Ecora Adds Lotus, Oracle to Documentation Software

Ecora Corp. is adding Lotus Domino and Oracle databases to its lineup of software that automates the collection of server configuration data.

This month the company will release Documentor for Lotus Domino and Documentor for Oracle. Ecora's software generates plain-English documents detailing configuration settings on servers and databases. The information can be used by customers for disaster recovery, troubleshooting, migrations or standardization efforts. Server configuration documentation is typically a manual task that rarely gets done by busy IT staffs.

Versions of the software are available for Windows NT and 2000, and Exchange.

"This is common sense in action," says Valerie O'Connell, an analyst with Aberdeen Group in Boston. "It's elegant in its simplicity. Everyone knows that documentation never gets done. This removes every rational reason not to do it."

Documentor for Lotus Domino records Domino domains, server configurations, network connections, Web server settings, protocols and Lotus-centric infrastructure such as certificates and licenses. It also outlines replication profiles and catalogs the size of Notes databases.

The software, which works with Domino 4.6 and higher, checks almost 600 settings on any Domino server and takes only a few minutes to document a server. Documentation is provided in HTML, PDF and Microsoft Word.

Ecora, however, does not document names of Notes databases, locations or access information. Those capabilities will be added in the next version.

"What's driving people to look at Domino Documentor is the ability to check security settings," says Alex Bakman, CEO of Ecora. "The problem with Domino is that lots of servers are running with default administrative passwords. Documentor can find those so they can be changed."

The Oracle version of Documentor works with Version 7.X through 8i of the company's database. The Oracle Documentor checks on nearly 400 configuration settings, including storage, partitions and replication.

Documentor's core is the MyEcora server, which supports all Documentor modules. The software uses an Active X control that gathers configuration data from network servers and feeds it to MyEcora where the documentation is written. The control creates a Windows Explorer-like interface that is used to select servers to document.

Ecora added a search capability for the Domino and Oracle versions, which lets users create online documentation for searching. For example, IT managers who have mandated new patches be applied to servers could search for outdated patches. Users also can generate reports that show only the changes that have been made to a server since the last time documentation was collected.

Documentor for Domino costs US$300 per server for 50 servers. Pricing for the Oracle version is not set. The Domino version is available this week; the Oracle version will ship Oct. 20.


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