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How to Maintain Multiple USER_TEMPLATEs in a Single Context

Articles and Tips: tip

Robert H. Baehr

01 Jun 1996

To assist administrators when creating user objects, NetWare 4 allows you to create a user object called USER_TEMPLATE. This user object is a "framework" or boilerplate from which other user objects can be created. For example, when you create the USER_TEMPLATE in a particular context, you can supply values to many of the NDS properties (such as address, generic phone number, home directory, and so on) for that object. Upon creating a new user, you simply instruct the NWADMIN utility to use the USER_TEMPLATE. The new user account will then contain the contents of USER_TEMPLATE automatically.

The only limitation of the USER_TEMPLATE object is that you can only have one such object per NDS context, since no two objects in the same context can have the exact same name. A simple workaround to this limitation is to create a series of User objects (which I refer to as "dummy templates"), all with unique names, and treat each template as if it were a USER_TEMPLATE object. Then you can instruct NWADMIN to use any of these templates as the USER_TEMPLATE by renaming the dummy template to USER_TEMPLATE on an as-needed basis.

For example, suppose you have a context called Engineering, which contains all resources in the engineering department of your company. You typically hire one of three types of engineers: design engineer, test engineer, and production engineer. Each of these user types requires different default property values in their User object.

Since you cannot create three USER_TEMPLATE objects in the Engineering context, you can create three dummy template User objects, which can be named as follows:

Figure 1: Dummy template User objects.

Dummy TemplateUser Object Name


User template for a design engineer

Default property values required by a design engineer User object


User template for a test engineer

Default property values required by a test engineer User object


User template for a production engineer

Default property values required by a production engineer User object

Now suppose you hire a new test engineer whose name is Tom. To have NWADMIN use the DT_TEST object as the USER_TEMPLATE, instruct NWADMIN to rename the DT_TEST object to USER_TEMPLATE prior to creating the User object Tom. Then upon creating the user Tom and instructing NWADMIN to use the new USER_TEMPLATE, the properties found in the DT_TEST template are placed in Tom's User object. You can then rename USER_TEMPLATE back to DT_TEST when you're done.

By using the USER_TEMPLATE when creating new User objects, you can ease your new user creation workload by implementing all generic information through the template. By creating dummy templates, you can simplify the management of creating users in the same context who require different default properties.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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