doesn’t provide a real Full Screen Mode, you can emulate one by selecting the “Auto-Hide” function, which you can find in the top right of the panel (for more information please have a look at point 1. Navigation Panel).

4. Tabs/Windows

We know that connections are the core of your daily business, accordingly, you can adapt connections to…

  • open as a tab in the main window.
  • open in a separate window. In this mode, you can even specify which monitor the connection should open in.
  • open in a full screen. Likewise, select a specific monitor to open in.

You can find all of these settings in the “Window Mode” section of your connection’s properties. Alternatively, you can temporarily change the “Window Mode” by using “Connect with Options” in the context menu of your connections. After opening a tab, you can easily drag-and-drop and re-order it according to your needs.

To open an active tab in a new window, just drag-and-drop it out of the main window. The same method works for moving tabs between different windows or screens.

Split Tabs

When there are two or more tabs present/open, you can split them. This option can be very useful, e.g. to monitor different connections at the same time in the same window. On the Mac, you find this option by right-clicking on a tab and select “Split Tabs”. Windows users just drag-and-drop and place the tab onto the preferred window area.

Quick Tip for Mac users: If you prefer a horizontal splitting instead of a vertical, simply open the tab menu while holding ⌥ (“alt/option”) and select “Split Tabs Horizontally”. Yeah! You can spot the difference in the screenshot down below:

Tab Split Horizontal

Besides splitting and arranging connection tabs, there are some more tab features in Royal TS (for Windows): First, open all the connections, you want to arrange, in the background. Next, click “View” – “Layout” – here you find several options, how to display and order these connections onto your screen. For more details about “Tab Layouts” please refer to this video.

 

With the summarized features described above, you already have a vast range of tools and options to personalize your working space. For more information on how to optimize your UI graphically, please take a look at our “User Interface Personalization” blog post. Still haven’t found the right settings to fulfil your daily needs or do you have any suggestions for future improvements? Feel free to drop us a post in the Royal Apps Forums.



User Interface Personalization

When you’re working with Royal TS/X, our aim is that you feel comfortable with it, so we put a lot of effort into generating a dynamic and customizable User Interface. Therefore, Royal TS/X provides lots of options and tools to personalize your UI (User Interface), e.g. color scheme presets like the Dark Mode or customizable icons. In this Blog post we want to introduce you to the most popular ways to easily personalize your User Interface:

1. Color Schemes/Themes

Let’s start with changing color schemes in general. On the Mac, we not only have macOS Mojave support – but we also fully support Mojave’s Dark Mode. By default, Royal TSX will “follow” your preference from the OS, but you can also switch to light or dark mode independently. You will find the theme selection in the “User Interface” section of the “Preferences” (⌘,), there are 3 built-in themes: Automatic, Light and Dark. The Dark scheme is the one you see in the screenshot.

Dark Scheme

Windows users are provided with 4 built-in schemes: Default, Light, Dark and Black. You can find these settings on the View ribbon tab, there’s a drop-down button called “Color Scheme”. This is essentially what Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, and many other apps are offering nowadays. The Default scheme is the one you see in the screenshot.

Default Theme

Customize Color Schemes

With Royal TS (for Windows) you can go one step further by customizing the color scheme completely according to your preferences. Clicking “Custom…” in the “Color Scheme” dropdown shows a dialog, where you will find a couple of useful things:

  • The drop-down at the top allows you to choose from many pre-defined color schemes right out of the box. Once you’ve selected the color scheme, hit the “Copy” button to copy all the color values from the selected scheme to the property grid. This way, you can quickly get started with a pre-defined scheme and tweak the colors as you wish.
  • Clicking on a color will show a short description at the bottom, indicating where this particular color will be used.
  • There are also “Icon Colors” available. Tweaking these colors allows you to set the colors used by all the icons in the UI. This way you can make sure that a black color in a black skin still has enough contrast to look great.

Share your Color Schemes

The “Share” button allows you to share your color scheme with other users. We create a special link that instructs your browser to open Royal TS’ Color Scheme editor and set the color scheme for you to try.

2. Customizable Object Icons

We know, that our users love to configure their objects with custom icons. You can personalize the icons in the “Properties” dialog, where you will find two built-in icon libraries: Flat objects (colored) and the open-source VMware Clarity icon library (monotone). All in all, there are more than 600 object icons in the presets for you to choose from.

Please note: In Royal TSX (for macOS) icons from the VMware Clarity library will automatically be displayed black or white, depending on the color scheme you have chosen. Naturally, we ship both, retina (high-DPI) and non-retina icons on the Mac.

Icons

In Royal TS (for Windows) all icons are vector-based SVG icons and will be scaled automatically based on the DPI setting. This ensures that when you upscale your display to 150 or more percent, there will be no display problems and all the icons will still look great.

Icons

Import Custom Icons

In the rare case that there are no suitable icons in our presets for you to choose from, we still have one more option for you – you can import and use your own icons!

Quick Tip for Mac users: After opening the object “Properties” dialog, you can easily drag-and-drop your personal icon (e.g. from the Finder or Desktop) onto the icon field to assign it.

3. Customizable Object/Tab Colors

Still can’t get enough of personalizing your UI? With these features you can completely individualize your interface:

  • For each object, you can assign a specific color in the “Properties” dialog
  • Objects can inherit colors from their parent folders
  • Defined colors are displayed both in the “Navigation Panel” and the connection tabs
  • New in Royal TSX (for macOS) 4.1.2: Assign a Tab color “on-demand” by right-clicking on connection tabs

4. Customizable Toolbar (for macOS)/Ribbon (for Windows)

Royal TSX (for macOS) also has another very useful feature to help you customize your UI: by right-clicking the Toolbar, you can order and drag often used features directly onto your Toolbar. In the screenshot below you find an example for a personalized Toolbar.

Icons

Windows users have a similar tool for personalizing their frequently used functions. In Royal TS (for Windows) the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) can be modified according to your preferences by right-clicking on the displayed commands. After adding/removing the commands, you can reorder them via drag-and-drop once you have unlocked the QAT (see screenshot below). Not only that, the Ribbon can also be further customized, which means, you can create and organize your own ribbon tabs and add/remove/reorder commands individually.

By the way: If you don’t need the Toolbar/Ribbon, you can hide it at any time.

Icons
These tips merely represent a summary of the most popular ways to easily personalize your UI. We hope they appeal to you and are a welcome addition to your Royal Apps experience.
Have you got even more ideas or suggestions regarding UI personalization options? Please feel free to leave us a comment in the Royal Apps Forums.



Sunsetting Royal Tickets

Dear Royal Tickets Users,

on April 9, 2019 we learned from one of our users that the app stopped working properly. The user stated that 24 hours after logging in and authorizing Royal Tickets to access his UserVoice account he was required to log in and go through the whole authorization process again to regain access to his tickets through the app. We verified this and experienced the very same behavior a day later with one of our test accounts.

Of course, we immediately contacted UserVoice for clarification. They confirmed that changes on their end were made that affect consumers of the UserVoice API. Royal Tickets is using this interface to provide its functionality. The changes effectively make it necessary that users re-login and re-authorize Royal Tickets to access their UserVoice data every single day. This, obviously, is unacceptable and doesn’t resemble the user experience we envisioned and were able to provide since the day Royal Tickets launched until the API changes were put in place by UserVoice.

We tried to convince UserVoice that it’s important to have an admin/agent app for iOS and to make an exception to the 24 hour rule for Royal Tickets. We even offered to transfer ownership of the app to them. Unfortunately, they’re not interested in any of those options. This left us with no choice but to remove Royal Tickets from the App Store.

We’re committed to providing a pleasant user experience across all of our apps. UserVoice essentially made it impossible for us to provide that experience to our customers. We think it’s a bad decision by UserVoice and should they ever reconsider we’re open for discussions about the future of UserVoice on mobile devices.

We hereby apologize to all our Royal Tickets customers for the inconvenience caused. We really hope that UserVoice reconsiders their options and starts developing a mobile strategy for their platform.

Thx for your understanding,
The Royal Applications Team



Major Version Release

It has been two years since we released the last major versions of our products. In these two years, we were able to integrate a couple of great new features and a lot of smaller enhancements throughout all our products.

New in Royal TS V5 (for Windows) and Royal TSX V4 (for macOS)

User Interface Updates

Let’s start with a feature which is probably most visible to the user: the User Interface. In Royal TS V5 (for Windows) we invested heavily in making the app even better in high DPI scenarios. All the icons are now based on SVG (vector based) images which allows us to render them with the highest quality based on the DPI setting of the system. In addition, we also introduced a couple of default color schemes (nowadays everyone seems to love dark themes). Users can also define and even share their own color schemes individually. Even the colors used in all the icons can be tweaked to ensure best readability and contrast. You can read more about the UI updates for Windows in this blog post.

On the Mac, we not only have macOS Mojave support, we also fully support Mojave’s dark mode. By default, Royal TSX will “follow” your preference from the OS but you can also switch to light or dark mode independently in the Preferences. In this Royal TSX (for macOS) release we also finally added support for splitting tabs and allow resizing the properties dialog.

We also know that our users love to configure their objects with custom icons. That’s why we included the open source VMware Clarity icon library in our custom icon picker.

 

Dynamic Folders and Dynamic Credentials

One thing should be made clear: this is a game changer! Truly a first in the industry!

In a nutshell: you can write a script which populates a folder with connections, credentials, etc. dynamically based on your script output.

You may now ask: why do we (you) need this? Our main motivation came from a massive amount of feature requests about integrating with 3rd party systems like password vaults or PAM solutions or other data sources like Active Directory, AWS or Azure. It’s impossible for us to support and maintain each and every product out there. In addition, each user/company may use these products differently which makes it hard to support them in a way that all scenarios can be covered. But there’s one thing most of these products have in common: they have an API to access the data.

We already have a lot of sample scripts in our Github repository for various systems and we already have a growing community contributing to this repo. One of our users even posted a nice YouTube tutorial on how to make use of dynamic folders.

We support a variety of script interpreters on both platforms. All you need to do is, create a script which generates specific output (our well documented JSON format). With that, you can pull in data from everywhere you have script or API access to, and create your connections, credentials, tasks, subfolders, etc.

 

Remote Desktop Gateway Object

This has been on our todo list for quite a while. With the introduction of Royal Server and our deep Secure Gateway (automatic SSH tunneling) integration, we provided two object types called Royal Server and Secure Gateway. These object types helped you set up your connections and configure them to use the Royal Server or Secure Gateway to connect to.

We now have a similar concept for the Remote Desktop Gateway configuration. Instead of configuring the RD Gateway on each Remote Desktop connection, you can create a Remote Desktop Gateway object in your document and refer to the object from each connection (or even inherit it from its parent folder). This makes management and also credential assignment much easier. On top of that, you can also leverage the “Connect with Options” menu to either use a different Remote Desktop Gateway object or connect directly without the configured RD Gateway object.

 

More new stuff…

Our newest releases of Royal TS and Royal TSX have much more to offer. To learn more about the new features in our apps and plugins, please check out the following pages:

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

New in Royal Server V3

Document Store Security

In Royal Server V3 you can now configure which users/groups are allowed to use the document store component. Access rules, read/modify operations and grant/deny permissions for Windows users and groups are now supported.

 

Multi-Factor-Authentication (MFA) Support

You can enforce a second authentication (OTP) when a document is opened from a Royal Server. Our clients will prompt for the OTP (one time password) and only open the document when the code is valid.

 

Secure Gateway

One very popular feature of Royal Server is the Secure Gateway. It allows you to easily tunnel connections using SSH port forwarding through our server without the need of a 3rd party SSH server. So Royal Server is basically your SSH server and our newest release features a new core which is much more robust and secure. In addition, you now can control which encryption algorithms the client should use to tunnel your connections.

 

Dynamic Folder

As mentioned above, this is one of the new key features of our new clients versions. Instead of executing the dynamic folder script locally on the machine where Royal TS/X runs, you can configure the dynamic folder to execute the script on the Royal Server.

 

More new stuff…

A complete list of Royal Server improvements can be found here.

What’s new in Royal Passwords

Our Chrome and Firefox extension also got a couple of noteworthy enhancements:

Improved Security

When you use the browser extension for the first time, Royal TS/X will now ask you if you want to allow access and trust the browser that is querying the data. By default, Royal TS/X will now also check if the browser process that is requesting the data, is actually Google Chrome or Firefox. In case you are using a different browser with the extension you may disable this check in the Preferences/Options under “Browser Extensions”.

 

Web Connections

In the past, our browser extensions only showed credential objects. With this release, we will now also offer web connections from your document(s).

 

Custom Icons

If you assign a custom icon to your credential or web page connection, it will now also be shown in our browser extension.



User Interface Updates in Royal TS V5

A couple of weeks ago we released the beta of Version 5 of Royal TS for Windows. In this blog post we want to introduce a couple of things we changed in the user interface. We are still tweaking and optimizing V5, so there’s a good chance that some of the things might change or look a bit different.

Royal TS UI Color Scheme

1. General User Interface Changes

A “lighter” User Interface

As you can see in the screenshot above, Royal TS V5 now looks a bit “lighter”. If you look at the Navigation panel header, the tab header and even the split-line between the Navigation panel and the Dashboard tab, you will notice thinner lines and a more compact, flatter layout.

SVG Icons

We also made a huge effort to update all the icons we use in the user interface (even those coming from the plugins). All icons are now SVG based which means they are now vector based and not pixel based anymore. Back in V3 and V4 we needed 11 different pixel based images for each icon and use the appropriate size, depending on the DPI setting on Windows. This was already a huge improvement and made look Royal TS’ icons crisp and sharp even if you set your DPI setting to 200% (192 DPI) but it was also very hard to maintain. Every time we had to add a new icon or change an icon, we had to generate all the 11 variants of sizes up to 256×256 pixels.

In V5, all icons are now vector based SVG icons and will be scaled automatically based on the DPI setting. This also means that scaling up your display to 300 or more percent, will be no problem and all the icons will still look great!

There are no more “Skins”

Royal TS V2 up to V4 allowed you to switch to different skins and some skins also had different color schemes. Different skins also meant different styles and a dedicated “look-and-feel” for each skin. There were all sorts of skins available (like Office or Visual Studio inspired skins) but the reality was that depending on the skin we had to tweak a lot of our UI. This was a maintenance nightmare. We decided to drop the skins feature because most of the skins had one major flaw: most skins were pixel based which means that even when our icons look great, the rest of the UI does not. We decided to focus our efforts to the vector based skin and made sure Royal TS is ready to run on the high resolutions screens which are getting more and more affordable.

2. Introducing Color Schemes

On the View ribbon tab, there’s a new drop down button called “Color Schemes” with 4 built-in schemes: Default, Light, Dark and Black. This is pretty much what Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, and many other apps are offering nowadays. The Default scheme is the one you see in the above screenshot. This might change as we plan to still do some tweaking or maybe do a competition to let users submit color schemes we consider as our default scheme.

3. Custom Color Scheme

Now it gets interesting! Clicking “Custom…” in the Color Schemes dropdown shows the dialog you see above in the screenshot. Here are a couple of interesting things:

  • The drop down at the top allows you to choose from many, many pre-defined color schemes right out of the box. Once you selected the color scheme, hit the “Copy” button to copy all the color values from the selected scheme to the property grid. This way, you can quickly get started with a predefined scheme and tweak the colors as you wish.
  • Clicking on a color will show a short description at the bottom where this particular color will be used.
  • There are also “Icon Colors” available. Tweaking these colors allows you to set the colors used by all the icons in the UI. This way you can make sure that a black color in a black skin still has enough contrast to look great.
  • To get a better feel for the scheme, hit the Preview button to see how your current color scheme will look like.

In our usage statistics we see that roughly 10% of our beta users are going for a custom color scheme. That’s really impressive because we didn’t announce this feature yet.

4. Share your Color Schemes

The “Share” button allows you to share your color scheme with other users. We create a special link which instructs your browser to open Royal TS’ Color Scheme editor and set the color scheme for you to try. Click this link to try it. In case you have an older version of Royal TS installed after you installed the newer one, your browser might open the older version which doesn’t support color schemes. In this case you can still just copy the link into the clipboard and use the Copy drop down button to apply the colors to the property grid.

That’s it for now. We really hope that the updated look and feel is appealing to all of you. We also hope that the color customization options are a welcome addition. Please let us know what you think about these changes and if you like them or not.

To download the Royal TS V5 beta, follow this link.