Because NetMeeting is no longer supported and neither Windows Meeting Space nor Microsoft SharedView satisfy my needs, I decided to develop a desktop sharing application on my own. Since Windows Vista, a Desktop Sharing API comes with the OS that allows you to gain access to the Remote Desktop functionality. Participants can connect via IP address, invitation file, and connection string.
The program consists of two parts: the server and the viewer. The server is used to show the desktop of the computer it is running on to other people. The viewer is used to view the desktop that is shared by the server. The viewer can also control the computer it is connected to.
Desktop Sharing 2009 is open source software. It is published under the GNU General Public License. The current version is version 1.1.
A list of participants is maintained by the server as well as by the viewer. Please note that the server itself is not included in this list. You can use this list to disconnect particular participants from the server. Select the participants you want to kick out with the left mouse button. Hold the CTRL or SHIFT key to select more than one item in the list. Then click with the right mouse button into the list. The context menu for the list appears and shows two menu items. Click onto "Disconnect" to kick out the selected participants. If the server is not running, the items in the context menu are disabled because these functions cannot be used by the viewer.
The settings can now be saved to a file, either on program exit or on demand. The settings are always loaded on program start if the file is available. Otherwise, the default settings are used. The global settings tab features a check box designated "Save settings on exit", which is checked by default, and a button to save the settings when pressed. The settings are saved to a file named "ds09.cfg" in the directory where the program is installed. Please make sure that the program is allowed to write to this file. To reset the settings to the default values, just delete this file.
Desktop Sharing 2009 features a new logo that has been created by Tim Polder. It comes in two versions: One for the executable file and for the link on your desktop and another version for the window title bar.
A lot of bugs have been fixed.
To share your desktop with other people, your first action is to start the server by clicking the "Start" button in the "Server Control" section on the server tab. You can pause the server to temporarily prevent the attendees from seeing your desktop. If you choose to stop the server, all attendees get disconnected and any invitations you sent out become invalid. Your second step is to get other people connected to your server.
Use the viewer to view the desktop shared by a server. Your first step is to connect to a server.
If the connection has been successfully established, a second window opens that shows the desktop of the server to you. You can enable the SmartSizing view option to adapt the displayed shared desktop to the size of the viewer window. You can use the full screen view option to switch the viewer window to full screen mode. This feature comes with multi-monitor support, which is very cool if both, the server and the viewer, have multiple monitors. You can request control over the computer you are connected to by clicking onto "Request Control" on the viewer tab.
.NET Version: DesktopSharing2009V11.zip
Native 32-bit Version: not available
Native 64-bit Version: not available
Source Code: DS09V11_source_code.zip
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