Manage NT from one interface

I hate desktop clutter, especially when I'm administering a Windows NT machine. Event Viewer sessions, User Manager sessions, and Windows Explorer sessions all take up precious real estate that I could put to other use. Hyena, from Adkins Resource, attempts to consolidate these NT administration programs into one.

Hyena is a systems administration utility that lets you manage virtually every aspect of your NT environment. Hyena can help you manage multiple domains, servers, and workstations from one interface that has an Explorer-like look and feel.

Hyena helps you manage many different objects. Your domains are at the highest level. Within your domains are domain controllers, servers, workstations, domain users, database, local groups, and global groups. On each computer, you have file and printer shares, sessions, open files, and an event log. Various options appear when you expand these objects (e.g., a list of share names appears when you expand the shares object). To perform operations on objects, you can right-click them to get a pop-up menu, or you can select an object and choose a function from the Hyena toolbar.

Installing the software was simple. My test copy arrived on two 3.5" disks. I ran the setup program from one disk, and installation was complete in a couple of minutes. When the setup program finished, I had a ready-to-use program available on my system's Start menu.

To test the software, I performed a series of systems administration tasks and verified them against the expected results using standard Windows utilities. For example, I performed a test to edit a user's profile. Screen 1 shows this test.

After I made several changes to the user's configuration, I examined the user's profile with User Manager to verify that the changes took effect. I also created new shares (and traversed entire directory structures, performing basic file cleanup) and assigned permissions to the shares. I then used Windows Explorer to confirm that Hyena had instantly applied my changes.

Unfortunately, Hyena needs some debugging. One function that I had problems with is its user and group export feature. The Microsoft Windows NT Server Resource Kit includes a similar utility, AddUsers, that you can use to export and import user and group data from the NT security database. With Hyena, I opted to export my domain users and groups. I provided an output file name and selected the user and group options, with both domain and local groups selected. The export function ran as a background task. After the task ran unattended for about 5 minutes, Hyena returned a 1MB user export file (I had five users on my test NT server) with the information for the last user in my database duplicated hundreds of times.

Another feature I did not like was the event-log option. For many of its options, Hyena can expand the display and show additional information in the right-hand panel. For example, when you select the services option, Hyena displays all the services on your NT machine and their status (in green for running or red for stopped). However, Hyena's event-log viewer insists on spawning the NT event-log viewer. I can use NT's Start menu to accomplish this task. Hyena either should not have this option or should use the right-hand panel to display the event logs as it does the other NT components.

Despite the problems I encountered, I like the software. If desktop clutter annoys you, let Hyena consolidate your system.

Contact: Adkins Resource * 830-779-2191
Price: $199 (single-user license)
System Requirements: Windows NT Server 3.51 or 4.0, or Windows NT Workstation 3.51 or 4.0, 4MB of hard disk space
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