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K-12 School Uses EMU to Create and Bulk Modify Novell Home Directories for Mac OS X Users

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Omni Technology Solutions Inc.

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Posted: 15 Aug 2007

"Omni's user account management tool, EMU, delivers great control and flexibility for our Novell eDirectory system," said Wayne Aaron, Director of Information Services for Savannah Country Day School. "Recently, we were faced with the challenge of creating and bulk modifying extended eDirectory schema values to create Apple home directories on our NetWare servers. Once again, EMU exceeded our expectations!"


Savannah Country Day School (SCDS) is a private K-12 school based in Savannah, Georgia, with a faculty, staff and student population of 1200. Like many K-12 schools, SCDS faces the challenge of creating and managing their student accounts and moving them from one server to another as they progress from lower to middle to upper school. An additional consideration for SCDS is their extensive use of Macintosh OS X machines.

During the past 15 years, SCDS has found that Novell eDirectory delivers more flexibility and control than any other directory system on the market. At times, however, the tools commonly used to bulk manage eDirectory accounts - ConsoleOne, iManager and UImport - have failed to meet their needs.

They then discovered EMU from Omni. EMU satisfies all their bulk user import and mass user management needs, including Macintosh home directories.

The Challenge

"We have been thrilled with NetWare since we began running it 15 years ago," said Wayne Aaron, Director of Information Services for Savannah Country Day School. "After migrating to NetWare 6, however, UImport became problematic and ConsoleOne, while still a good tool, failed to meet our bulk user account management needs."

"Our school district makes extensive use of Apple Macintosh computers and we needed support for Macs. We had found a way to integrate eDirectory and the OS X OpenLDAP service to empower our users in ways we had never before considered and to increase data reliability and security. The only problem was that eDirectory required a schema extension to support the Macintosh home directory and other values for student users. Bulk managing extended schema values with ConsoleOne, UImport or LDIF scripts isn't satisfactory."

Furthermore, we really needed a better strategy for bulk importing, creating, managing and deleting our GroupWise and eDirectory user accounts," continued Aaron.

The Solution

"That's when we discovered EMU from Omni."

"EMU gives us complete control and flexibility over how we bulk create and modify our student accounts and home directories," said Aaron. "It became evident to us that Omni Technology Solutions had created the bulk user account management capabilities that ConsoleOne should have had."

"When we contacted Omni to see if we could use EMU to bulk manage the Apple Macintosh home directory values we required, Omni rose to the challenge and the developer team quickly modified EMU to allow us to manage our extended schema attributes."

"It works like a charm. EMU now allows us to modify our Macintosh user home directory location and other values. Without EMU, I don't know how we would be able to get our school year started."

The Results

"If you are running Netware or OES in an educational environment, with or without Mac OS X users, you cannot be without EMU," said Aaron. "At every step of the way, Omni and EMU have met and exceeded our expectations. I strongly recommend EMU for all educational customers."

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