My network’s keeper

Last month, I looked at Executive Software’s Diskeeper Administrator, a tool designed to deploy and maintain Diskeeper installations in a networked environment. This month, I’m checking out another new tool from Executive Software called Sitekeeper, which, as its name suggests, is also a tool designed for the networked environment. Sitekeeper is, in fact, a number of tools bundled into one. This offers the obvious advantage that each tool shares a common interface to that used by Diskeeper Administrator. Setting up Sitekeeper will be familiar for anyone who’s just installed Diskeeper Administrator, but after installing the software you need to configure the database for Sitekeeper to use.

My network's keeper

The first step in the Database Setup Wizard asks if you want to use an existing SQL Server or the Microsoft Desktop Engine (MSDE), or if you would like to install MSDE locally. Last month, I opted to install MSDE locally and clicked on the proffered link. If you do not have this already installed and are setting up the dataset for the first time, clicking on that link will take you straight to the Executive Software website, and a little more mouse manipulation will see you downloading MSDE 3.1.0. Shortly after, you can run the downloaded executable, which does nothing more initially than prompt for an installation location and a password for the default ‘sa’ account. Moving on in the wizard shows you the database server name, the table names and so on.

Once I would set up my database (I just accepted the default settings all the way through after supplying the correct ‘sa’ account password), I could instantly get on with examining my systems. To do this, I headed to the Inventory Reporting module, selected the Create Report option, clicked on ‘Select Report and Type’ and then sat back to peruse the various options. The default option is ‘Software Inventory by Computer’, but I could also have chosen from any one of the following:

Software Inventory by Title

Hardware Inventory by Computer

Hardware Inventory by Device

Licence Compliance

Missing Software by Computer

I opted for the default and clicked on Next when asked to pick the computers I wanted to include in the report. Navigation is via the familiar expanding tree with tickable checkboxes. I opted initially to run the inventory on one system, as I had no idea how long this might take. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried, as Sitekeeper ripped through my chosen system so fast that I barely had time to think about the kettle, never mind actually make the tea. As that particular system wasn’t exactly overpopulated with applications and I really did want a drink, I pointed Sitekeeper at my main workstation, which is my sacrificial machine that gets everything thrown at it. Testing beta software? On it goes. Doing a review? On it goes. Testing utility software? On it goes. Some programs have been uninstalled over time, but many have not and sit there wondering why I deserted them.

I was curious to see just what was lurking under the surface of this system and thought it might be interesting to see exactly what had been installed on it over time. In the expectation that I would have time for a meal, never mind a drink, I set Sitekeeper working, headed for the door and glanced back just as I exited the room. Frowning, I headed back, because it seemed that Sitekeeper had frozen. But it hadn’t – it had finished already and stopped because it had nothing to do. Yes, all right, the system I was running Sitekeeper on has a 64-bit AMD processor and 1GB of RAM, so I’m rarely concerned about things lacking memory, but the system I would pointed it at was by no means state-of-the-art and was horribly cluttered.

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