As many of you have pointed out it’s been a while since the last version of SYDI was released. Darrin left a comment saying that the world will need an updated SYDI for new products like Windows Server 2008, SQL 2008 and Exchange 2007.
I have some good news, some bad and some thoughts of the future.
The Good News
First of all the good news, I’m still developing SYDI. I’m working on SYDI-Server 2.1, most of the work is concentrated on the sydi-overview script. I’ve added a service comparison tab where you can compare all services on your machines. I have planned to include installed programs as another tab. Another feature request I’m often asked about, which I want to include in 2.1 is scheduled tasks.
The Bad News
The bad news (from a SYDI point of view) is that my time is very limited, and I’ve chosen to spend my free time in other ways than to code on SYDI. Another issue aside from lack of time is that when I started writing SYDI back in 2004 I was working mostly with Microsoft technology. Though I still work with Microsoft, these days I spend most of my time working with Cisco products. In terms of scripting I’ve written a few cool tools for Cisco devices. So if you like Cisco and if Netsafe, my company, decides to release the tools it might make you happy. 🙂
SYDI in the Crystal Ball
So what does the future hold for SYDI, these are things that have not yet come to pass and might not, it depends on the issues I mentioned in the bad news and how motivated I am to spend time working on SYDI. That being said I still love SYDI and want to see it grow. 🙂
SYDI-Exchange, I don’t really see much develpment with SYDI-Exchange. My reasoning is that I would like a SYDI-ActiveDirectory instead since a lot of the Exchange information is stored in Active Directory anyway it makes sense. The SYDI-ActiveDirectory would collect all the information needed, and there could be a script for reporting an Exchange organization. Perhaps combining a report based on SYDI-ActiveDirectory with specific server reports from SYDI-Server for the Exchange Servers?
SYDI-ActiveDirectory, what I see for SYDI-ActiveDirectory is perhaps one or two collection scripts and several reporting scripts. This could be reporting for OU structures, Group Policies, Delegation, Exchange, Sites etc.
SYDI-Server, I’m quite happy with SYDI-Server as it is. I have some thoughts on adding more specific information. For example I’ve seen that you can download WMI providers from Dell, it would be cool if you can do some reporting on RAID controllers on Dell servers I haven’t looked closer at this yet though. Reporting from the Security Center would be good to have.
SYDI-SQL, first off I’ve thought of just releasing a 0.9 version and fixing a small bug which makes the script crash for a lot of people. I’ve just not gotten around to it. Other than that SYDI-SQL is probably the script I like the least and I don’t actually use it much myself. What are your thoughts on this? Is SYDI-SQL something you want to see more of?
Visio, generating Visio diagrams from SYDI-ActiveDirectory and SYDI-Server would be cool.
PowerShell, I’ve received some queries about using PowerShell and giving vbscript the boot. The short answer is that I would love to. However there are some issues with PowerShell and Office if you’re living outside the US (or at least if you use non US Regional Settings). There are workarounds but they are a hassle. Before I see a good solution to this problem I won’t be writing any reporting parts in PowerShell. With that being said I have thought of breaking up the scripts in smaller parts. I have thought of having separate scripts for collecting information and writing reports.
XML Format, if you know XML you’re probably not blown away (in a good way) with how I’ve designed the XML format in SYDI. I’ve had some thoughts on throwing the out the old format and creating one that is much more generic. This would help not only me but other people who develop tools for SYDI.
InfoPath, I have some thoughts about the xml files used with ss-xml2word.vbs. As it is now you have to edit the “written” xml file directly in your favorite editor. It might be cool if you could do that in InfoPath or something which would let you see the data as you typed the information. Perhaps this could be done in Word too. I’m not really sure how I want to do it, but all the people in the flash demos I’ve seen on InfoPath seem so happy. Any thoughts?
Database backend, since I started developing SYDI I’ve gotten questions about storing SYDI information in SQL format. My thoughts are that XML is the default format but that it should be easy to convert back and forth between different formats. One thought I’ve had with the database is if you’re just supposed to have one view of your data or if you want to have snapshots so you can go back and forth in time and see when changes occurred. A database could also store the information which is used as the “written documentation” in ss-xml2word.vbs. I want a database design which can include all information about Windows computers, Active Directory and perhaps other aspects of the network. However I don’t want countless tables. Perhaps I need a database design book for Christmas.
SYDI-WindowsMobile, well I have a new HTC TyTN II phone and I have to do some scripting against it. It might not be SYDI though 🙂
Licence inventory, I have some thoughts about using the data collected from SYDI to handle licensing for some customers. I’ve thought about having some frontend in MS Access 2007.
Living in the now, better support for Vista & Windows 2008 and other current Microsoft products.
Script Signing, I will be adding digital signatures to the script files I publish in the future.
Network Documentation Guides, in general I want more written tutorials and guides for network documentation on the SYDI Project site. I’ve been planning on writing a few pieces.
Other projects I’ve thought of which might be cool but which aren’t on the map yet; SYDI-PKI, SYDI-Sharepoint, SYDI-ForeFront, SYDI-ISA
SYDI-Linux, if you have any important projects which are depending desperatly on the next version of SYDI-Linux. Well, God help you!
Sorry for not answering your emails!
As I stated earlier, my time is limited and I just haven’t had the time to reply to all the emails I’ve gotten from you users. Still I love getting email from you, though I have to say some days it’s not healthy for my ego.
Anyway I will try to get through my backlog and reply to your emails.
How you can help with SYDI
Darrin also asked about pitching in and giving me a hand with SYDI. Feel free to suggest how you can help and what you are willing to work on. However keep in mind that I might be a bit restrictive with what I decide to add. I don’t like code that I don’t understand or that I’m not able to verify. So if your code depends on some special hardware I might not include it, that is if you don’t ship the hardware to me so I can test it.
Translations, with ss-xml2word.vbs it’s easy to have a localized version of the SYDI-Server report. I’ve received a few which I will be including in SYDI-Server 2.1. If you want support for your favorite language just send me a translated xml language file. Send me an email if you’re unsure of what to do.
Tell your friends, tell your friends about SYDI. Most of my motivation to code on the project comes from seeing how many people use the project also the feedback I get is great. So spread the word.
Link to SYDI, aside from telling your friends another great way to support the project is to have a link to SYDI. So if you have a website or a blog, let other people know that you use SYDI by linking to SYDIproject.com.
What do You want?
If you were sitting in Santa’s lap what would you want from SYDI?
What are your thoughts on this post?
How can SYDI be improved?
What crazy ideas do you have, what would you kill for?
How can the sydiproject.com website be improved? Should there be a section for feature requests? Forums? We have this at the project site at SourceForge, but I don’t really like that format.
Send me an email or better yet leave a comment below so others can comment on your thoughts.
Would LOVE a SYDI for AD!! Make it so!!!
SYDI-AD would be great from my point of view and I’d love to help out. As to the other options, I think you’re heading in the right directions. Keep up the good work.
Umar AlFarooq says
Dude, it’s so hard to get a hold of you! My first suggestion is that you add a “Feedback” section to the Sydi project site.
Second, I have a fix for the Sydi SQL. I would be very surprised if the script worked for anyone because one of your queries is incomplete. Here is the correction:
Select a.schedule_id, job_id, a.[name], a.[enabled], freq_type, freq_interval, freq_subday_type, freq_subday_interval,
freq_relative_interval, freq_recurrence_factor, active_start_date, active_end_date, active_start_time,
active_end_time, next_run_date, next_run_time, date_created from sysschedules a
INNER JOIN sysjobschedules b
And finally, thank you very much!
James Cornell says
Was incredibly surprised when I found Sydi-Server, and have after using it for a little while come up with a little idea. If we have a larger network with several servers and computers that are constantly changing, wouldn’t it be cool if we set up one single server, put SYDI-Server into it, and script it so that each month it performs the SYDI script and renews/creates new documents?
Would this be a possibility? Would there be particular requirements for this? Let me know! Would love to hear your input!
David Haynes says
I like your script sydi-server.vbs
This has made my job much easier as I have about 100 servers that I need to create run-books for.
I was wondering of there was a way to bring the services and installed software section into word as an Excel grid for better readability?
Thanks for the great tool.
Hello! I wanted to let you know that I’m using sydi-server to fully document my servers. It’s all done automatically using a basic scheduled batch file and the sydi-wrapper tool. It queries my active directory structure for servers, the automatically places the files into my SharePoint site, which keeps version history for me.
I LOVE having fully automated documentation!
I’m working on getting sydi-sql to work for me, I’m still having some issues with crashing. My DBA thinks it’s fantastic and wants me to set up the same scenario where the SQL servers will be queried monthly and automatically updated.
I have used this tool for a while now and the only thing that is missing, which would make it complete, would be to have a utility that can compare the reports. Yes, a report report.
Having problems with the overview.
Ran the sever fine and it produced the word doc.
Then ran the server option to generate the xml output…and that runs fine
Ran again against localhost with a2nd name – so would have 2 xml files with the same content.
Then ran overview.vbs (with both files and both xsl)
Message received is parsing file (file1.xml)
overview.vbs(221,5) Microsoft Cursor Engine Multiple Step operation generated errors. Check each status value
There is no output
Excel version is 2007
Run as administrator
Patrick Ogenstad says
Rich, which version of SYDI-Server are you using? Probably there is something in the xml file which the parser doesn’t like. If you are willing to send it to me in a zip file I can find out what the problem is.
Palle Grassme says
I’m looking forward to a SYDI-AD tool. I’ve used SYDI-server with great success.
Amit Goswami says
I am getting error while running sydi-exchange script…”There is no such object on the Server”…Can you please help me in resolving this issue?…Thanks in advance
I work for a fortune 500 company. We couldn’t find a packaged server documentation solution for under 100k. All of the packaged solutions required client software to be installed and our data center provider would not allow it. For Windows Servers, all of the data you need is available and free thru WMI, why pay for a packaged solution? I ran it against 200 servers and experienced no problems. I highly recommend this product!
Great Tool. Have you given any thought to showing the server uptime?
Anil Shetty says
I am getting the below error while converting files from .xml to .doc
Reading SYDI-Server Source File: C:\sydi-server-2.0\ServerName.xml
C:\sydi-server-2.0\tools\ss-xml2word.vbs(817, 7) Microsoft Cursor Engine: Multip
le-step operation generated errors. Check each status value.
The command I used is as below
C:\sydi-server-2.0>cscript C:\sydi-server-2.0\tools\ss-xml2word.vbs -lC:\sydi-se
Patrick Ogenstad says
Anil – Are you still using SYDI-Server 2.0? Can you rescan the files with the latest version and see if you still have the same problem?
First: THANK YOU!
Patrick you have made my life as a SysAdmin MUCH easier with the SYDI tools. With SYDI I can create documentation in 15 minutes that would have taken 15 hours without it.
As far as SYDI-AD, I think that would be wonderful!
As far as suggestions, I would like to see a script that can be used to fill in the server specific information in the resulting Word files using an .INI file or some such (Machine owner, location and such).
Patrick Ogenstad says
Joeg – Your suggestion with .ini files is already possible. However you use XML files, take a look at the ss-xml2word.vbs script.
The tool is great! Having a problem running it acroos the network for servers that don’t have Word installed.
Here’s what I used on the cmd line:
C:\temp\General Purpose Utilities\SYDI Server>cscript.exe sydi-server.vbs -uutilserver\userid -ppassword -tutilserver
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.7
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Start subroutine: GatherWMIInformation(utilserver)
-2147024891 — Access is denied. (utilserver)
C:\temp\General Purpose Utilities\SYDI Server>
how can i use sydi whitout word ?
cscript.exe sydi-server.vbs -wabefghipPqrsu -o./rechner/%COMPUTERNAME%.xml -ex
to create a xml document after that you can create a html document with
cscript.exe ./tools/sydi-transform.vbs -x./rechner/%COMPUTERNAME%.xml -s./xml/serverhtml.xsl -o./rechner/%COMPUTERNAME%.htm
sorry for the subdirectory “rechner”
cscript.exe sydi-server.vbs -wabefghipPqrsu -o./%COMPUTERNAME%.xml -ex
cscript.exe ./tools/sydi-transform.vbs -x./%COMPUTERNAME%.xml -s./xml/serverhtml.xsl -o./%COMPUTERNAME%.htm
Is there some kind of utility/script to import SYDI’s XML reports into a database of any kind? Just being able to import the data into a database and write customized reports from there would be super useful.
Thanks for an awesome product!
Hector Crespo says
After spending a good amount of time looking on the internet looking for a solution that is open source, I’m glad i have ran across your web site that helps me out a bunch. It kicks butt. Keep up the good work as you have just picked up another buddy on the internet.
first i would say that this peace of script is great i have only one question how about showing premissions on network shares im using srvcheck.exe, but is not effective as your script is any way to implement this feature.
Randy Douglas says
First off, GREAT Product… THis will simplify my documentation.
Q: I can’t seem to get credentials to work since not all servers are in the domain. EX: cscript sydi-server.vbs -h -u [user] -p [pass] does not work.
Q: Is it possible to get NIC Teaming info on the report as well?
Peter Schwarz says
How can I get the product-key of Windows Server 2008? In my case the field display â€œN/Aâ€
Shannon Justice says
I am receiving the error “There is no such object on the server” when running the sydi-exchange.vbs script. It is failing upon the request for the InformationStore LDAP entry. Is there some way that I can fix this? Thanks for a wonderful script!
You are AWESOME!!!
I am loving these scripts. With over 150 undocumented servers, these scripts have saved my bacon. I always write documentation when I build a server but for those hundred odd I didn’t build, it would have taken a lifetime. And like most techs, I really don’t like spending days on documentation.
I really think you should keep up the good work and hopefully we can motivate you to do so. Unfortunately for me, I was never really gifted with a logical coding or scripting mind. I can write small scripts sure, but nothing like the awesomeness you’ve produced here!
It would be great to see a little more on the AD version and certainly if it includes Exchange too.
Nice one fella! I’d buy you a beer!!
I’m getting the same failure as Shannon Justice on the SYDI-Exchange, but hey, I can wait for a new release 🙂
Mikael Pettersson says
I don’t get the last logged on user on Win7 machines, is it possible to get this also?
2 other things I would live to have included into the wrapper are the Description field & the Owner from the AD 🙂
Is this possible?
/Best Regards and thanks for a superb tool.
Tim C. says
Might be able to automate non-windows systems with SecureCRT. If SYDI outputs to flatfiles, that could be BCP’d/SSIS’d or otherwise imported into SQL via CSV flatfiles.
Hi, this is a great tool and does a really good job.
However, I am having issues with sydi-sql:
1. If I use the default setting I get the following error: ‘sydi-sql.vbs(431, 3) Microsoft Cursor Engine: Multiple-step operation generated errors. Check each status value.’
2. If I use it with the -l1 option I get: ‘Start subroutine: PopulateWordfile()
-2147217887 — Multiple-step operation generated errors. Check each status value. (SQLTEST-3)
Could not open Microsoft Word, verify that it is correctly installed on the computer you are scanning from.’
However, WORD2010 is installed. Any Help would be appreciated.
If the XML files are well formed then you could create a template to import the XML files into tables. You could use the OPENXML functions to shred the XML into data to put into tables.
Or you could just store the data in an XML Data Type.
Are you still updating this product?
I have used it on and off at different jobs but I hadn’t seen any updates.