Launching a Remote Desktop session from a hyperlink

If you are managing your network with a Visio diagram (either in Visio or on a web page), you might have wished that you could just click on a server shape and connect directly to that machine to administer it. I've seen people put these types of hyperlinks into their diagrams when their servers have web-based admin consoles, but it is a little harder right now if you want to use Remote Desktop to do the administration.

I've put together a little web service that lets that will automatically launch a Remote Desktop session from a simple hyperlink (a little more on how it works). To use it, you just create hyperlinks with the form\[\] , replacing [] with the actual name/ip of your server. Some examples (with fake servers, so don't actually try them):

To add hyperlinks in Visio, select the shape and type ctrl-k or go to the Insert>Hyperlink… menu item. With the magic of the ShapeSheet, you can pull the server name from Shape Data so you can just set up the hyperlink in the master rather than having to edit it individually in each shape.

As I note on the info page, if you use this service the hyperlink will be visible to me in my logs. I won't do anything with that information, but if you or your organization consider internal server names or IP addresses to be private please don't use this service.