AD Info (Free Active Directory Reporting Tool) BETA Guide – Part 1 of 2

October 29, 2010 — 15 Comments

I know I said the AD Info BETA would be out this week but I’m afraid its going to have to be pushed back to sometime within the next few weeks (before 15th December 2010). I have however put together some screenshots and a guide showing the workflow of how you would use the program to help give people an idea of how the program will work and what you can do with it. This is part 1, part 2 will go through the process of creating your own custom query definitions and will be posted sometime next week.

OK first of all bear in mind this is still pre-BETA so things could change and the queries that you see in these screenshots are only test queries that I am playing around with – in the final version there will be many more queries. You will also notice in the screenshots that some attributes are marked as “[NOT IN BETA]” and this is just because those attributes are not going to be working in the BETA version but will definitely be in the final release.

UPDATE: If you would rather see videos than screenshots, take a look at this post

Oh and if you don’t know what this program is or want more information on what will be included in it, see my website here: http://www.cjwdev.co.uk/Software/ADReportingTool/Info.html

Right, lets go through the process of launching the app and running a query!

The first thing that happens when I launch the program is that it loads all of the built in query definitions and any custom queries that you have created (more on that later). Note that you can add additional query file locations – so for example you could add a folder on a network drive so that you and your colleagues could all see each other’s custom query definitions and not have to waste time creating them on each of your PCs or copying the query files around. See screenshot below for an example of what you will see when you launch the program (click the screenshots to see them full size) and like I said bear in mind that in the final release (and even the BETA) there will be a lot more predefined queries in there.

image

Now because I am running this on a computer that is not a member of any domain, I’m going to go into the domain settings window and specify my domain details.

image

Now back on the main window I’m going to select the “Computers with the specified primary group” query and right click on it and select Properties. This shows me exactly what the query will actually look for and tells me a bit about it such as who created it and when it was created.

image

So as you can see this particular query will find all computers that have a primary group of [user specified value]. What this means is that when you run this query it will ask you to specify the primary group you are interested in. This means that you don’t have to go and create a new custom query just because you wanted to look at a different primary group to the one you wanted to look at yesterday. This can be used with any of the attributes not just primary group, and you can even use this feature when defining your own custom queries 🙂 Oh and this particular query just has one parameter but some will have several and you can add as many as you want to your custom queries.

So anyway, we will run that query and now we get prompted for that user specified value.

image

In this case we need to enter a group name so we get this specific window that lets us use the Check Name function to ensure the group name we entered actually exists in AD (and if you enter a partial name it will complete it for you or show a list of groups that matched that name if more than one did). Note that you will get a different window depending on the type of value that the attribute contains – obviously in this case we needed to specify a group but if I ran the “All computers created before specified date” query then it would realise we need to specify a date and give us this box:

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Likewise if we ran a query that wanted us to specify a container /OU then we would get this window which includes a browse button which lets us select the container/OU from a visual AD tree and generate the LDAP path for us.

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There are several other attribute type specific dialogs but I won’t go into any more of them for now – hopefully you get the idea that this I’ve tried to make this as user friendly as possible! 🙂

So back to our example query – I’ve entered Domain Controllers as the primary group and clicked Check Name:

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and now we can select which attributes we want to include in the output of the query. So this will be the information that we want to see for every object that matches the query parameters – in this case every computer account with the Domain Controllers group as its primary group.

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As you can see I have selected a few of the attributes I am interested in such as the group membership (a list of all groups that the account is a member of) and whether or not the account is disabled along with a few others. Also I do have the option to limit the query to a particular container/OU but in this example I won’t use that feature. So I click OK and then the query runs and shows me its progress:

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I only have one domain controller in this particular test domain  (and therefore only one computer with Domain Controllers as its primary group) so the query correctly tells me that it has found one result – and yes I’ll fix it so it says “1 object found” rather than “1 objects found” 🙂 . When I click Close on this progress window the query results will be shown on the main window:

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So we can see that this computer is a member of the Domain Controllers group and also a group named UkDomainControllers, it is not disabled, it is running Windows Server 2003 with SP1 etc etc. Here’s another example of a query output just to show multiple results:

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Now at this point I would like to show an example of exporting these results to CSV file or HTML file but that’s the part I’m still working on that needs finishing before the BETA is released 🙂

So yeah, let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions or comments I would love to hear them. Like I said, the second part of this blog post that shows how to easily create your own custom query definitions will be up within the next week or so 🙂

Chris

15 responses to AD Info (Free Active Directory Reporting Tool) BETA Guide – Part 1 of 2

  1. 

    Looks great.

  2. 

    Keep up the good work! I keep checking back for the beta release and just hope each time I check that the project wasn’t dropped. I’m glad to see you’re still plugging away at it. Thank you for all of your time and hard work that you have put into this. I can hardly wait to put it through its paces.

    Thanks again!

    • 

      Thanks for the interest 🙂 and yeah the BETA should be out pretty soon, I just got slightly distracted last week making my AD Photo Edit application 🙂

  3. 

    This is really a great job Chris, I can not wait to use the beta version. I’ll keep checking back for this nice tool. Thanks for the good job….

  4. 

    it seems to be a wonderful tool!
    see you soon:)

  5. 

    Hello from Russia. I look forward to this utility…

    • 

      Hello 🙂 Well now that I have finished my AD Photo Edit application, I am going to concentrate on this AD reporting application so hopefully it will be released very soon.

  6. 

    absolutely a WONDERFUL tool. One of the best out there! Please keep up the good work, you make a Sys Admin’s life SO much easier.

    • 

      Thanks a lot Robert 🙂 I’m glad to hear that! I’ve nearly finished the final BETA version so keep an eye on this blog for a download link in the next week or two. I’m aiming to have the finished application available by 7th February at the latest but I’ll post an update on here with an official release date some time soon.

  7. 

    I happened to bring up how AD Tidy had helped me out finding inactive computer accounts in the past at a staff meeting this morning. A few wanted me to draft up a KB article and researching more information brought me to find AD Info – which is even better suited for recurrent reporting needs.

    Thanks for keeping this project active. Your tools are such time savers.

    • 

      No problem 🙂 and thanks 😀 The final BETA version of AD Info is going to be out on Monday and will have all of the features in it that will be in the finished version, so would love to hear any feedback you have on it.

  8. 

    Hi Chris,

    last post here seems a long time ago, is this tool still active?

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