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I've been put in charge of a project that does this and that with some files on our data server. My boss told me today that it would be nice if she could be notified every time such and such happens. My plan was to make an RSS XML file in which one of my scripts can store logs, and then my boss can simply locate that file in Outlook to subscribe to it.

RSS Readers such as Outlook don't seem to like offline/local RSS feeds, according to my quick tests. Is there a way to do what I'm talking about?

I'm open to other ideas, but let me explain the main reasons I want to do it this way.

  • It's less annoying and more versatile than an email (collects in one location; can be sent to more than one person...)
  • A local file wouldn't require any FTP-ing or logging in for my updating script to do
  • A local file would only be accessible by people connected to the server

If someone can give me an alternate solution, I will consider it as long as it satisfies those things. Thanks!

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Just setup a light-weight http server? –  Zoredache Feb 1 '12 at 5:30
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1 Answer

You need the RSS file to be served correctly by a HTTP server, a file on a drive won't work. You need mimetypes, cache headers etc.

What I have done previously is creating a tiny virtual machine to run a light-weight web server, such as NginX. You would normally not run a webserver on top of your data server, but if you're low on resources this would work equally well.

I mounted the data server read-only inside the VM, and did my processing on that using simple BASH and PHP scripts, output to an RSS file, that would then be accessible via the NginX server. Employees would then subscribe to that.

If you choose to run the web server on the data server, make sure the web root is configured correctly and there is no way to browse to the shared folders.

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Thanks @cvaldemar. Is there a big advantage to doing this versus actually using our web server? –  Andrew Feb 1 '12 at 13:14
    
Security, unless you want to be able to subscribe to from outside your LAN. –  cvaldemar Feb 2 '12 at 13:35
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