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Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-24-2004 15:59

OK, persuant ot my new job, I've had a request made of me by the manager that I'm not sure how to fulfill. Basically they want a system whereby they can send an intra-office email to an individual, a group of people on the domain or to all staff at will (you know, to give warnings, inform about meetings, that kind of thing) and me as the administrator require a messaging service that allows me to do something similar, but it'll simply be a broadcast message that warns people about planned server outages and stuff. So, does anyone know what I can impliment to do these? It can be a server/client thing if you want, but the client for the messaging part would have to be transparent (they don't see it until they have to) and not able to be shut off by users. Any ideas guys and gals? I know there's a few network admins among us, so someone must know something that could help.

Thanks


Justice 4 Pat Richard

norm
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: [s]underwater[/s] under-snow in Juneau
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 05-24-2004 16:32

I'm going to assume two things- 1)simple group emails are not what you are looking for and 2)your network is made up of windows NT/2K/XP boxes(yuck...)

if so, look into this: Net Send

from commandline
Net Send GUI

Net Send can be disabled(and often is, to stop 'Pop-Ups'), but most End Users don't have a clue how to do it.

poi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: France
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 05-24-2004 16:57

Can't you use a shared LDAP contact list with the contact infos of every individuals in the company plus some aliases binded to the groups of persons ( such as the "techies", the "direction", the "commercial staff" ... ) ?

I guess everybody have its mail client open all day long, so it should be far enough and would avoid the annoyance of being interrupted by a popup message

norm
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: [s]underwater[/s] under-snow in Juneau
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 05-24-2004 18:11

poi:

Annoyance? Come on now, these are just End Users we're talking about. Annoyance is when they bother the Sys. Admin. with their petty little problems....(lol)

But seriously, I wouldn't count on everyone keeping their email client open all day.

poi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: France
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 05-24-2004 18:24

norm: you mean like people wondering why their client haven't received their 50Mb attached file.

In my previous job, the dev team relied heavily on the mails ( with some naming rules for the subjects and such to sort them out ) to keep track of the updates on the projects.

Shooting_Star
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Feb 2004

posted posted 05-24-2004 18:24

The generally accepted way for companies to broadcast messages, updates, etc. is thru
1) email
2) voice mail (if urgent)

employees are strongly encouraged to keep their email client open at all times.

btw, why the hell would you want a stupid pop-up IM?

if the IM route is the way you choose to go, then Windows has a rudimentary chat client which can be used to broadcast to individuals or groups. Or you could use net meeting. Both are crap, but neither involve any costs or installation or much support or training.

If you go to a full IM applications remember you will need training support, and installation, and users will need to have both email and the IM app open all the time -in my humble opinion there is no reason to install another application.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/NetMeeting/Features/Chat/Default.ASP

go back to your manager and let him know email is what Fortune 500 companies use for this purpose..that should really impress him

norm
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: [s]underwater[/s] under-snow in Juneau
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 05-24-2004 20:09

shooting_star:

The 'rudimentry chat client' used to broadcast messages to machines is Net Send, as I mentioned in my post. And yes (as you said) both Net send and Net Meeting are crap; but then what do you expect from Windows?

The 'stupid pop-up IM' functionality you refer to is actually the legitimate use of Net Send for the exact purpose it was designed for, allowing an Administrator to send messages to End Users without depending on them to cooperate by keeping a certain program open. Pop-Ups can be annoying, but as a Sys. Admin, if I get my job done I couldn't care less about annoying someone.

Dufty
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Cubeville
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 05-24-2004 21:03

Skaarjj,
I had no idea you'd joined the ranks of the B.O.F.H. - congrats!

Who wants to live forever?

Shooting_Star
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Feb 2004

posted posted 05-24-2004 21:41

How about this then?
http://www.rjlsoftware.com/software/utility/netsend/

edit:
Norm:
I guess the point I was trying to make is that email should be enuf. There isn't a need for an IM if people follow the rules and keep their email client open - subject headers such as URGENT or ACTION REQUIRED can also help to flag an important email (as well as the urgent icon).

Also, from a security perspective doesn't it make sense to shut down Windows messaging completely? It, like IM clients as well, can readily be hacked.

I do stand by my earlier suggestion that if something is of critical importatance then do it in person or thru a voice mail.

(Edited by Shooting_Star on 05-24-2004 21:49)

Shooting_Star
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Feb 2004

posted posted 05-24-2004 21:55

addendum

Here is microsoft's take on their own messaging service:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/using/howto/communicate/stopspam.asp

Patch you say? Patch is only as good as most recent hack.

As for IM clients? I don't allow them to run on my PC and never will, at least not "always on"

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-25-2004 00:24

Star: you've forgotten the most fundamental rule of a networked workplace...if something is a dead set rule, there forthe convenience of all, then half the people will break it as a matter of course. Anyway, as for messenger service being usedto send spam, yes, it nomrally is, but i can block that from the server itself so it won't occur on our network. No computer on the network connects to the outside world without going through the server.

(Edited by Skaarjj on 05-25-2004 00:26)

JKMabry
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: raht cheah
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 05-25-2004 00:42

net send is great if you have the messenger process still going on all the desktops, lots of parameters and you can write batch files to invoke it as well.

So you are using Windows networking...? If you have Windows 2000 server or later and an equivalent Exchange server you probably have some great communications tools available to you for messenging, email, online meetings etc. If you can't find them you might check and see if your company subscribes or used to subscribe to, TechNet, they used to release the administrative add ons and service packs through TechNet

Rinswind 2th
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Den Haag: The Royal Residence
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 05-25-2004 01:04

When i worked for Imperial Tobaco they used an simple mail sever ans some mailinglists.
There where diffrent mailing lists.
Lilke:
-Staff Location
-Staff National
-Staff International
-Everyone on location (an location was an complete factory and al the departments from marketing to surveilance)
-Project group X
and so on
Not everybody was able to see all mailing lists. But as i remember the mail server was baser on the IMAP Protocol so it did not matter if you where behind someone elses box. That is as long as you knew your username and Password.
I found something you could use listserv
And http://lists.gurus.com/mlms.html
hopes this helps

------------------------------
Do something usefull: support Justice for Pat Richard

(Edited by Rinswind 2th on 05-25-2004 01:07)

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 05-25-2004 09:36

well... we're using microsoft messenger - which of course requires a central exchange - and I'm not sure wether it can be set to be 'undeactivatable'. But it's more a direct IM than a broadcasting system.

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