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NDS Snoop: Look before You Leap

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench

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Posted: 11 Nov 1999

One of our dyed-the-wool NDS engineers recommended NDS Snoop to our editorial staff as a really cool NDS tool. NDS Snoop was originally created by the NDS Consulting team, and it has made the rounds since that time. So...we bring you NDS Snoop this week as a recommendation from an engineer in the trenches, but behind the firewall. Enjoy.

Here's your chance to try your NDS changes on for size before you roll them out to all your production servers. NDS is a powerful service and it's mission critical in most shops too. This underscores why making large-scale changes to NDS can be more than a little nerve-wracking. Indeed, many a seasoned administrator has polished his or her resume and noted the names of a few good head-hunters before they've started the task.

NDS Snoop, the Leatherman of software tools, is a conglomeration of five groovy tools that will help you prototype changes to your NDS system, so you can assess the damage before you actually do the deed. Here's what you'll find all rolled up into NDS Snoop. Did we mention that it's a freebie? Well, it is.

NDS Browser: The NDS browser can be used to view any NDS object and its corresponding attribute values. The browser lets you browse any NDS tree in your enterprise network. Just click the up-arrow of the Containers list box until you see all of the trees in your system displayed. Of course, if you select a tree that you haven't authenticated to, you will have [Public] access only to that tree.

Schema Viewer: The Schema Viewer tool is used to read all of the attribute and object class definitions from NDS. Expand each definition name to see its corresponding attributes. The object class super class hierarchy includes all of its super class lineage to Top. You can determine which attributes are derived from each super class by its icon displayed in the tree view. Matching icons indicate that those attributes were defined for the corresponding super class.

Schema Manager: The Schema Manager tool is used to create NDS schema attribute and class definitions. You must have sufficient rights to the [Root] of the tree to use the Schema Manager. If you do not have sufficient rights, all fields are disabled and the message "You must have Admin Equivalent rights to use the Schema Manager!" displays at the bottom of the view. Populate the fields with the desired values and select the desired operation for the attribute or object class definition.

NDS Query: The NDS Query tool can be used to build complex search filters to Query NDS for objects that adhere to specific search criteria. For example, you could search for all User objects that have an Telephone Number that begins with 555. This tool is useful to determine if you can search for a attribute value or new object you have just added to the NDS tree.

Object Manager: The Object Manager is used to create, delete, rename or move any NDS object. This tool can be used to create an object of a new custom NDS Object Class schema extension you have just added. In addition, Object Manager, automatically determines what the object's mandatory attributes are and allows you to add values for each.

Object Editor: The Object Editor can be used to add values for almost (SYN_STREAM, SYN_OCTET_STRING types are not supported in this release) any attribute type for all NDS object classes. For example, you could add a value for a new attribute class definition "Social Security Number" to an existing NDS object.

Usage Example: NDS Snoop can be used to prototype a complete NDS project without writing a single line of code. For example, suppose you wanted to create a new object class called Toaster. You would use the following tools to prototype your project:

  1. Use the Schema Manager to create a new object class named Toaster.
  2. Use the Schema Viewer verify that the new object class Toaster has the proper schema components defined.
  3. Use the Schema Manager to add an additional optional attribute to the Toaster object class (e.g. Toast Preference for defining light or dark toast).
  4. Use the NDS Browser to navigate to the location within the NDS tree where you would like to create an NDS object of type Toaster.
  5. Use the Object Manager to create an object of type Toaster.
  6. Use the Object Editor to add additional values to the instance of the Toaster object you just created.
  7. Use the NDS Query tool to search the tree for all objects of type Toaster that have the Toaster Preference value set to Light.

Once you have verified that your NDS design is sound you are ready to begin writing the code to support the operations used in NDS snoop to prototype the NDS project.

Sound groovy? Download NDS Snoop here, and give it a try.

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