Inside Microsoft, we maintain a repository of tools written by our engineers and technical staff. Many of the tools that are posted are very specific to Microsoft engineering— tools to help developers and testers better manage their project in our internal source control system, provide better visibility into our internal bug/issue tracking system, etc. Since these tools are very specific to the Microsoft environment, most of them don't get released externally.

About eight months ago, I came across a tool in the repository called Remote Desktop Connection Manager ("RDCMan" for short) written by Julian Burger, one of our principal developers on the Windows Live Experiences team. RDCMan is a central place where you can organize, group, and manage your various Remote Desktop connections. This is particularly useful for system administrators, developers, testers, and lab managers who maintain groups of computers and connect to them frequently. As an example - my customer manages over 200 Exchange servers worldwide. Today, they maintain a configuration file for the Remote Desktops MMC with many of their servers. Of course, with 200 servers, it becomes difficult to maintain and navigate, as seen in the following screenshot.

Figure 1: Managing RDP connections in the Remote Desktops MMC

After I installed RDCMan, it was very clear that our customers and partners would benefit greatly from it, as it fills the gap nicely that the standalone Remote Desktop Connection application and the Remote Desktops MMC snap-in leave behind. Here's a screen shot of an organized RDCMan configuration with the servers organized by version (Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010), region (Chicago, Redmond) and then finally by Exchange role (Client Access, Hub Transport, Mailbox, etc.)

Figure 2: An organized RDCMan configuratoin

You'll also notice that there's a grid on the right side that has a thumbnail of each of the servers. Yes, RDCMan supports a live thumbnail view of your connected servers, as seen in the following screenshot.

Figure 3: RDCMan displays live thumbnails of your connected servers

I'll leave the other features for you to discover.

With Julian's blessing, I worked with our legal department, trademark group, engineering compliance, release support, and others to get RDCMan licensed for external distribution... and while it's been months in the works - today, I'm excited to announce that Remote Desktop Connection Manager is now available externally on the Microsoft Download Center - get it from http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=9733636.

David Zazzo

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Is there a way to hack the .rdg file or anything to ensure on clicking any server it *always connects to console*. I know there is a right click option for connect to console, but I don't want to be mindful of always remembering to connect to console. And its important for us to always be on the console.
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^^ delete my above comment. Have not noticed the "connect to console" setting in the "connection settings" properties window (it was initially disabled)
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Thanks for sharing.
Will not use it though, I'm happy with 'mRemoteNG' as it is.
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This is great but it would have been better if you can add this tool to other MMCs. I use Hyper-V Manager, Storage Manager, Certificate Services, AD, etc.. Sometimes I don't need to remote to the computer to run a task if I can run the tool specific for that task. Can you please have this tool added to existing MMC or replace it with the Remote Desktops tool?
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I dig it!  I'm a big RoyalTS user, but this is great.  Just to be able to sort is a major function that Remote Desktops lacked.

That being said, one thing (while neat) that I don't like is actively being able to interact with the thumbnails.  I like the thumbnails being active, but in viewable only.  That way, if I was to double click the thumbnail, it would open to the full screen, rather than having to double click the thumbnail "name bar" to open it to the full active screen.

I think it can be dangerous being able to click in the thumbnail, not really see what's happening depending on the size, and being able to accidentally perhaps change some random stupid display settings...or worse.  Yes, the likelihood is minimal...but still possible.
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Just a quick note: We had in our possession version 1.42, and when we attempted to open an RDG file built under 1.42 on 2.2, it popped up with an error regarding some kind of 'failure to inherit...', and it wipe the file clean! Caused a bit of a panic over here. Thank goodness for backups! Any tips on how to import/open a v1.4 RDG file?

Thanks in advance,

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I love it!
Some little feature requests:
- Option to import .rdp-files
- realvnc compatible
a tool that can manage both protocols would cover our entire remote management strategy and be sooo much more useable.

thank you for this!
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Eager to start using this tool against my Hyper-V server
Anyone know how to easily list the VMs on a hyper-V server?
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Connect to console can be set to inherit from group or can be overridden.
Go to your group or root level, select the connection settings tab and enable the Connect to Console tab.

Also, regarding transferring the config file to another user.  If your credentials at the root level are set to inherit from parent, the settings use the credentials you are logged onto your local machine with.  I just gave my config file to a co-worker and it is showing his credentials.

GREAT tool!  I am telling everyone about it.  Still loving the "new car smell"
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Nice tool but found a bug in the List Sessions window that crashes the whole application. I've submitted a Connect bug report with the details here:  https://connect.microsoft.com/site1049/feedback/details/583412/list-sessions-window-crashes-entire-a...
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I've used the free version RoyalTS for while. So far I like RDCMan alot. I have three enhancement requests presented in ease of implementation.

First one should be easy: Display the Comment in the thumbnail view. While the displayname could be changed to include additional info, it would clutter the tree.

Second one is to be able to list information on a group in a table format (like in RoyalTS). Some default columns would be 'Folder', 'Display name', 'Server name', 'Description', 'User name', 'Domain'.

Third one is to be able to store various system info: OS Ver, SP, CPU info, Memory, List of drives/sizes. Especially if a matching script can be run to capture that information and just copy/paste RDCMan.
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Looks like a nice tool, but limited compared to what can be done with VisionApp.  If all you need to do is manage RDP connections, this tool will work for you.  But if you connect to ICA, VNC, telnet, SSH, and HTTP/S as well as RDP, then I would suggest checking out VisionApp.  Definitely worth the money.
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Where are the .rdg files???  I just want to move them to another machine so I don't have to rebuild my list which is now considerable.  They appear to be hidden but no amount of 'showing hidden/system' files helps.  I run explorer as admin but still can't see them.  I can see the paths listed in rdcman properties for the groups.  The path says: "C:Program FilesRemote Desktop Connection ManagerMyConnections.rdg".   But when I navigate there via windows explorer, nothing is there.  If I try to rename the group and specify a new path, it works, but in the new path it doesn't show in windows explorer.  I even tried to copy from the rename dialog box and paste somewhere else but then I get windows error saying that that the source path doesn't exist.

Really confused, what is going on here?  Is this a feature or a bug?

How do you export/copy these to a new machine?  For that matter, how would I backup these configurations if they can't even be found where rdcman says they are?

OS: Windows 7 32bit
RDCMan 2.2
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To connect to Hyper-V servers:
Install the RDCMan on the server where Hyper-V server
On the Hyper-V clients....need to enable the Remote Desktop Connection...before tying to connect

You should be able to add the Hyper-V Clients!
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The system forced me to use administrator or equivalent account to login.  I do not have to when I use the regular remote desktop client
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A feature request:
-Option to password protect the .rdg file.