Why Dashboards?

In Royal TS V1 we introduced dashboards for terminal services sessions and since 1.7.x we also extended that dashboard to view Hyper-V instances. When you clicked on a folder we were just hiding the remote desktop dashboard and showed a list view with the contents of the folder.

A big challenge in Royal TS V2 was to combine the long requested tabbed view for the connections and the already known and loved dashboards from Royal TS V1.x. In Royal TS 1.x switching between folder views, dashboards and connection was easy because there was no tab and by simply switching between these views, navigation felt very natural. Now with tabs, it’s not that easy anymore. A lot of hard thinking, testing prototypes and user feedback led to a solution with a “special” tab called “Dashboard”.

The Dashboard Tab

By default, the dashboard tab appears in the tab bar and shows its content according to the selection in the navigation panel. So every time you change a selection in the navigation panel, the dashboard is updated and even selected if you change you selection from a connected item to a folder or disconnected item.

There are different dashboards showing up in the dashboard tab. Which one is shown depends on the type of object you select in the navigation panel. The following dashboards are available:

Dashboard Selection Type Description
Folder Dashboard Document or Folder This dashboard is shown when you select a folder or document and shows the folder content. Used to sort, find, select for edit and connect/disconnect.
Remote Desktop Dashboard Remote Desktop Connection This dashboard is shown when you select a remote desktop connection. The dashboard displays Hyper-V instances (if Hyper-V mode is enabled) and the terminal services session list. You can also interact with Hyper-V instances and terminal services sessions.
Web Page Dashboard Web Page Connection This dashboard is shown when you select a web page connection. It allows you to display and browse the web page without opening a tab.
Task Dashboard Task This dashboard shows a list of all objects which are referring to the task.
Credential Dashboard Credential This dashboard shows a list of all objects which are referring to the credential.
Template Dashboards Template This dashboard provides access to: editing the template, creating new connections based on the template and creating an ad hoc connection.

Docking

The dashboard tab can be closed, docked to the edges, or tabbed on the tab bar (default). When it’s closed, you can bring it back by clicking on the Dashboard button (located on the Home ribbon tab). If the dashboard is docked you can also click the pin glyph to auto-hide it.

As the title suggests, this blog post is about the

Folder Dashboard

As mentioned before, the folder dashboard shows the contents of a selected document and folder. It provides many features helping you to organize and find stuff therefore it is the number one tool for managing a large number of objects. Let’s explore the features and elements of the folder dashboard:

Columns

The dashboard view shows a couple of columns by default. Right-clicking on the column headers lets you open the “Column Chooser” and add additional column to the view. One notable column is the URI column. You may wonder why we named it URI and the reason is, that the folder dashboard shows different connection types and while RDP connections for example have a “host name” or “IP address”, web page connections have a “URL”. So we chose the common denominator URI.

Quick Filter

All column headers display a little filter glyph when you hover your mouse over the column header. Clicking on the glyph allows you to quickly filter the list based on selection of that column filter.

Search

The search box allows you to search for a string fragment (case insensitive) across all visible columns. As you can see in the screenshot, it also marks the found fragments in the list.

Filter

The filter toggle buttons work the same way as in the navigation tree. Clicking on the bright light bulb shows you all connections which are currently connected, clicking on the other one shows you only connections currently not connected. Clicking on a button again, clears the filter.

Options

The options drop down menu offers the following features:

Reset Resets all filters
Reset when selection has changed Resets filters when you select another filter (default). When you uncheck this item, the configured filter will always be applied while navigating different folders/documents.
Show items from subfolders When this item is checked, the list will show all items from the folder and all items in all subfolders.
Automatically fit all columns When checked, the column headers will adapt to best fit its content.
Best-fit all column This will best fit the columns just this one time.
Toggle Group-By-Box Shows/hides the “Group-By-Box” above the column headers allowing you to drag one or more columns on it in order to group the list.
Toggle Column-Filter Shows a quick-filter pane below the column headers allowing you to filter each column individually.
Show Column-Chooser Shows the column chooser window allowing you to drag additional columns to the column header.
Show Filter-Editor Shows the filter editor window allowing you to create very complex filter expressions.

Conclusion

As you can see, the folder dashboard is a very powerful component. You may ask yourself, why do I need that? And the answer to that is, you most likely do not need that most of the time. I think most users are happy with the default behavior of the folder dashboard and may use the occasional filter, set up their columns they are interested in and leave it at that. But users who need to manage several hundred connections will be very pleased with the more advanced stuff. Those users can filter, sort, prepare their list of connections and use bulk-edit to update their connections quickly and comfortably.

cheers,
Stefan

Previous Post Next Post