Navigating and using DCT - IBM Lotus Notes

The welcome screen of DCT simply indicates that the database has been properly set up. The header section contains several buttons that allow you to perform different actions within the tool or to see various settings in the tool. These buttons are listed as follows:

  • Run New Scan
  • View Results
  • Check for Updates
  • Preferences
  • Help

Run New Scan

The first time the Run New Scan button is clicked, you will be prompted to build a server list. The server list will be pulled from your home mail server unless you specify another server, as shown in the following screenshot:

Run New Scan

Once the server list has been built, the New Scan screen will be displayed. Servers in the list that was just created are now selectable in the left pane, while the right pane allows space for the inclusion of servers from other domains. Server names being entered manually must be entered in abbreviated format; for example MyServer/IBM.

Run New Scan

Running a DCT scan in this manner allows servers from multiple domains to be included in a single scan. After selecting and/or entering the server names for scanning, you can provide a name for the scan, which will be displayed in the scan results. Naming allows you to differentiate your scans. Your regularly scheduled scans might be named "Monthly Maintenance", while if you are trying to understand why a set of your servers are exhibiting different behavior for the http task, you might name it "HTTP Behavior".

Following the configuration of the scan, click on Run Scan in any of the blue boxes and the scan will begin. DCT scans are run by a background agent, which allows you to continue to do other work in your chosen client. When the scan is completed, or if it fails for any reason, the completion/failure will be indicated in the client's status bar, either as DCT Scan Completed. Please View Results or >>> DCT Scan Failed - Please Check Status Bar History and Java Debug Console for Details .

View Results

If the scan was successful, then the View Results button will display results for the executed scan. Otherwise, it will display the results of the last successful scan. The results provide an abundance of data at various levels of detail. Looking at the initial or overall results screen, you will see high-level information about the scan including the scan name, how the reports are currently filtered, statistics about the scan, a list of the rules that were evaluated and against which servers, as shown in the following screenshot:

View Results

The file name of the current database and the date of the rule set in use are shown in the header bar. In the Current Report section, the name of the scan is displayed, as well as the date and time that the scan was run. Also, in this section are options such as Change, Delete or Run again. Clicking on Change will display a dialog box that will allow you to select a different result set to look at. Clicking on Delete will delete the current scan results. You will need to click on Change to view other results, or the Run New Scan button in the header to initiate a new scan. Clicking on Run again will run a new scan with the same parameters as the scan whose results you are viewing. The Filtered by control allows you to vary how you view the results. The default view is by server, and includes all servers. Other choices you have are to view by rule or severity. Additionally, each of these options, including filtering by server, allow you to filter to a single instance of the chosen type. So, you could switch to All Severities, and then narrow it down further to only critical issues (select the Critical option) in your Domino domain.

When looking at overall results, the lower section of the results displays a view on the left-hand side and other high-level information on the right-hand side. The default view will be categorized by server, then by severity. The right-hand side shows an overview of how your servers fared in the scan. Statistics are shown above a list of the servers that were scanned, and—if any failed—the list of servers not scanned and the reason why they were not scanned. Finally, the list of rules that is evaluated in the scan is presented. Clicking on any of the result documents in the lower-left section will display a single report.

Individual results will always provide an indication of what the mismatched setting is, as well as what the server's Domino version and operating system are.

Individual results

The severity of the condition is also indicated. An explanation of the setting and the expected value is displayed, as well as a recommendation for how to remedy the setting and what the default value is, if there is one. When the setting in question relates to a database list—ODS level settings, for example, the list of affected databases will also be displayed. Links to resources are provided, too. These may point to Notes/Domino wiki postings, IBM RedBooks, RedPapers or Technotes.

When the rule is related to a server document setting, a doclink to the server document will be included.

Recent updates to DCT include the availability of the often requested "make it so" button, labeled as Apply Recommended Change. This button is available for notes.ini setting rules only, and executes a set config remote console command.

Apply recommended change

Clicking on the Apply Recommended Change button will fire a dialog box indicating which setting will be changed and on which server. If you click on the OK button, the remote console command will be issued. If you click on the Cancel button, no changes will be made. Finally, if there is a server configuration document with conflicting notes.ini settings, the server configuration documents notes.ini settings will supersede those set by DCT.

If you would like to view your DCT results outside of the DCT database, you can run the Export to HTML action, which will create the file report.html in the quicktune directory.

Checking for Updates

By default, the quicktune directory will contain the java directory, config.xml and version.xml. The version.xml file is one of the files stored on the support site and contains information about the rule set, as well as the DCT.NTF itself. The following screenshot shows the contents of the version.xml file:

Checking for Updates

The Check for Updates button queries the IBM Support site to see if there are any new rules and/or a new dct.ntf available for download. The time date stamp of config.xml is compared to the value stored in version.xml, while the dct.ntf value in version.xml is compared to the $TemplateBuildDate in the $TemplateBuild shared field. If there are new updates available, you will see a screen indicating so, as shown in the following screenshot:

Checking for Updates

Click on the Accept License and Download button to get the new files. When you have finished downloading the files, DCT will automatically refresh the design of the current dct.nsf. If you have multiple DCT databases—maybe you are managing multiple domains — the other databases will have to have their designs refreshed manually. Once the design refresh has completed, you will need to close the current dct.nsf and re-open it.

Preferences

The Preferences button will open a page (shown in the following screenshot) that allows you to manage which rules are active at any given time for a scan. This allows you to fine tune your scans so that if you want to look at a specific set of servers, to see how the settings related to the Agent Manager are configured, you can do so. The list of rules is generated on the first scan execution, so opening this page prior to the first scan will yield a blank screen:

Preferences

Help The Help button will display the three tabs of the Help page. The Help Topics tab includes information about installing and uninstalling DCT, as well as scanning instructions and troubleshooting. The Rule Catalog tab contains the current list of rules available, and the Change Log contains the list of fixes that have gone into the tool.


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