Managing All Those Environment URLs

A few years ago I started a project with a new customer. When I was granted access to their DEV, QA, and PROD environments I was given a bookmark file that contained all of the URLs I would need to manage and administer their systems (for example: DA, Webtop, and various D2 applications).  Generally, these URLs are not too hard to remember, but there are subtle differences in their construction across the three environments (e.g., port numbers and host names).  This list also contained some not-so-easy to remember URLs like the xPlore Index Agent and the DFS WSDL location.  I was impressed; this simple bookmark file saved me a lot of time not having to compile it myself.  But I wanted more….

This bookmark file saved me time when I needed access to a web application, but it didn’t help with ssh, scp, or rdp access to the servers.  For those protocols I needed to use putty, WinSCP, and mstsc (Remote Desktop Connection) respectively, which meant I had essentially four lists of host names\URLs per environment — that’s 12 lists with over a hundred hosts\URLS!  I’m sure there are dozens of solutions to this problem — some probably even contain password management, but here is my simple, bare-bones solution to this problem, in an environment where I had limited Desktop control.

I created a simple Word document (see Image 1) that contained tables with all the application URLs and host names I needed access to.  I then saved this document as a ‘Web Page, Filtered’ HTML document to my Desktop.  I opened the HTML file in my browser, and made it my default homepage (see Image 2).  Now I have instant access to these URLs and hosts from either the browser or the Desktop.

Creating URLs for the web applications (e.g., Webtop, DA) was simple.  Creating links for the ssh, scp, and rdp host names required a little trickery.  Somehow I needed to associate the ssh://, scp://, and rdp:// protocols with their respective clients (putty, WinSCP, and mstsc).  Fortunately, JJ Clements had already figured this out and published two very clever little batch files that solved the problem nicely (rdp  and ssh/scp).  My only caveat with using these batch files is that you may need to alter them slightly depending upon where you installed putty and WinSCP, and whether you can write to your C:\Windows directory.


url_wordImage 1 – Word document url_htmlImage 2 – HTML document


Now I have one place from which I can access all of the applications and hosts I need to manage.  I created one document for each environment (DEV, QA, and PROD) and linked them together.  (This allows me to fit all of the links on a single page without having to scroll.)  Since a Word document is the storage location for all the URLs and hosts, it can easily be updated and shared among project teams.  I have used this solution several times and have found it to be extremely helpful, so I thought I would pass on the idea to a larger audience; perhaps you will find it useful too.


3 Responses to Managing All Those Environment URLs

  1. Alvaro de Andres says:

    I’ve used several solutions for this stuff: windows sticky notes, securecrt/mremote/mremoteng/royalts, launchy/executor.. Maybe I’ll do a post about “usefull” tools for administration/development 😀


  2. Pingback: Managing Site URLs | Armedia Blog

  3. Pingback: Managing Site URLs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: