One of the primary responsibilities of a network administrator is managing the NDS tree. Creating a naming standards document for the NDS objects will simplify your administrative duties, and it will allow everyone to enjoy a consistent and predictable structure.

Step one
The first step in creating or revising a naming standards document is to form a team that will be responsible for defining the standards. If you work in a small organization, a team of two or three people will suffice. If you work for a larger company, you might organize a team of five or 10 people.

Regardless of the size, technical people from the IS department should lead the team. However, be sure to include a diverse mix of skill sets. Non-technical employees from outside the IS department will lend a different viewpoint to the naming standards that may benefit others in the organization.

Step two
Once you’ve put together your team, they should develop a list of all object classes that will be used in the NDS tree.

If you are designing a new NDS tree, you will have to decide what object classes are going to be used. For those of you working with an existing NDS tree, you must determine which object classes are currently in use. An easy way of doing this is to sort the objects according to object class. You will then be able to browse the sorted NDS tree and determine the object classes that are being used.

There are seven steps for doing so:

  1. Launch NetWare Administrator.
  2. Highlight the organization object or a high-level container object.
  3. Select the View menu.
  4. Select Sort and Include.
  5. Find the desired object class and move it up or down using the arrows.
  6. Continue moving object classes until they are in the desired order.
  7. Collapse and expand the organization or container object to see the effect.

Step three
After listing the object classes that will be used in your NDS tree, the team must define a standard for each object class, give at least one example of a correct object name, and provide some of the rationale behind the standard. This last step will help future naming standards projects, as well as future administrators.

A table provides a good format for the naming standards document. Here is a sample:

Your NDS tree may contain thousands of objects. However, only a handful of object classes is available. Depending on the size of your organization, you may define standards for as few as 10 object classes, or for more than 40.

Keep it current
The naming standards document is an evolving document that will grow and change with the organization. It should be reviewed at least once a year to ensure that the standards are still applicable and to make any necessary changes. If maintained regularly, the naming standards document will become a very valuable asset to the organization.

Steve Pittsley is a desktop analyst for a Milwaukee hospital. He has a loving wife, three wonderful children, and enjoys playing drums, bowling, and most sports.

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