CNS Software WinRadar Reporter review
WinRadar Reporter is designed to help network administrators keep track of their Active Directory network’s activities and inventory. The WinRadar console provides a front-end to AD and allows the administrator to carry out AD operations on any system from a single local PC. Although it largely replicates facilities already available on each system, the ability to access any AD system without resorting to remote administration software or to local console access means there are both time and security benefits.
Providing a similar layout to Microsoft’s own User and Computers console, the software gives the administrator the tools to create and amend user accounts, either singly or by groups. Objects can be exported from the AD database according to selection criteria, avoiding the need to export the entire database when only a few objects are required. Remote printers can be managed, allowing the administrator to reassign, reconfigure and rename printers – or remove them altogether if required. Inventory reports can be produced for such items as printers, while each AD object has an associated Properties display that can be interrogated and updated, subject to whatever security restrictions are in force.
The administrator can also perform remote tasks such as removing software, monitoring remote processes and determining service pack and hot-fix states on any system. The software uninstall facility produces printed reports of installed software, which can be exported in various formats for later use. It’s possible to obtain and print network card information on any system. Viewing event logs is a cinch, and there are facilities to save copies locally on the administration system. Systems can be controlled remotely, so that users can be logged off and systems locked and shut down, allowing the administrator to prevent unattended systems from becoming a security risk. The console also provides access to the remote system’s Computer Management console, so performance can be monitored and statistics obtained.
The software provides predefined reports covering user account activity, installed software and hardware and operating system service pack levels, and it also allows the creation of custom reports as needed. Reports are created by selecting fields from lists of available data and choosing condition criteria, such as “equal to”, which those selected fields must meet. Reports can be run on an on-demand basis to meet specific requirements, or scheduled to run at specific times and intervals, thus assisting in producing and maintaining accurate network change logs and management reports. Reports can be emailed to specified users and saved in specific formats as required. Report formats are predetermined and can’t be altered, but this is a minor issue since the data isn’t complex.
Although the software performs competently and provides useful data and facilities, there are other products available that do as much, if not more. However, it could certainly be useful as a specific AD management tool where no other network management software is installed, and the price is reasonable.