A little while back, I was working on a project that involved migrating from Novell NetWare and eDirectory to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Active Directory, with a large handful of eDirectory login scripts that were to be edited throughout the migration process. We mostly just wanted to keep track of the changes in the scripts as the migration occurred, but we also wanted to rapidly re-validate the scripts in case other changes were being made by other staff members. I had access to a licensed software tool that mostly accommodated this purpose; but it was cumbersome, and I wished for something simpler and more effective.
By the time I had moved on to my next customer engagement, I was once again faced with the need for such a piece of software. However, this time it would be on a much larger scale; this time I would be needing the tool to inspect and track around 20 different eDirectory trees, with up to hundreds of login scripts per tree.
Around the same time, Donte (fellow Coreteker extraordinaire) was working on a similar customer project, and commiserated with me on the phone one evening about the lack of an efficient, affordable, effective eDirectory login script mass-export tool. We decided on that call that we would have a little personal bet to find one that was better than the tools we had; and guess what…
At some point, I suddenly remembered a set of lectures I had attended in the past by Peter Kuo of DreamLAN Consulting, and recalled that they had produced a tool for management of Novell login scripts. I managed to locate their “xSCRIPT” tool on Novell’s Cool Solutions; and though it appeared that it was created over a decade ago as part of the “NDS Toolkit”, I decided to contact them to see if it was still available and supported.
Fortunately, Peter immediately responded. He informed me that while xScript is still available, he wondered if I would be interested in a newer LDAP-based version that is faster, more flexible, and more robust. I was certainly interested!
It is called the Login Script Tools Gadget, and is part of a larger LDAP Gadget suite of products. Peter provided a trial version to allow me to prove that it was the perfect tool for the job. The price is amazing at around $50 per eDirectory tree! Even better, since the customer had more than 15 eDirectory trees, we were permitted to purchase a “Site” license, at around $500 (still amazing).
We have installed it, used it, and loved it. It has been a lifesaver in the trenches of the migration from NetWare to Windows Server!
And now my next problem… I need to try and remember what I had bet Donte, in order to collect whatever my prize is…
Now you know the back-story, and the information about the helpful software; in a future post, I’ll reveal some of the cool ways we used it.
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Tags: Microsoft, Server Migrations, Windows Server 2008 R2