Disabling RES VDX

If you’re like me you spend a lot of time on customer sites and a vast amounts of time using the RDP client to connect to various client machines and servers. It may just be me, but I find the whole RES VDX popup notification when starting an RDP session rather distracting. It’s fine if the client has the VDX Engine installed in the hosted desktop, but more often than not they don’t. Worse still, when integrating RES Workspace Manager with VDX it becomes even more frustrating when connecting with Admin accounts as, typically, the RES Workspace Composer is disabled. This results in VDX connecting in “time trial” mode, bringing the local applications through into the remote session and then dropping them with a pop up notification. Grrrr!

It’s for this very reason that I set off looking for how to disable the integration and allow me to re-enable it if necessary for testing. I checked the available Administration Pack but it doesn’t allow us to suppress the notification so off I went to Google. It didn’t take too long to find out where the RDP and ICA add-in settings are stored in the registry. The ICA key is only created if the Online and the locations are different for RDP and ICA..

Key 32-bit/64-bit: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default\AddIns\RESVDX
Value: Name
Type: REG_SZ
Data 64-bit: C:\Program Files\RES Software\VDX Plugin\VDXRDPPlugin_x64.dll
Data 32-bit: C:\Program Files\RES Software\VDX Plugin\VDXRDPPlugin_x86.dll

Key 32-bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\ICA Client\Engine\Configuration\Advanced\Modules\RESVDX
Key 64-bit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\ICA Client\Engine\Configuration\Advanced\Modules\RESVDX
Value: DriverNameWin32
Type: REG_SZ
Data: VDXICAPlugin.dll

The simplest solution I’ve found is to rename the plugin DLL references in the registry so they’re not loaded. Renaming the individual registry keys doesn’t appear to work as the Add-In keys are still enumerated even though the key names have changed. I, for example, rename the above .dll filenames to .dl_ in the registry to disable the integration and set them back when needed. I have 2 .REG files; one to disable the integration and one to enable to make my life easier because I’m like that!

BigHand Digital Dictation and RES Automation Manager – License file update

Following on from the BigHand Digital Dictation and RES Automation Manager – BHF File Locations post, I’ll show you how easy it is to update the BigHand license files across all BigHand servers in your estate with RES Automation Manager.

Managing your BigHand Digital Dictation system using RES Automation Manager

BigHand is a powerful dictation product used in many environments, but most prevalent in the Legal and Medical sectors.  With enhancements such as speech recognition and workflows more and more users are relying on this business critical tool. In these posts I will go through the automation of two of the most common tasks required on the system; Updating license files and locating a dictation file.

Update license files

License files are supplied by BigHand as a .lic file.  They must be located in a particular location on every BigHand server in your environment.  If you have a BigHand file store server in every site, BigHand gateway for telephony or Mobile client there can quickly become lots of servers requiring a license file, this is a time consuming process which can easily be automated and here’s how.

Stop services
All the BigHand services should be stopped before you can update the license file.  These need to be done in a particular sequence.  For this you can use Service properties (Manage) task in the Configuration folder.

  1. Stop Branch site BigHand services (If you only have 1 BigHand server you can ignore this)
    a. On the settings tab select Change Service State
    b. In service name enter BigHand Server x.x (where x.x is the version number) or you can connect to the server using the browse button and select the service
    c. In New Service State select Stop service.
    d. You need to set a condition on this task so that it only runs for branch sites, so select the condition tab.
    e. Under expressions select Add and then Registry Setting
    f. Click the browse button next to the Operand field and connect to your Master BigHand server’s registry.  Drill down to the following key and double click: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\BigHand\BHServer_x.x\ServerGuid
    g. The Operand and Value will be added to the fields, ensure the operator is equals and click Ok.
    h. Select “If the condition is TRUE then Skip this task”.
    i. Select “If the condition is FALSE then Execute this task, but skip all remaining tasks in this module” and click OK.
  2. Stop all Master services
    a. Create another 5 Manage service tasks and repeat steps a – c for the following services (the order is important to avoid conflicting dependencies):
    i. BigHand Gateway service
    ii. BigHand External Workflow server service
    iii. BigHand Active directory service
    iv. BigHand Services host service
    v. BigHand Server x.x service

Backup old license file and copy new license file

  1. Click Add and Select Files (Perform operations) from the configuration folder
    c. On the settings tab click add and select Delete as the action type
    d. In the source path enter C:\Program Files\Common Files\BigHand\BHServer.old (Default location) and click OK.
    e. On the settings tab click add and select Rename as the action type
    f. In the source path enter C:\Program Files\Common Files\BigHand\BHServer.lic
    g. In the Destination path enter C:\Program Files\Common Files\BigHand\BHServer.old and click OK.
    h. Ensure Ignore Errors is checked and click OK.
    i. Click Add and select Resource (Download) from the provisioning folder
    j. On the settings tab click Add and browse to the license file resource
    k. Check specify destination folder, in the destination enter C:\Program Files\Common Files\BigHand\  and click OK.
    l. Clone both of the File tasks you have just created, open them and change the source and destinations to C:\Program Files\BigHand\BigHand Services\
    m. These two file tasks will need conditions so they only run on the master server, click the Conditions tab and click add
    n. Select registry setting and add the value from 1f above.
    o. Select If true Execute and If false Skip task and click OK

Start services

  1. For this you can use the Service properties (Manage) task in the Configuration folder again, except this time you must select Start service as the new service state.  The jobs must run in the following order:
    a. BigHand Active directory service
    b. BigHand External Workflow server service
    c. BigHand gateway service
    d. BigHand services host service
    e. BigHand Server x.x service (Master site)
    f. BigHand Server x.x service (Branch).
  2. Be sure to set a condition on these using the BigHand server GUID as before, that way the job will not try to start services that do not exist.
  3. That’s it, you’re done.
  4. Finally, you could configure a job to check each service and email the results.