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Stick a Fork in it: 1998 Novell Developer Workshop Tour Series Well Done

Articles and Tips: article

DeveloperNet Content Manager
Novell Developer Services

01 Mar 1999

DeveloperNet's highly successful 1998-1999 Novell Developer Workshop Tour ended in January, with full-to-capacity turnout in three cities in China, and concluding with two stops in Brazil. This article discusses highlights of the workshop tour.


Ready to heat up your developing ambitions? The 1999-2000 Novell Developer Workshops are coming. If you have even a lukewarm interest in attending, you will want to register when it is announced in city near you. Be sure to arrive early for the best seats. Or, for that matter, any seat. The 1998-1999 Novell developer workshops were packed with developers, administrators, and other network professionals soaking up the latest information and asking great questions about advancing their Novell-based development with open tools and interfaces.

Figure 1: Standing room only in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Novell Developer Workshop Tour

DeveloperNet's highly successful 1998-1999 Novell Developer Workshop Tour ended in January, with full-to-capacity turnouts in three cities in China, and concluding with two stops in Brazil. In total, nearly 5,000 Java, C/C++, script, database, and directory developers flocked to these groundbreaking events in 37 stops on the tour, which began in the US in September.

  • "Keep those Beans and ActiveX controls coming!" Exit survey comment

With ten separate sessions on NetWare 5, Novell Directory Services (NDS), Java and Oracle development offered in each workshop; developers in attendance found what they were looking for. They learned about the Novell Developer Kit, Novell's new single interface to all of its open APIs (Application Program Interfaces), all of the cool new tools, the Novell Developers' Contest, DeveloperNet University and more. They left with NetWare 5 trial CDs, and other DeveloperNet resources; the ability to build better solutions, and answers to most of their development questions.

  • "Can you call my boss and tell him I need more time to develop?" Exit survey request

Workshops began with a Welcome Session and overview of the Novell development environment, including a brief introductions of new products, development tools, and market opportunities Novell and DeveloperNet have to offer. From there, ten separate sessions provided attendees with a choice of in-depth coverage of specific development topics, such as:

  1. Getting started with NDS development

  2. Getting started with NetWare 5 development

  3. The Java environment for NetWare

  4. New tools for developing to NetWare 5

  5. Developing to Oracle8 on NetWare

  6. Accessing NDS via LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, Java and ADSI (Active Directory Service Interface)

  7. Developing to ConsoleOne

  8. Developing to NetWare 5's new features

  9. Developing to NDS via ActiveX, ODBC, Scripting and JavaBeans

  10. NetWare and WebLogic's Tengah Java Application Server

Veteran and novice developers soaked up all the best presenting Novell engineers had to offer, and asked pointed questions about Novell, NDS and NetWare 5 development. Questions ranged from the slightly out-of-touch; "How is [Corel] WordPerfect doing these days?" to the philosophical: "Why should my company leverage NDS instead of Netscape or Microsoft Active Directory?", while others posed more specific technical questions, such as:

Q. Does the Netscape FastTrack Server that comes with NetWare 5 support Java Servlets?

A. Servlet Gateway for NetWare is now available in the Novell Developer Kit. It is a CGI program that can quickly and easily execute JavaBean components and regular Java classes. Programming with Servlet Gateway for NetWare allows you to write Java servlets that run alongside the Netscape FastTrack Server.

Q. Is it possible to update NDS using Novell's ODBC Driver for NDS or can this only extract (select) data from the NDS? Is there another way to accomplish this task?

A. Our current release of our NDS ODBC driver is not writeable. You can only use it to query information. You can, however, use our ActiveX controls to retrieve/write information. We have plans to modify the ODBC driver to be writeable, but a shipping version of the driver is several months away.

Figure 2: Ed Shropshire presenting in TaiPei, Taiwan.

  • "NDS has been a big selling point for me, especially with the added functionality of Java. I have the needed info to sell Netware to my clients." Exit survey comment

While it is true that directory-related products, concepts, hopes, dreams and strategies are more abundant than ever in the network industry, in 1999 there is still only one directory solution for the Internet-enabled network Novell Directory Services (NDS). Java, C, scripting developers, system administrators, Web masters, and others attended in droves to discover more about working with Novell's open, standards-based directory.

  • "Excellent workshop. Keep up the great work! The improvements are fantastic!" Exit survey comment

With the rapid evolution and booming embrace of Novell's open products and development environment, the level of questions from those in attendance ranged widely. "Could NDS make NT development headaches go away?" (Our answer: "No, but it can sure make your server feel better.") Another questioned if Novell's assertion that NDS provides the best LDAP implementation was true. (Our answer: "Absolutely!") And another asked if the complimentary NetWare 5 CD trial version he received could be installed on his Windows 95 operating system. (After everyone else in the room stopped chuckling, we had to tell him it wouldn't work!)

Figure 3: Dusseldorf workshop materials.

In workshops that offered standing room only in many cities, participants ranged from a high percentage of Novell "newbies" to administrators, engineers and developers with years of experience in Novell technologies. Eager to learn more about Novell's open APIs, new tools and develop directory-enabled solutions, workshop attendees asked specific technical questions, such as:

Q. I've tried to use Novell's RDebug to debug a Java Servlet on my NetWare 5 test server, but it won't work. What's the fix?

A. Novell Remote Debugger (previously Rdebug) has been enhanced to support debugging Java applications running on the NetWare JVM (Java Virtual Machine). This is accomplished by running Novell Remote Debugger on a Windows 95/NT machine and remotely debugging the Java app running on NetWare. A special connection between the machines isn't necessary because communication between Novell Remote Debugger and the NetWare JVM is accomplished using the standard IP connection of both machines. However, you must use the debugging version of Novell JVM for NetWare, which is available only from the Novell Developer Kit. (The JVM that ships with NetWare 5 does not support debugging.) In addition, Symantec's Visual Cafe; product has remote debugging implemented for Java code on NetWare. And The Novell Developer Kit Compatibility Test Tool Kit (CTK) can also be used during development for debugging purposes.

Q. The NetWare 5 Beta 3 contained a Java-based utility that could monitor CPU and Memory usage on a NetWare server. What happened to it?

A. The Process Viewer Demo, as seen in the Beta 3 release of NetWare 5, is now part of the Novell Developer Kit, along with full Java and NLM (NetWare Loadable Module) source code. This is both a useful utility that can be run at the NetWare console, and also a practical demonstration of how to use several key Java technologies, including writing JNI native methods and RMI object remoting on the NetWare platform.

The CPU monitor utility is downloadable from the JVM details page at

Q. After I add my snap-in to ConsoleOne, it takes much longer to initialize. How can I fix this?

A. ConsoleOne has the ability to read a manifest file that can tell it which Java Class files implement your snap-ins. Creating a manifest file for your snap-in keeps ConsoleOne from parsing all your class files for those that implement the registration interface, thus allowing the initialization process to take place more quickly.

With the network industry interested in making use of NDS and directory strategy in general, these workshops offered the blueprint developers are looking for manageability for their networked applications. Developing to today's enterprise network often means development to the Internet. Using the best of open technologies, and coupling development vision with proven network functionality and services, is quickly becoming the path to Web application manageability.

The latest Novell development tools, open interfaces and NDS make it easier than ever to deliver network applications and custom solutions that simplify network administration tasks and reduce support costs all while contributing to an extensible, directory-enabled networking environment for hosting the latest software and mission-critical business applications.

Figure 4: Bret Dayley presenting in Bracknell, England.

  • "As a SQL developer, the NetWare/Oracle session was very informative and of particular interest to me. You showed me how to port to Oracle while supplying a stable and manageable network platform." Exit survey comment

Within the first few stops on the tour, it quickly became clear to Novell engineers who were conducting the workshops that developers are getting the message. Working with Novell has never been easier or more rewarding especially when it's delivered in these killer workshops.

Q. How can I get additional copies of NetWare for development purposes?

A. If you join DeveloperNet at the paid level, you will receive a Welcome Aboard Kit with a copy of the Novell Developer Kit and the Novell Software Evaluation Library (NSEL). The NSEL will contain a 100-user version of NetWare 5, along with 100-user versions of all major Novell products, including GroupWise, ManageWise, BorderManager, ZENworks and more.

If you joined DeveloperNet through the Web subscription, there are a couple of ways to get 3-user and 5-user versions of NetWare 5. Your first option is to download NetWare 5 from index.htm. Since it is a very large download, you can also order it to be delivered via mail at The price is $15 plus shipping.

Once you have a 3-user, you can upgrade it to a 5-user by downloading a five-user license at: You can easily delete the 3-user and install the 5-user license; instructions are on the download page. (You also have the option of installing the 3-user version on two machines, then deleting the 3-user license on one and upgrading it to the five-user version to establish a two-server network one with 3-users and one with 5-users.)

Q. My company wants to use an LDAP directory. Why should I use NDS to build my LDAP solution instead?

A. Choosing LDAP as your access protocol and NDS as your directory is the best choice for your LDAP implementations because it is already a proven, open directory standard. In fact, it's the only choice for a true LDAP-compliant global directory services. LDAP Services for NDS supports the latest LDAP specifications.

Q. Is there an ActiveX example for changing user passwords?

A. Yes. Visit There you will find a Delphi 3.x application that illustrates the use of Delphi with NetWare ActiveX controls. It will show how to use the Directory controls to scan the DS tree and change object passwords.

Novell's directory-enabled products, and the new Novell Developer Kit make it easy (and profitable) for ISVs, IHVs, internal engineers, network administrators, Web masters and others to leverage NDS and deliver sophisticated, scalable applications, solutions and utilities for the entire network. Developers left workshops knowing they aren't just reading about directory-enabled networking, they're developing it and discovering how to win new business or lower network cost of ownership with open, manageable applications.

  • "Absolutely professional!" Exit survey comment

Watch the Replay

Want to get ready for next year's workshops? All content presented during the 1998-99 workshops is available in presentation format for easy download on the DeveloperNet Web site at

Novell Developer Workshop `98 Presentations:

  • Getting Started with NDS Development

  • Accessing NDS via C, LDAP & Java (JNDI)

  • Developing to NDS via ActiveX, ADSI, ODBC & JavaBeans

  • Getting Started with NetWare 5 Development

  • NetWare 5 New Developer Features

  • New and Future Tools for Developing to NetWare 5

Figure 5: Darren Davis presenting in Taipei, Taiwan.

Figure 6: Ed Shropshire presenting in Bracknell, England.

  • "I really enjoyed the presentation and feel like I can do much more with the Novell Developer Kit. Great job!" Exit survey comment

While the workshops proved informative for those who attended, presenting Novell engineers also learned a few things, such as making sure the session rooms were warm enough, that the overhead projector that worked today will still work tomorrow, that there was plenty of coffee, tea and other things to drink. Don't cry after dropping the laptop. Bring along a spare of every device. Avoid getting excited and emitting a stream Novell marketese to the already converted unless it becomes technically necessary, and arrive on time no matter what.

With so many different developer types in attendance, gauging the technical level of awareness and tuning the presentations to meet the needs of those present was as enjoyable as conducting the sessions. As noted in the nearly 2,000 workshop exit surveys, time in the sessions was too short for many, while others asked for more (and less) technical substance. On the lighter side, one waistline-conscious programmer lamented the lack of sugar-free desserts during a lunch. Rest assured, that's on our list of workshop improvements along with an extra laptop and the right voltage converters.

More Are Better

Given the success of the Novell Developer Workshop Tour Series, you can look for more of them in the coming year. Perhaps next time one of the workshops will be presented in your city. Feedback from exit surveys was extremely positive, and reflected the growing demand for Novell to take its case to developers where they live. With plenty of positive comments and feedback to work with, Novell presenters are already working hard in preparation for the next tour.

Note: Presenting Novell engineers at these workshops included: Jim Abbott, Bryan Amundson, Peter Brown, Kevin Burnett, Darren Davis, Bret Dayley, Larry Fisher, De Lui, Chris Muller, Ed Shropshire and Murlin Wenzel.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

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