The Winners' Circle
Articles and Tips: article
Senior Technical Writer
01 Mar 1999
Our focus this month is on HiTechSoft's WebConsole, Pervasive Software's SQL database, and Netoria's SFLOCK.
To be eligible to win the Novell Developer's Contest, your application must support the following position: NetWare is an intelligent network platform that fully embraces NDS (Novell Directory Services), providing users with an ideal mid-tier platform to run scalable, robust network service and collaboration solutions, along with intranet/Internet services and ISV applications and solutions.
The winners of the best overall prizes and the best of category prizes will:
Clearly advance and extend NetWare as the intelligent network server platform that fully embraces NDS.
Solve customer problems and provide compelling performance and functionality that captures significant mindshare with their users.
Provide elegant, next-generation customer solutions that run on the fastest mid-tier execution platform available for running scalable, robust network service and collaboration solutions, along with intranet/Internet services, and ISV applications and solutions.
This month, The Winners' Circle will focus on HiTechSoft's WebConsole (a quarterly winner), Pervasive Software's SQL database, and Netoria's SFLOCK.
WebConsole assists you in remotely administering mixed network environments. Because it uses NDS, WebConsole helps you administer NetWare 5, Microsoft NT, and Solaris Unix servers. WebConsole's graphic interface uses a Web browser and can replace RCONSOLE, NWADMIN, and FILER as well as some other third-party utilities, like reports and help desks with Java-based tools.
Using WebConsole you can do common system console tasks such as:
View the server console screen and error log
Enter server console commands
Load and unload NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs)
Mount and dismount volumes
View statistics about server connections, including address information, a list of open files and login and logout times
Clear unwanted server connections
Edit server configuration files
Edit boot sequence files
Edit text files
Browse the NDS tree, and change the current NDS context
View, create, rename, move, delete file and directory information
Modify file trustee rights
Add and delete scheduled management tasks from a queue
Download the latest HiTecSoft and NLM patches and updates from a reference server
Administrators can use WebConsole's help desk to delegate server or account maintenance responsibilities. The designated users can then see only their assigned areas.
Administration workstations require only a Web browser that supports frames. Although WebConsole supports both Java and non-Java access, the Java access is the easiest to use. WebConsole is closely integrated with NetBasic; the NetBasic subsytem runs the scripts to build the WebConsole's output to the administrator's broswer.
Network Communication and Security
WebConsole runs on a master server. The remote servers have a set of NLMs that communicate with the master server through the remote Common Gateway Interface (CGI). WebConsole complies with Novell's Net2000 Network Modular Extension (NMX) standard, the most popular CGI on NetWare.
WebConsole uses Novell's Web server's Secure Sockets Layer and RSA 128 bit encryption to securely connect browser to the WebConsolse server. A NetBasic module securely authenticates requests through NetWare 4.x NDS or by making NetWare 3.x Bindery calls. Once authenticated, administrators can use a Web browser to add, delete, and move users, organizational units, and other NDS objects across a LAN or a WAN.
WebConsole's Gravitix feature offers pull-only technology. This helps administrators establish an on-site reference server to contain the current patches, drivers and applications recommended by Novell. Gravitix queries the reference server to detect, download and apply new patches. HiTechSoft has a reference server on the Internet for WebConsole updates. With one mouse-click, administrators can easily download updates from a master Web site and apply them to selected NetWare file servers.
WebConsole provides a network administration solution, by aiding administrators in managing their mixed network environments with a familiar Web browser interface.
Pervasive Software's SQL Database
Pervasive.SQL is not only a quarterly finalist in the developers' contest. Novell developers have long been familiar with Pervasive.SQL as the Btrieve database, which ships with NetWare 5. Recent improvements include built-in relational database capabilities, additional Z-DBA features, significant performance gains, Internet Data Server, and an all-new SDK.
Pervasive.SQL is a reliable, full-featured database engine designed to be easily embedded into commercial or internal applications that require a database. Unlike other database products, Pervasive.SQL reduces ownership costs by eliminating the need for a database administrator. In addition, developers of applications based on Pervasive.SQL realize reduced development costs because of the ActiveX controls and extensive samples available in the new SDK. For resellers, the Z-DBA features and improved installation procedure reduce the amount of time needed to install and configure the database.
Pervasive.SQL provides the following features:
Dynamic cache operations
Dynamic file expansion
Transaction logging caches each step of your database transaction until it is finished. If the server goes down, Pervasive automatically rolls back to the last completed transaction. Dynamic file expansion makes space for files as they grow. The Pervasive SQL engine manages multi-user concurrency and file locking on the record level to ensure accuracy. Continuous operations and archival logging are real-time features that allow backups while the database is running and ensure that each data entry is securely logged to disk.
The Pervasive.SQL engine is 32-bit and multithreaded and includes enhancements such as:
Configurable cache settings
Up to 10x better performance than previous versions
Pervasive.SQL uses NDS to provide users with a global view of all network resources.
Pervasive.SQL is compatible with the 1989 and 1992 ANSI SQL standards and the SAG CLI definitions. Its Level 2 ODBC driver support provides seamless connections to other ODBC-compliant applications. It also supports European languages through new translation DLLs that provide OEM-to-ANSI conversion.
All Pervasive.SQL database engines share a common code base. This means that developers can scale applications from Pervasive.SQL Workstation to Workgroup, Internet Data Server, and Server without changing any code. Developers have only one application to write, test, deploy and support. Pervasive.SQL Workgroup is ideal for the developer who must deploy a workgroup solution in a non-client/server environment.
Pervasive.SQL also provides complete relational database capabilities that Btrieve never offered. With these capabilities, developers can use Btrieve calls and ODBC or SQL APIs in the same application, to access the same data. For example, an application can use Btrieve's fast performance to execute a large data-processing task, while another element of the application can use SQL statements to find and update a single table row. Both tasks can access the same data table at the same time with no risk of data corruption.
Finally, the new SDK enables fast application development and provides the ability to run client/server applications over the Internet. The SDK provides a set of ActiveX controls for drag-and-drop development of Btrieve applications. Extensive samples cover Visual Basic, Delphi, Java, and Visual C++ development, using Btrieve, ODBC, RDO, and ActiveX interfaces. These samples, combined with a Developers' Resource Center that offers "recipe cards" and tutorials, create an environment that allows new developers to get up to speed quickly. The Internet Data Server allows a client application to communicate over the Internet to a Pervasive.SQL server engine, without requiring any code changes to the application.
Pervasive.SQL server requires an Intel-based 80486 or greater, and it runs on Novell NetWare or Microsoft Windows NT. The client requires an Intel-based 80396 or greater and runs on Microsoft Windows 3.1, Windows 95/98, Windows NT 3.51 or higher, as well as DOS 6.22 and OS/2 3.0 or higher. It can use NetBIOS, TCP/IP, or SPX/IPX to communicate over the network.
A single-user workstation version is also available for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT.
Pervasive Software's Web site at www.pervasive.comcontains more information about their products.
SFLOCK is integrated with NDS to provide a workstation security system for Microsoft Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT. System administrators can use SFLOCK to set system wide security policies in NDS for workstations.
SFLOCK provides the following features:
Easy network based installation
Registry protection to prevent SFLOCK removal
VXD virtual device driver to lock DOS boxes in Windows 3.x
Forced loading of SFLOCK, even if users have removed workstation components
Microsoft Windows screen saver support
"Lock Now" hot spot support
Ability to leave messages on locked workstations
Workstation unlocks with user's NDS password
Uses NDS-based Configurations
By using NWADMIN, administrators can create NDS-based SFLOCK configurations and assign them to users, roles, groups and containers. You can customize SFLOCK's configuration to suit your network by extending the NDS schema and creating configuration objects. For example, in high security environments, you can configure SFLOCK to disconnect the workstation after a specified period of inactivity. SFLOCK efficiently uses NDS resources to help you configure the network.
SFLOCK operating using a device driver, Control Panel Extension, and Screen Saver. On Windows NT, SFLOCK uses a Graphical Interface for Network Access (GINA) to manage the security functions. This GINA is compatible with the Novell NT client GINA (NWGINA.DLL).
The Novell Developers' Contest ends August 23, 1999 at 11:59 p.m. (PST). To be eligible, Novell must receive the application before the end of the contest. Winners will be announced at Networld+Interop, Fall 1999. For more information, see our contest Web site at www.developer.novell.com/contest.
* 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.