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The company I work for operates a 3 tier global system. The software is installed on each of the sites, and communicates across a WAN. The system is install on Windows Server 2003.

At the moment the configuration of this system is an XML file which is distributed with the binaries.

We want to change the configuration system so that we don't have to manually copy the file to all of the global territories when ever we make a change, and we can make changes on the fly.

We do not want script/batch files, we want either a nice simple GUI, or a web interface of some kind.

Is there anything out there?

Thanks Rich

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2 Answers 2

I may be misunderstanding your question, but if you use Active Directory - put the XML file in the SYSVOL of a DC, it will be distributed automatically to all DCs according to your AD replication schedule.

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Thanks for the reply Kara, forgive me as I'm not that familiar with Active Directory. Sysvol I assume is some kind of share in Active Directory. We run our application from shares on various servers throughout the global sites. Would it be possible to distribute updates to the entire system via active directory? –  Rich Aug 23 '10 at 14:50
It can be handy because every domain member can access it with \\your_domain_name.com\sysvol ... If you have AD admins, they can tell you what the replication schedule is and how long it would take file updates to reach every server. If you already have AD in place, it would be an easy way to accomplish what you want - though it would be overkill to set up JUST for that purpose. –  Kara Marfia Aug 23 '10 at 14:57
"Would it be possible to distribute updates to the entire system via active directory?" - a single XML file should be pretty easy (assuming all sites are in the same domain, which is probably not the case, now that I've had more coffee), but this method would probably not be great for an entire application. I've only typically used sysvol for very small things like a config file or login script. –  Kara Marfia Aug 23 '10 at 14:58
your idea has lead me to read about DFS technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc787066(WS.10).aspx Again I am not familiar with the administration of DFS, is it seemless? Is it the fact that once set up you update the master share and the update is distributed automagically? –  Rich Aug 23 '10 at 15:26
What I'm trying to prevent is us writing a system that doesn't need to be written as it already exists in windows. –  Rich Aug 23 '10 at 15:27

There are many, many ways to centrally manage the configuration of an application; but it strongly depends on how the application itself is written. If it wants a XML file in a given path on each server, there's very little you can do other than a using a script to copy the file everywhere it is needed.

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We have the ability to change how these apps read configs, I'm just not familiar with the many many ways? I've just been looking into DFS, maybe thats something we could use ... –  Rich Aug 23 '10 at 15:23
If you can modify your application to read its configuration from a DFS share this could work. But f.e. you'll have no way to tell your application "config changed, please restart". –  Massimo Aug 23 '10 at 15:45
this is true, however I can't help feeling this is so close to the answer. –  Rich Aug 23 '10 at 16:02

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