How to connect to a remote desktop via Airtable?

Hi guys,

We have multiple servers with remote desktop access, and we’re using them on a daily basis.
The current solution is a sheet with the server IP, username, and password. As you can imagine, it makes it very difficult and inefficient to search the relevant server, insert its address and credentials, and log in.

In order to solve this problem, I’ve started to read and look for a solution.
The first and easy-to-implement solution I’ve found is to create an “RDP” (Remote Desktop Protocol) file, with the relevant credentials - and connect directly to the server without the need of adding credentials each time.
Still, from what I’ve seen - you can’t create a hyperlink to this file, either locally or on the web.

So, I’m looking for a creative way to add a column to my table with a direct link to each server. The ideal is that a user clicks on the link, and the session opens and logs in automatically, but we’ll be more than satisfied also with a simple link to open the login page and the users will add the credentials manually.

We’re trying to prevent from using a web interface such as chrome remote desktop and other tools, but we will use it if there’s no other solution.

Does anyone try something like this before?
Any lead, guidance, or suggestion will help here. Thanks in advance for your attention.

Do that and upload them as attachments in an attachment field. Clicking the attachment should open the RDP client.

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Thanks for your response Bill!
I’ve tried it, but for some reason, Airtable shows the RDP file as audio file.


Airtable is wrong (of course) if it is really Airtable that’s interpreting the document as such. It wouldn’t surprise me though as they have been a bit lax in understanding the abstract definition of an attachment.

But, as evidenced by this discussion, we cannot rule out the possibility it is the browser causing this.

One approach -

  • Create a button that fires a script and links to the RDP document from script.
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Thanks again for your attention @Bill.French

I saw the thread, but it’s related to Firefox and we’re using Chrome.
Can you explain more about creating a button that fires a script? what would be the script? Maybe we can solve this issue by doing that.
Any examples for this script, sources, and explanation will help.
Thanks so much again!

You didn’t get the point of the comment. By evidence of the discussion concerning the handling of mime types, it is clear that browsers are able to interpret RDP mime types at will. Perhaps Chrome is doing that in addition to Fire Fox. I would explore that thread with an eye toward similar aspects that could be preventing Chrome users from running RDP shortcuts just to be sure that there are no remedies along that axis.

Your issue also sounds a lot like this one and the remedy was this.

On the web server where the webserver.rdp file is stored, please make sure there is a mime type entry for extension .rdp set to application/x-rdp

So, my point is - this could be client-side, or server-side. Ideally, you want to determine what the cause is and without question, it appears the issue mime-related.

As evidenced in this thread, it’s likely you’re dealing with a security issue; executing local apps from a browser is generally frowned upon as evidenced here.

May I suggest the use of a browser based RDP client? You have open source choice nowadays, from Guacamole FreeRDP-WebConnect if you have Linux servers or Myrtille for Windows. There are also commercial software, with more features (it depends on your needs) like 2X RDP client or LogMeIn.

Sure, here’s a general idea that I was thinking, but be ware - I’ve not done this nor is there more than a roulette wheel’s chance that this will work:

  1. Create some records with RDP documents attached.
  2. Create a Script Block that allows you to select a record.
  3. Program the script to read the URL value of the attachment for the chosen record.
  4. Use to launch the URL.

If the script allows you to open the RDP client, you have a working model that could be wired up to a button that fires the script for each record’s attached RDP configuration.

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Scripting app does not have access to the DOM. This includes the window object.

Scripting app could show the url for the user to click, and the link will open in a new window, but Scripting app cannot directly open a new window by itself.

Not can it open an executable desktop app, but at least something better than his current situation. A link will invoke the parent’s method.

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