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Why Use Centralis Contex for NT to Administrate Users in the NDS?

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Ewen Anderson

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Posted: 4 Mar 2002

Posted on 4 Mar 2002

Ewen Anderson is the Managing Director of Centralis, a Novell Solutions Partner who specialise in developing software to assist Novell / ZENworks administrators managing both PC and Citrix MetaFrame environments.


Centralis Contex is a tool for network administrators supporting users in a mixed eDirectory / Windows NT Terminal Server / Citrix MetaFrame environment. The software allows the administrator to manage key user settings from Novell's ConsoleOne, simplifying administration procedures and greatly reducing the time needed to create and manage user accounts in a multi-platform environment.

Who Needs Centralis Contex for NT?

Windows Terminal Server / Citrix MetaFrame Administrators

Anyone looking after integrated environments ends up using more than one management system to achieve even simple tasks. Administrators must enter information into consoles from Novell, Microsoft and Citrix, just to create or edit a user. Finding users and transferring information between consoles is time consuming and makes it difficult to maintain standards.

Novell's Account Management software (previously NDS for NT / NDS Corporate Edition) provides synchronisation of some fields, however administrators of thin client server users in a mixed eDirectory / NT Domain environment need extra functionality.

Centralis Contex is designed to help those administrators, by bringing all the information they need into one console -- ConsoleOne.

Fig 1: Centralis Contex for NT Profile page

From here, the administrator can:

  • Edit all the major user fields across the Novell / Microsoft and Citrix environments
  • Store standard settings for Terminal Server / Citrix MetaFrame in template users
  • Synchronise selected settings across multiple users
  • Automatically create user Aliases in a specified container

Administrators Managing RAS Dial-in Settings

Novell administrators often need to manage RAS dial-in settings for users connecting into both NT and Citrix MetaFrame environments. These settings can only be viewed through ConsoleOne on an NT environment, and cannot be edited.

Contex for NT enables Novell administrators to use ConsoleOne to grant users permission to use Dial-Up Networking for connecting to the network, and determine call-back settings if required. Because ConsoleOne is Java based, Contex for NT allows the administrator to manage these settings from any Java compliant platform.

Fig 2: Contex for NT Dialin Information page

Product Key Features

The product has the following key features:

  • Presented as a set of ConsoleOne snapin pages
  • No extension to your NDS / eDirectory schema
  • Exposes all Windows Terminal Server and Citrix MetaFrame user configuration settings
  • Supports single & multi-user editing
  • Multi-user editing allows selection of fields to be synchronised across multiple users
  • Supports the creation of Template users for all exposed settings
  • Can automatically substitute the username within profile and home directory paths for Template users and during single and multi-user edit
  • Allows management of RAS dial-in settings on a per user and template user basis
  • Supports NT 4 domain via NDS for NT / Corporate Edition / Account Management
  • Allows automatic creation of user Alias in specified container by adding it to the template user
  • Shipped with Centralis Lyncx for bulk user Alias creation
  • Pages are designed to have a similar ?look and feel' to Terminal Server user policy manager.

Cool Solutions Offer

Any Cool Solutions readers who order Contex up until the close of BrainShare 2002 will be provided with 12 months free upgrade protection. Simply quote "Cool Solutions offer" on the order to activate.

Useful Links

For more detailed information, please check out the Centralis Contex AppNote.

A limited functionality evaluation of the software is available from

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