Introduction and history
TS Tools is an admin tool and script generator designed for administrators of server farms and large networks of client computers based on Windows operating systems. TS Tools development started in 1998, when the Bootlogger module was created to track when and how often a faulty server crashed. The vendor for said server claimed that it never crashed, so proof was needed as it automatically restarted. During the following years, several scripts and modules where made to solve various problems. In 2007, we started to put it all together in a single program, and the modules where generalized to make them more useful to others. Version 3 was the first version not considered Beta, and the first version to have anything resembling a manual.
TS Tools is made by systems administrators for systems administrators. Functions are added based on need, and we try to keep the interface simplistic. Sadly though, a simplistic interface doesn’t necessary make TS Tools simple to understand. We have a fairly large codebase containing basic and advanced functions created and updated since 1998. When new functions are added we try to generalize them as much as possible, but some of them are created to solve a particular problem or automate a specific task.
New in version 5
Some time after the release of version 4 we realized we had become a victim of our own productivity and created a program riddled by featureitis. Version 4 had so many functions it was easy to get lost and very difficult to use for the uninitiated. This also made the program very difficult to maintain, the GUI alone had grown to almost 5000 lines of code. In version 5 we attempt to rectify this by splitting the program in to multiple modules. They all use the same database format, with the exception of Stats, which has always had its own format. The different modules use the database(s) to communicate with each other. This makes it easier to maintain the individual modules, and enable us to create different interfaces using the same functions in different ways. We have tried to use as many common GUI elements as possible in the new modules.
TS Tools Stats
In late 2009 we created a statistics and monitoring package for MS Exchange server 2003. We later added disk storage monitoring to the package, and in the first half of 2010 we had it running nicely in production. The Stats package is somewhat tailor made for the environments it is running in, and as of 2011 no manual exists. We are planning to create a version supporting MS Exchange 2010, bypassing 2007. Currently we use it for monitoring Exchange 2003, Windows 2003/2008R2 file servers and MS SQL servers (2000-2008R2).