WebConsole 2.11b from HiTecSoft builds on an already solid NetWare server management tool, giving managers more Web-based control with help desk extras. Added functions and improvements to existing tools have polished this diamond in the rough.
I tested WebConsole 2.11b just as remote ser-ver monitoring and maintenance became critical to my job: what looked nice last year became a lifesaver this time around.
Most of WebConsole's virtues remain - it's a very clean and easy-to-use package. I really liked using WebConsole to look at servers in depth and detail. I was able to view loaded NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs), unload NLMs, check device drivers, and more. WebConsole let me get further into Novell Directory Services (NDS) with this version. I could investigate and change more of the network control database via the Web than before. However, I still prefer to use NWAdmin for NDS control when I'm on-site because WebConsole isn't as fully featured.
The big surprise was help desk functions. As an administrator, I could create the help desk user accounts, help desk support-staff accounts, and help desk administrator accounts, carefully assigning rights to the administrators, defining and viewing status codes, and adding priorities. With an HTML file from HiTecSoft, it's easy to add a pointer to your company's home page so users can enter their own trouble tickets. Dedicated help desk packages are more powerful, but the help desk functions here are straightforward, easy to use, and useful for many remote situations.
Menu extras stall views
However, some changes didn't save time and some inefficient placement of menu items slowed navigation. Each main menu item unfolded into a sub-menu that contained options for that sub-menu, a help link, and a link back to the main menu. This is nice, but in several cases there was only one item in the sub-menu - the same item advertised in the top menu.
Despite this quibble, WebConsole is a polished gem. I chided HiTecSoft before for not including an uninstall routine. This time one is included, but I can't imagine needing it.
The Bottom Line
This upgrade provides excellent NetWare server management, help desk functions, and more via the Web.
Pros: Easy install; help desk extras; installs server software; fast; stableCons: The menu structure and screen layout could be improvedPlatforms: Servers: at least one NetWare 4.11 server, supports NetWare 4.1x and 3.12. Clients: Web browser with Java supportPrice: Local pricing is not yet availableNovellTel (02) 9966 1255(www.hitecsoft.com)