Enterprise Software

Configure IT Quick: Reporting services for ConsoleOne

Add reporting features to Novells administration tool

One of the last jobs a network administrator usually has time for is documentation. Generating network documentation takes time away from other chores, which usually involve putting out fires and dealing with problems on the network. Using ConsoleOne's Reporting Services Snapin, you can create and print reports about your NDS tree that let you quickly document your network. Before you can generate these reports, however, you must configure Reporting Services.

What's ConsoleOne?
ConsoleOne is Novell's GUI Java-based administration tool for NetWare and NDS. You can run it on your Netware server, a Windows administration workstation or a Linux administration workstation. Reporting Services only works on Windows workstations, so you can't run reports directly from your server or from a Linux workstation. For the purposes of this article, I'll show you how to configure Reporting Services, the report catalog, ODBC driver, and JReport Designer on ConsoleOne 1.3.3. For more information about ConsoleOne, see "New and exciting features of ConsoleOne."

What you'll need to generate reports
Reporting Services by itself won't allow you to generate reports from ConsoleOne. There are several hoops you must first jump through. First, you must install the Reporting Services Snapin for ConsoleOne. After that, you must add Novell's report catalog to your NDS/eDirectory tree. Finally, you must add an ODBC driver to the Windows workstation you'll be generating the reports on.

When you have all of this done, you can start generating the basic reports that Novell includes with ConsoleOne. Reports you can generate include:
  • General Object Reports: Information about servers, printers, and print servers in your tree.
  • User Security Reports: Information about login and rights security for user objects in the tree.
  • User and Group Reports: Information about roles that objects have in your tree.

If you have other Novell products, such as ZENWorks, you can install additional reports. You can also create custom reports by installing the JReport Designer tool (see below).

Installing Reporting Services
To install the Reporting Services Snapin, start ConsoleOne on your Windows Administration workstation. Select your NDS Tree in the left pane. Next, Click Tools | Install. You'll then see the ConsoleOne Installation Wizard screen appear. The first screen is purely informational, so click Next to bypass it.

You'll then see the Product Name screen appear. Here, you can choose to install Role Based Services and the Reporting Services Install Snapin. Select the Reporting Services Install Snapin and click Next.

The Authenticated Tree window then appears. Here you'll select the NDS tree where you want to install Reporting Services. Chances are you'll only have one tree to choose from, so select it and click Next.

You'll then see a Summary screen. Click Finish. ConsoleOne will extend the NDS schema of your NDS tree to accommodate Reporting Services. When the extension completes, you'll see the screen shown in Figure A. Click OK to close the window.

Figure A
Reporting Services extends your NDS tree.

Installing Novell-defined reports
Next, you must install the Novell-defined Reports. Select a container object in your NDS tree where you want to store the reports. If you have a complex NDS tree with different containers representing different divisions in your organization, you can select multiple containers. This will allow you to create custom reports for each container.

After you've selected the containers, click Tools | Install Novell-Defined Reports. You'll then see the Available Novell-Defined Reports screen appear. Select the reports you want to install.

Enter the path to your server and volume where you want to store the reports in the Location To Store Files field. If you don't know the path, you can select one by clicking the Browse button to the right of the field. This will display a graphical window where you can choose the file server and directory where you want to store the reports.

Once you've made all of your selections, the Install button will light up. Click Install to install the Novell-defined reports.

Installing the ODBC driver
In order to query and generate reports, you must install an ODBC driver on your Windows administration workstation. The ODBC driver will query NDS for you. Only workstations with the proper ODBC driver installed will be able to generate reports.

To install the driver, open Explorer and go to your server's SYS: volume. Go to the public\mgmt\consoleone\1.2\reporting\bin folder. There, you'll see two programs: ODBC and the Readme for the driver.

Double-click ODBC. The ODBC For NDS window will appear, asking if you're sure you want to install NDS. Click Yes. This will begin the Novell ODBC Driver For eDirectory Setup wizard. Like most wizards, the first couple of screens are welcome and licensing screens. Read through them and click Next to bypass them.

When you get to the User Information field, enter your name and organization. This is for informational purposes only and doesn't affect the program's configuration. Click Next.

You'll then see the Choose Destination Location screen. Setup defaults to C:\novell\ODBCNDS for a destination path. You can accept this path or click Browse to select a new path. If the folder doesn't exist, Setup will create it. Click Next to Continue.

Setup will then copy the files to your hard drive. When you see the Setup Complete Screen, click Finish.

Ordinarily, when installing a new program, when the Setup Wizard finishes, you're done. But not in this case. You must now configure the ODBC driver. Click Start | Settings | Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Data Source (ODBC).

This will display the ODBC Data Source Administrator screen. Select Default NDS Database and click Remove. This removes the default information that Setup created.

You must now recreate the driver. Click Add. The Create New Data Source screen will appear. Scroll down the list until you see Novell ODBC Driver For NDS. Select it and click Finish.

You'll then see the Novell Data Source Setup screen shown in Figure B. This screen connects the driver to your NDS database. Enter a name for the data source in the Name field. Don't change anything else. Click OK when you're done.

Figure B
Here you connect the driver to the NDS Database.

Installing JReport Designer
If you want to create custom reports other than those included with NDS, you'll need JReport Designer. JReport Designer doesn't come with NetWare or ConsoleOne. Instead, you must download it from the Jinfonet Software Web site.

To begin, click the Register As An Evaluator link and enter your information to obtain a key for JReport. Unlike the JReport Engine, which is integrated with NDS and is free, you must license JReport Designer. You can download Designer for free, but you'll only receive a 30-day evaluation key after you fill out the form.

To unlock Designer permanently, you'll have to purchase another key. Designer costs $1995 per user. You can also purchase maintenance for Designer, which costs 20 percent of the cost of the product per year. When you're under a maintenance agreement, you'll receive free upgrades during the year and e-mail support for Designer.

After you've registered as an evaluator, you can download the designer.exe file. This file is almost 24 MB in size, so it may take some time to download. Save it to a temporary directory on your administration workstation. When the download completes, execute the file.

Designer's Setup begins by displaying a WinZip Self-Extractor screen. Click Setup to continue. Setup will then extract some temporary files to your workstation.

You will then see a Java installation screen appear that looks similar to the Novell Java installation screens that you may have encountered before. Like normal Windows wizards, the first two screens cover welcome and licensing information. Read the screens carefully. Click Next to close the Welcome screen and Accept to accept the Designer license.

You'll then see the Location screen appear. Here you'll enter the path where you want Designer to be installed. By default, Setup copies Designer into the same directory where you've installed ConsoleOne. You can either accept the default location by clicking Next or by entering a new path in the My Installation Path field. You can click the Browse button to graphically choose a new location.

Then the Product Key screen will appear. Here you'll either enter the username and product key you purchased, or you'll use the evaluation ones that Jinfonet e-mailed you after you registered. Be very careful when entering the information in the fields.

The entries are case sensitive. The most difficult one is the Product Key field, where you must manually enter the entire 47-character key. You can't cut and paste it from the e-mail. If you make a mistake, the Setup program won't continue. You'll have to correct your mistakes before clicking Next.

You'll then see the Summary screen. Click Finish and Setup will begin copying files to your workstation. Wait until you see the Installation Complete screen. Click Close to end Setup. The WinZip Setup program may not disappear right away. Be patient because it must erase temporary files on your workstation.

Ready? Set? Go!
As you can see, there are many steps to go through to configure NDS reporting. There's no one-stop, point-and-click Setup wizard. Once you've configured the Reporting Services, you can start working with the Novell-defined reports, or create your own custom reports using JReport Designer.

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