visionapp Releases free Terminal Server connection management tool

visionapp is the latest server-based computing consulting company to release freeware tools to the community.

visionapp is the latest server-based computing consulting company to release freeware tools to the community. (And as the community, we thank them, Login Consultants, BrainSys, Tek Workshop, and all the other companies who release free SBC tools!)

visionapp has just released a tool for administrators who have to connect to many different Terminal Servers. The tool, called visionapp Remote Desktop (vRD), is available from their website (although you must register to download it.)

vRD is similar to some others that are out there. (Royal TS, etc. See my toolbox page for a complete list.) It follows the “standard” approach where there is a left pane and a right pane. The left pane maintains a list of your servers, and the right pane is a tabbed interface that shows all your open RDP sessions.

The cool thing about vRD is that it lets you manage credentials separately from the connections. For example, I have two domains in my environment: “brianmadden” and “bmmail.” With vRD, I configure each set of credentials and then associate each new connection with them. Then when the credentials change, I only have one property to modify for many servers.

All of the configuration is stored in a visionapp registry key under HKCU\Software, so it’s very simple to copy or distribute configurations among employees.

vRD takes about 5 seconds to install, although it does require the .NET framework.

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Am I the only one who is paranoid of using these things? I mean it *is* possible that they have some the program copy the user credentials back to their servers, right? Although, I do also have the same fears of the open source rdesktop utils. I'm sure they are great tools and I know I'm missing out but . . .
And MS or Sun or anyone else couldn't? makes no difference if it's free, open soure, or private unless you audit the entire code base of every app your run, you'll never truly know will you?

Thanks, that makes me feel MUCH better! ;)
Thanks Jeff. But I also understand the fears that are out there. Just a couple of words, making things a little bit clearer.

I am the one who is technically responsible for this tool. Our company visionapp is rather small with about 100 employees, being absolutely dedicated to Terminal Server and Citrix technology. Now guess somebody would find out that we are "stealing" user credentials with our tool. A simple network sniffer could easily detect such a thing. The damage to our reputation would be severe. But visionapp wants to stay into business. We want to keep our Citrix Platimum status and protect our jobs. I personally want to be a Microsoft MVP in the future and I would like to keep on writing books for MS Press. There is too much to lose if we do a stupid thing.

visionapp Remote Desktop is a freeware tool, but provided by a company known in the SBC community. I bet, Jeff and Brian would come over to Germany and kick my ass if I would misuse the trust they have into me and our little tool.

Benny Tritsch
This looks like a very nice tool but I have been using one like this I made via the MMC console built into XP Pro. I like the password features that help yo log into both domains or server groups. Just funny to see something I have been using that looks like mine.

So you did? You realy managed to make your own mmc by clicking some AddOns / Plugins? Wow - how did you do that miracle?

I'm sorry if that sounds a little crude, but even more sorry for any users "blessed" with those "Drag'N'Drop"-Admins.
It's a useful tool, but credentials integration with the netware client would be a v.useful add-on.
Novell is dead.. Get over it already..
I perfer the CLI myself...
From what I understand, using a resource kit utility you can upload files to a TS server.

Trouble is that this is command line based. This program would be great if it included this feature
I like the source, it's so... Simple ;)

private void ReadResources()

public Credentials Credentials



this.m_tbDomain.Text = value.Domain;

Now that I know exactly how you encrypt and decrypt, it's easy to compile a simple hanger to collect everyone's password :)

I know that's not your goal, etc; but when you use compile a text encrypter you better use a lower level language instead of C# or at least use an obfuscator to prevent people from hijacking your code and eventually hijacking peoples password.

So, you want to show us your skills in .NET? We're all impressed ;-) Yes, we decided to use a rather simple method to encrypt the passwords for the freeware version of this tool. We only wanted to make sure that it is not so easy to decrypt the binary data in the registry including the user credentials if you do NOT decompile our vRD code and write your own vRD-specific decryption tool. In the same time you could write your own vRD.

BTW: For our commercial products we use a different encryption library, including obfuscating technologies and low-level routines in C. But here we talk about the first version of a freeware tool -- and we wanted to keep it simple. If you need something real secure, I'ld recommend that you buy a commercial product.

But I see your comment as valuable feedback. We may use our more advanced encryption lib for the next version of vRD. If this is a real requirement and makes our tool more valuable to the TS community, we will invest a little more time into this issue.

you can alreay upload files to the session:
If you open Windows Explorer in a sessions you will find your client drives mapped. Important is to configure the server to allow client drive mapping. In a W2K3 standard installation this is allowed by default.
This is not exactly the solution you wanted but at least you do not need to connect network shares to every server you want to manage.

Thanks for your efforts regading this program, Benny.

Working in a large company, I think that our eSecurity department would prefer that your code be obfuscated before I use a tool like this. That may be a little bit of justification to put the time into a little better security, even for a free tool.

As a request, do you think you may be able to schedule some time to work on a program that will filter the contents of these discussions based on the social skills of the anonymous poster?

Best Regards,

Jack Cain
That's just one of many things I never liked about .NET
You could also use a program called tsdropcopy by analogx.
For several reasons, some of the servers we manage have RDP on some port other than 3389. Any ideas on how to use this tool to access those servers?
Love the free app and thanks for taking the time to develop it, but in a future release can you extend the length of the password field?
Although I have a password definied, when opening a connection I always get the login screen with just username und domain filled in. Autologin does not seem to work. Any ideas? Apart from that this is a very useful tool.
is there possibly a way to increase the size of the window. In the RDP snap in the window is around a 1" bigger to the top. This seems to be filled with the description field now. I rather have the screen space. any ideas?