All posts by georg

NetInventory 1.0.0-RC2

We are happy to announce the first public release of one of our programs in quite some time: Release Candiate 2 of NetInventory. You are welcome to test it, make suggestions, and help us fix remaining bugs. In general, this version should already be quite stable, due to a intense testing period. So far, the package has been proven to work fine in environments with more than 1000 Windows machines.

Never heard of NetInventory? It is a rather powerful set of tools designed for Administrators, and helps troubleshooting, error detection and prevention. If you want to get informed about NetInventory and what it is capable of, please view the online help.

Interested? The download is 1MB, if you want to give it a try, see the NetInventory section in downloads.

We got obfuscated

When releasing freeware, you do not pay a lot of attention to protecting your program of hackers, or spend a lot of time implementing an overly complicated registration/activation system. However, with the dawn of the .NET Framework and the inability to compile your code to native executables, your compiled program can be decompiled pretty easily.

Freeware does not mean open source in this matter, so coders at least try to keep people from stealing their code. What you get packaged with Visual Studio is Dotfuscator CE, which is said to be one of the better obfuscation tools. With delay signing your assemblies, obfuscating them, and then signing, you make sure that these assemblies stay intact. However, if you have a setup project in the same solution as your source code, building the setup will also re-build all your assemblies, thus destroying all the obfuscation-signing, and simple create new, unsigned, and not obfuscated assemblies.

Just a nice little thing considering the new “coder friendliness” and RAD strategies. Right now, I am working around that by adding all assemblies directly to the setup, instead of adding the project output files, which would have been simpler and easier to maintain. Oh well.

Slow

Developments have been slow for almost 2 months now due to personal matters and work. As things are slowly clearing up a bit, we are getting started again. Strangely, the number of bug reports from testers has decreased almost at the same rate as the development speed has… So, things should really get serious now as to our first releases on the new platform.

Lazy Admins

Whilst NetInventory is nearing its initial release, we have found that being able to do certain tasks with a remote machine is a daily task for Administrators. Therefore, LABF is currently in co-development with NetInventory. This tool will allow for joining/unjoining domains, changing Services, Processes, shutdown batches of machines, etc. All tools will merely interface WMI, instead of relying on a vast collection of remoting services, like remote registry. Stay tuned for the first public test release of NetInventory.

Vista Me

We are test-driving the new Windows for a couple of months now, thanks to a MSDN subscription. So far, compatibility seems to be alright, and some minor changes have been made to have all future releases of our programs be ready for the new OS.

Yesterday, NetInventory was released as Beta 2 to our internal testers. Currently, the schedule of releases includes WallChanger as the first program to be released, as it also includes service libraries used by other vware projects.

Preparing for the future

Currently, several projects which be available on vware.at are currently under development. All programs which will be released or re-released will require the .NET Framework 2.0 to run. Additionally, operating systems other than Windows 2000 and up will not be tested or supported.

In the meantime, the changelog section has been integrated into the new site, so you can keep yourself up to date with recent evolvements of the software.