02/12/2005
NTS - Novell TimeSync 1.2 by Scott Botterud
scott@info-techs.com

Index:
I       OVERVIEW: What is DATUP?
II      FILE DESCRIPTIONS: What files are included in the distribution and what each does.
III     INSTALLATION and SETUP: Installation and configuration.
IV     Revision History: What's new.
V      Feedback.

I: OVERVIEW:

NTS is a small freeware command line utility designed to accurately maintain the correct time on Novell Netware File Servers. NTS does not run on the File Servers console, but rather runs on a logged in Windows Workstation or Windows Server. NTS uses the Internet to poll a Time Server (one or more), and then synchronizes all attached Novell Netware File Serve(s) to this time. Upon completion NTS will send an email to inform someone (an administrator, etc.) of what it did.

NTS does not run on the file server console, but instead runs from an attached Windows Workstation or Windows Server. NTS is designed to work in conjunction with other (freeware) utilities to operate properly. These include:
TimeSync - Synchronizes a Windows Workstation or Windows Server clock to an internet time server. Since NTS relies on the Workstation's time being accurately set, it is mandatory that TimeSync (or something equivalent) be run prior to running NTS. TimeSync can be downloaded from
http://www.info-techs.com.download.shtml

WinCRON - A Windows utility to automate the running programs at specific times. WinCRON can be downloaded from
http://www.info-techs.com.download.shtml
http://www.ryerson.ca/~sgray/wincron.htm
NTS has been tested with Novell Netware 2.x, 3.x and 4.x servers. It may work with 5.x and 6.x servers (please let me know!). NOTE: The user that runs NTS must be a Console Operator or have Supervisor or equivalent rights.

NTS was developed because the time on our Novell Netware 3.2 File Server continued to drift, loosing about 5 minutes a month. We has similar problems on our customers servers as well. Time drift, that is, a Workstation or a Server loosing or gaining time is pretty much a given with the present state of the art of computer hardware. On Netware 4.x and 5.x servers, there are utilities that help maintain accurate time, even in a single server environment. But for the old trusty Netware 3.x server farms, we could not find an easy way to maintain accurate time. We looked into utilities such as RDATE, but they required running BTRIEVE, TCP-IP, and a bunch of other stuff, all of which was really overkill just to set the File Server time.

Since the File Server's time was drifting, that meant that the Workstations time also was off. Every time a Workstation logs into a Novell server, that Workstations time is reset to the File Servers time. This made email messages have an inaccurate time stamp, and file that were created had incorrect time stamps also.

The other irritating aspect of our Novell File Server time keeping was the inability to understand Daylight Savings Time (DST). We had to either go through a few months of having the clock off by an hour until DST went off, or reset the File Servers clock for each. Customers also found this irritating.

NTS solved all of these problems. NTS is releases as freeware to the public domain.
II: FILE DESCRIPTIONS:

BMAIL.EXE - A freeware command line SMTP mailer (http://www.beyondlogic.org/solutions/cmdlinemail/cmdlinemail.htm)

NovellTS.bat - The BATCH file which runs everything.

NTS.EXE - The program that talks to the Novell Netware server(s) and synchronizes the time.

NTS.LOG - This file is created every time NTS.BAT is run. NTS.LOG reports what NTS did (or did not) do. This file is sent to the EMail Recipient at the end of NTS.

NTS.HTML - The file you are reading   ;)
III: PROGRAM INSTALLATION and SETUP:

INSTALLATION:
To install NTS, simply unzip all the file from the NTS_1*.ZIP archive to a directory. Typically this is something like
	C:\UTIL\NTS
The BMAIL.EXE program will work properly from the home directory or from anywhere in the PATH. BMAIL.EXE can properly work with standard SMTP or ESMTP servers.

SETUP:
The setup of NTS requires the NTS.BAT file be edited for your environment. NTS.BAT is heavily commented and should be pretty self explanatory.

RUNNING:
In order to successfully run NTS, the user that runs NTS must be a Console Operator or have Supervisor or equivalent rights on the Novell server(s). NTS will attempt to display meaningful messages via the console as to what and how it is doing. It is recommended that once you are satisfied with the operation of NTS , the process be automated by the use of WinCRON.
IV: REVISIONS:

Version 1.2 - 02/12/2005
1) Added the environment variable %DRIVE for WinCRON to operate properly. The reason is WinCRON (like mose schedulers) assumes the program it is calling is in current directory of the scheduler. For example if WinCRON lives in C:\UTIL\WINCRON, when WinCRON calls a job like NTS.BAT the log files wind up in the directory where WinCRON lives. Adding the %DRIVE variable allows NTS.BAT to make the current directory the home where NTS.BAT lives when called from WinCRON.

Version 1.1 - 02/03/2005
1) Rewrite the structure of NTS.BAT to make it a lot cleaner, easier to understand, and easier to set up.

2) Scrapped POSTIE.EXE for BMAIL.EXE for sending email messages with attachments. POSTIE has both a freeware and shareware versions. The freeware version cannot talk to ESMTP servers (SMTP servers that require authentication). This was an issue for a customer that uses SBC DSL as their ISP, as SBC uses ESMTP servers. BMAIL.EXE is a lot smaller, totally freeware, and does ESMTP servers no problem.

3) Scrapped the old WINCRON command line utility for a new WinCRON utility. The old command line WINCRON utility was a real pain in the butt to make work properly. The new Windows based WinCRON is a lot easier to program and monitor.

4) Separated TimeSync and Novell TimeSync into two sperate programs. We found running TimeSync with WinCRON created problems. If the workstation or server time was fast, TimeSync would set the time properly, but then WinCRON would see the new time and run the TimeSync CRON job again. Separating the two programs prevents redundant work.

5) Separated the WinCRON utility from the NTS.ZIP distribution. This make for a smaller download. Feel free to use the Windows job scheduler or some other method to launch or automate NTS. The choice is yours.

Version 1.0 - 05/19/2001 - Initial release.
V: FEEDBACK:

Questions? Comments?

scott@info-techs.com