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I have a accounting package called Southware. It is installed on a Windows 2003r2 server. Each user uses RDC (remote desktop connection) to connect to the server from their workstation (Win7 and WinXP) and start a session of Southware. We get each session started by using "Program path and file name" under the Program tab of RDC on each Workstation. Once the user is finished they exit Southware and the RDC window closes seamlessly.

The client for our old Accounting package (Tinyterm) had a feature to add keyboard hotkeys. Users loved it for adding long P.O. destriptions of commonly ordered products. Well unfortunately there is no such feature in either Windows or RDC.

I've looked into an Open Source utility called AutoHotKey. I was able to create a batch script on the server that started both Southware and AutoHotKey from the programs tab, and everything worked great. The only problem being, the RDC windows no longer closed after the user exited from Southware. I have to manually run Task Manager as Administrator on the server and kill the session of AutoHotKey for the particular user. This unfortunately is not acceptable.

Is there a way to, instead of writing a script, add two programs to "Program path and file name" under the Program tab? Is it possible to stably run a program like AutoHotKey or AutoIt as a service? Is it possible to execute an exit script with RDC? Can I somehow end the AutoHotKey process automatically as soon as the Southware process ends? Am I thinking about this whole process all wrong? Is there a better way to do it?

Thanks in advance.

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I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Of course there's a Windows Server 2003 R2. I can screen copy the system properties that read "Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2" if you'd like. I guess you could claim it's only 2003sp1 with an extra disk of goodies. But I'm not here to argue semantics and I am pretty sure it's not going to influence the answer. I could be wrong though. – Albion Dec 6 '12 at 15:19
Does the Remote desktop window close if you load AutoHotKey, but don't actually use it? – sgmoore Dec 6 '12 at 16:16

You could use this:

to monitor the process and then run something to close autohotkey

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Although I feel kinda stupid for not seeing this right away, there's a much easier answer to my question. Load AutoHotKey and the scripts on the local workstation instead of the remote desktop session. They will work in the terminal window just fine.

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