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An easier way to restructure directories

Jan 16, 20033 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMergers and Acquisitions

* G&H NetzwerkDesign aims to ease directory restructuring

Mergers and acquisitions present unique problems to network executives, especially those charged with maintaining a real directory service such as NDS/eDirectory. Sometimes it’s easy to merge two directory trees, but often there’s a lot of tinkering that’s necessary to get everything to work right.

Sometimes you don’t need a major corporate change to dictate a new tree structure, though. Inevitably, it seems, the design that looked so good a few years ago when you were planning the network just doesn’t really seem to fit the way you do business. You’d like to restructure the directory, but (see above) that will require lots of manual tinkering.

What’s a manager to do?

Cheer up, help is on the way! Germany’s G&H NetzwerkDesign company has come up with “Tree Commander, directory tree browser with the added ability to copy objects and attributes between trees, quickly and easily. If you can read German, you can get the details here, but if you can’t, don’t relie on the various machine translation devices available on the Web. Google, for example, renders the first sentence as “The designer make it for one possible in simplest way of objects from a listing tree umzukopieren.”

What you should know is that Tree Commander has two parts, the Designer and the Engine. The Designer allows you to design a copy operation between Directories. It doesn’t matter if the source has the same schema as the destination or not. It’s a simple and intuitive interface for designing a copy operation that can include thousands of objects. Filters and Matching-Rules allow a very specific description for the copy operation.

All properties are accessible via the Designer’s GUI; you don’t need to know any scripting language. The Designer shows the result of the proposed copy operation immediately, letting you browse the destination Tree and verify the result. Copy operations can be grouped and saved as a scenario to be reused or continued at a later time. A major plus is that reference attributes will be recalculated because of their new destination environment, for example the Groupmembership reference between UsersGroups.

The Engine is responsible for actually running the designed copy operation online. You can simulate the operation in order to check on unintended consequences before you actually perform the copy operation. A detailed view and Trace File will give you information about the status of the current copy progress.

Novell has made a trial version of Tree Commander available , which includes a fully functional Designer module but limits the Engine to simulation mode only. Give it a try, it’s free and could be very useful.