HTA Monitor for InputAccel and Documentum

I recently did some work for a client who had a fairly large Documentum and Captiva installation which spanned numerous servers and environments (16 servers x 3 environments). One of the challenges they faced when troubleshooting a problem was simply determining if all of the required processes (services) on each server were running. They were not using any network monitoring tools like Hyperic, or Nagios, or Reveille.

My solution was to put together a quick batch file that used some standard DOS commands to ping each host, and where possible, solicit some information about the processes it was running. This solution was OK, but required the use of a super user’s password in the clear, and didn’t really provide the information that was needed.

My next attempt at this solution had me writing a VBScript using WMI Scripting API objects to solicit information from the servers. This worked pretty well but suffered from two major drawbacks: 1) the super user’s password was still used in the clear; 2) the server list was so long, the results scrolled off the screen.

My latest approach to this solution is to use HTA – an HTML Application. HTA is a Microsoft program (mshta.exe) which uses HTML for the UI, and VBScript for program logic. HTA programs look and act like web sites, but HTAs execute locally without the constraints of the IE security model. In fact, HTA applications run as fully trusted applications, just like Microsoft Word. Obviously, this can be both good and bad. Fortunately for me, this was a good thing and allowed me to quickly port my VBScript to a framework that provided a simple and familiar UI construct, and didn’t make me jump through unnecessary hoops to execute administrative functions on the desktop.

Another plus for HTA is that the code is not compiled and can be easily viewed/modified in any text editor. This makes it easy to change the list hosts and processes monitored; making the application portable to other environments.

Here is a screen shot of the IACheck HTA application.

Notice that the user’s password is protected from view, and the process can be configured to loop, in this case, every 10 minutes. The looping feature allows the application to be launched on the console or admin’s desktop and continuously monitor an environment.

Though originally created to monitor InputAccel and Documentum processes, the application can be easily changed to meet your needs.  If you are interested, the source code for the application can be downloaded here. Simply change the names of the hosts and processes you would like to monitor and double-click the file to run it. I have included a list of Documentum and Captiva processes in the source code so you don’t have to look them up.

UPDATE:  Newer version of the monitor here.

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About Scott
I have been implementing Documentum solutions since 1997. In 2005, I published a book about developing Documentum solutions for the Documentum Desktop Client (ISBN 0595339689). In 2010, I began this blog as a record of interesting and (hopefully) helpful bits of information related to Documentum, and as a creative outlet.

6 Responses to HTA Monitor for InputAccel and Documentum

  1. Hartmut Clausen says:

    Have you considered a monitoring solution like Nagios, Incinga or Hyperic?

    Like

  2. Is this for local Windows processes only? I know it has to run on Windows but can it monitor processes on remote servers that may or may not be Windows? I am aware that InputAccel is only supported on Windows but I was thinking of repurposing the code for other Documentum processes.

    Like

    • Scott says:

      Mark, by all means repurpose the code. If you do something cool that you think others would benefit from, post it back. The HTA is designed to run on a Windows host and detect processes running on Windows servers. I did not test it with processes running on UNIX servers. I doubt it will work since the code is using the Windows API to connect and collect process info on those servers. I’d be intersted to see if your or anyone else has a way to collect this info from other servers.

      Like

  3. Pingback: HTA Monitor Update | dm_misc: Miscellaneous Documentum Information

  4. Pingback: Links to All of My Source Code | dm_misc: Miscellaneous Documentum Information

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