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Summary: NETWARE CLIENT for MAC OS X.
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Summary: NETWARE CLIENT for MAC OS X.



Hello all,
Here is the summary of the original question I submitted back a few
days ago...
Before I go on with this summary, I would like to thank you all who
are on this list!
This list, with its collective wisdom, has made it possible for me
to quickly address issues that would have been virtually impossible on
my own.
With that in mind...
I thank you again...

Original message....

>> Hello all,
>> I'm trying to get a consensus of how many institutions are
>> actually utilizing Prosoft Engineering's Netware Client for the Mac
>> within their computer labs.
>> Also would like to get the same information for using the Netware
>> Client on their Faculty/Staff desktops.
>>
>> We are exploring the idea of utilizing the OSX version of the Netware
>> Client within our own maclabs.
>>
>> Would you be able to provide me with the following information.
>> 1) Advantages to using it
>> 2) Disadvantages to using it.
>> 3) How difficult is it for your users to utilize it.
>> 4) Is it really necessary if you have the Native File Access Protocol
>> for Macintosh (AFPTCP.NLM) loaded on the Netware 6 Server.
>> 5) How much work is it for the Novell Admin to setup accounts with or
>> without the Netware Client installed on the client macs.
>> 6) Any other information or comments.
>>
>> I've read the white paper on Prosoft's website. white paper ,
>> <http://prosoftengineering.com/ftp/docs/8700-5006.White_Paper.Prosoft_NetWare_Client_vs_NFA.pdf>But
>> I would rather get the opinion of administrators and techs that are
>> actually using in their normal day to day operation.
>>
>> Any information will be greatly appreciated.
>>
>> Thank you,
>>
>> Paul
>
Summary: It seems that the majority are not utilizing the Novell Client
for OS X and advising to stay away from it.
Preference is to implement NFA within Netware 6.
Factors to this decision are cost, support and simply not necessary once
NFA is fully working and obviously tested.
I will however, because I was asked to, install the Prosoft client
myself and experiment.
I will definitely contact the individuals that offered their services,
if needed.
Another client piece of software that students need to put in a login
name and password can be cumbersome and confusing.
I hope that all works with Netware 6's NFA and OSX.

Thanks again,

Paul

PS: I've quoted the replies underneath each original question....

> 1) Advantages to using it

"It may provide some functionality not supported by NFA"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"As others have said, basically it allows easy connection to
existing IPX networks."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"None. Maybe in a small environment where only a few mac users and
loads of PC users, and they don't want to use NFA."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Allows connecting to pre-NW6 servers."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"- v5.14 for 8.6/9.x works and supports DSLogin to give
'contextless' login"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"It is the only thing going besides Novell Native File Access which
forces you to have a seperate file of passwords. These either have
to be captured as a user logs in or be created seperately from their
normal Novell password. We have decided this is a non starter and
are using the Prosoft client until someone gets LDAP authentication
and home directory automounting working within OSX."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Provides ability to connect to Netware servers if you don't have
Native File Access implemented."
--------------------------------------------------------------------

> 2) Disadvantages to using it.

"Historically, radically reduces data transfer speed
Install and maintenance of client
Extra step interfacing"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Additional cost, an additional "layer" in the connection process,
there have been MAJOR issues with the ProSoft client, Mac OS9 and
Apple's Navigation Services, particularly with Adobe software. I'm
not sure they ever fixed it."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"No IPX.
Expensive.
Doesn't work too well.
Slow progress on updates.
Doesn't work too well on big complicated trees.
No access to NDS printers."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"OSX version is one of the worst pieces of Mac software every
released. Worse
than any free- or shareware I've ever used."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"- slow and we're phasing out IPX; couldn't get the OSX client to work"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"See above, support is almost non-existant. The program itself seems
to have
been written by a poorly educated high school student. Early
versions (up
to 1.03) of it work better than later unless you edit the prefs."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Relatively expensive for what it gets you ... probably cheaper to
implement
NFA. We are getting rid of Novell otherwise would we would have."
--------------------------------------------------------------------

> 3) How difficult is it for your users to utilize it.

"Nothing to it once an alias is built"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"You have it install it on each workstation."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"OSX version works less than half the time."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"- we use DSLogin for non-OSX users; NFA for OSX clients"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Works easier than the old version. We have ours configured to put
aliases
on the desktop of the person who installs it. You can then mount
volumes by
just double clicking the icon. Alternatively, we also put the
servers they
need in the mounts tab of the client. Either way is easier than going
through the chooser, etc."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"I haven't found a lot of difference between using it and the MacOS
9 client.
It does lose track of creator codes for documents that were put on the
server prior to using OS X, but this can be resolved with filename
extensions in many cases. Login/logout is a little annoying in that the
dialog window doesn't go away automatically, but automatically mounting
server volumes is nice."
--------------------------------------------------------------------

> 4) Is it really necessary if you have the Native File Access Protocol
> for Macintosh (AFPTCP.NLM) loaded on the Netware 6 Server.

"We have 1000 Macintosh systems and we were thrilled when NFA became
available and replaced the client"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"No, this is DEFINITELY the way to go now. Novell is supporting it,
has made frequent updates and upgrades, and the Novell newsgroups
seem to have a lot of chatter and support for making it work well."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Absolutely not!"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"- yes if you want fast performance."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"no. We are using it with Netware 5."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"It is my understanding that NFA eliminates the need for the Prosoft
client."
--------------------------------------------------------------------

> 5) How much work is it for the Novell Admin to setup accounts with or
> without the Netware Client installed on the client macs.

"Probably not much difference."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"No more difficult than setting up a Windows client."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Has nothing to do with setting up Novell accounts."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"- easier without the client, but need to have simple passwords set in
the NDS for each user (or enable cleartext passwords so that the NDS
synchronises NDS and simple passwords)"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"You don't need to set up accounts on the the client mac. The client
connects to preexisting Novell accounts."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"I can't speak to this."
--------------------------------------------------------------------

> 6) Any other information or comments.

"I am in a higher education environment, on the business side of the
house,
formerly a Network Admin in a K-12 environment.
The ProSoft client seemed to work for a while, but has been giving
us some
difficulty as of late: using the Save feature in Office 98/2001/X Apps,
maintaining a stable connection with Netware file servers (5.1 and
6) and
networked printers.
I have recently upgraded our NW 5.1 servers to 6.0 SP2 and have gathered
mixed results. I think I have narrowed it down that OS X clients connect
through the "Connect to Server" option on the OSX client, and login
with the
Simple Password feature in NDS/eDirectory, not the NDS/eDirectory
password
that the ProSoft Client and PCs use. The Simple Password and the
eDirectory
password can be the same, but they need to be set individually.
For OS 9 clients, connecting through the Chooser, with either Cleartext
passwords or the Simple Password seemed to work best.
For our environment, installing Native File Access on each of our
Netware 6
servers (NFA is included with NW 6) became a better choice than
purchasing,
installing, and maintaining over 200 copies of the ProSoft Client.
We also recently purchased a Xserve for the purpose of managing the
Macintosh clients (Help Desk). I have ZENworks for the PCs, but
nothing for
the Macs.
I would be very interested in hearing about your integration with
MM/WGM and
eDirectory. Can one user list be maintained? Can MM/WGM and
eDirectory be
synchronized at the LDAP level?"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"We hve just begun to use the Netware Client for Mac OS X, IP Edition.
I've been testing it since the beta version 10 months ago, and until
recently I was not confident enough in the product to recommend it.
Especially given that the cost is rather high, even at
education/upgrade pricing.
With the latest version (around February) I felt it was stable enough
for use by clients who absolutely need Novell access for
mission-critical work (most Mac users around our campus could care
less about Novell, but there are some that absolutely need it.)
We are purchasing 25 licenses for faculty/staff Macs, and may purchase
25 more. We do NOT plan to deploy this client in our Mac lab (we use
AFS.)
FYI we did use the mac OS 9 Netware Client for many years, it was
included with our Novell site license, so, no brainer."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"We are all the time. We purchased an OS X server a year ago, which
has now gotten most of our mac users off the Novell side, however,
we do have pockets of Mac users who still use the Novell side of the
house."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"It wasn't working for us in a testing enviro. Not only that, we
used MacManager and it just was too much of a pain. In a K-12 setup,
the more steps to do something the worse it was as the staff saw it.
SO. We moved away from that idea. We are working now on using MM/WGM
with eDirectory. Haven't got it going yet, but that is what we are
planning for summerish."
We couldn't cover the expense either. Our Netware license is bad
enough. The fact they do not license the Prosoft license through
their MLA plans is also a bad idea."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"We have a few of the Prosoft clients for Mac deployed, all on faculty
machines. Our Mac environments (3 elementary schools, 1 middle school)
all have Mac OS X servers so we primarily use the ProSoft solution for
Mac users that want to connect to NetWare servers at the HS, which is
PC/Novell based.
I have found the OS X versionof the Prosoft software to be flakey. I
still use the OS 9 version occasionally - it's unfailingly reliable.
We are now exploring options within Novell to connect Macs to NetWare
servers. With limited Novell expertise in house, we have relied on
consultants for most of our support but this seems like a better
solution than the one from Prosoft. Probably less expensive too - those
Prosoft licenses aren't cheap!"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"IMHO, Prosoft's track record of maintaining their OS9 client was
spotty and
inconsistent. We never could resolve the MacOS9/Prosoft/Novell/Adobe
navigation services issue (as soon as a nav services dialog box
appeared,
the machine would lock.) There was a workaround in OS8, but no
solution in
9. Novell's Native File Access works fine with Nav services, and is
included
in Netware 6. It's available as an add-on for Novell 5."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Use NFA if you can. Its not great either, but better.
We are moving to AD anyway, so didn't bother. For legacy IPX we are
using NW
Gateways on W2K."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Your poll is very interesting for our Computing Centre.
We have here a couple of Mac labs. We have used MacOS 8.6 and 9.1
with Prosoft Mac client. The main purpose of the softaware so far
has been to use it for page counting using Pcounter. It's worked
fairly well.
Later this year we have to move on MacOSX platform. So we are very
interesting in to hear advantages and disadvantages of Prosoft
MacOSX client."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"OS 9 version works well enough. OS X version, well I've expressed my
opinion."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"- get your OSX clients to 10.2.3 or higher and use NFA"
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"We have Native File Access (under Netware 5.1 -- we are looking to
go to 6 this summer) and have just installed our first OS X
computers (so it's still too early to gauge stability). We just
connect through IP directly (as we do with OS 9). What is the point
of using the Prosoft client?
We may be in further contact with you to inquire about your Netware
experiences as we get deeper into OS X."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"At Macalester College we have been distributing the Prosoft OSX
client for about five months or so. I cannot believe that this is
version 1.1 (the current one). I would guage the quality of the
product at perhaps a final Beta stage, rather than the first major
revision of a product for sale. That being said, we have it working
99% of the time. What we had to do was go in and edit the .plist
file for all versions after 1.03. I don't know if they have no
testing department, but it seems like they should have caught this.
If you would like our file for your use, let me know. Now, on to the
questions.
Let me know if you want a copy of our installer or prefs file. It
really
does work after you make the changes that they should have built
into their
product."
--------------------------------------------------------------------
"I would have preferred to use NFA and the OS X native method of
operation
for connecting to servers, but as indicated above we are no longer
investing
effort into implementing new services on Novell... and it appeared
that we
would have to implement eDirectory to get NFA working, which would
be a big
undertaking at this time."
--------------------------------------------------------------------



--
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Paul J. Bento
Rhode Island School of Design
Computer and Network Service
20 Washington Place
Providence, RI
02903
USA
e-mail: email@hidden
Tel: 401-454-6144
Fax: 401-454-6410

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/


--
_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

Paul J. Bento
Rhode Island School of Design
Computer and Network Service
20 Washington Place
Providence, RI
02903
USA
e-mail: email@hidden
Tel: 401-454-6144
Fax: 401-454-6410

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
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