Dec 282017
 
For Your Information Message Center for networks (inform users upon login of important bulletins or events).
File FYI.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Network Files
For Your Information Message Center for networks (inform users upon login of important bulletins or events).
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
FYI!.DOC 18451 5027 deflated
FYI!.EXE 206722 92560 deflated
MESSAGE.DBF 195 77 deflated
REGISTER.DOC 1352 438 deflated

Download File FYI.ZIP Here

Contents of the FYI!.DOC file


FYI! Network Public Message System
Copyright (c) Christopher P. Garrison - 1991
for Twisted Pair Software
=================================================================


Acknowledgement
_______________


Thanks to Michael J. Barton for suggestions and help in
developing FYI!.



Purpose
_______


One of the challenges facing any network administrator is to find
a way to distribute information to users on the network in a
timely fashion, and with as little use of time and network
resources as possible. Most often, LAN administrators distribute
information via E-Mail, using either the network operating
system's E-mail utility, or one of the many commercially
available E-mail programs. Generally, a LAN administrator sends
an E-Mail message to each network user, or to a specified group
of users. However, this distribution system has two distinct
problems:

1. Each repetition of an E-mail message is a waste of disk
space resources;

2. Users who choose to ignore the E-mail, or delete it
without reading it, may miss important information.

Sometimes you need to inform users of certain things whether they
want to know or not.

FYI! is an information distribution system for networks which
handles the problems listed above. It allows a network
administrator to automatically display a single copy of a message
file to users at login (Automatic mode), forcing users to view
every message designated by the LAN administator as "Non-
Optional". It also provides another interface which allows
users to select messages to view from a menu (Manual mode). A
third interface (Supervisor mode) allows the System Administrator
to add or delete messages, change the priority (viewing order in
Automatic mode), beginning and ending dates, (dates to be
displayed in Automatic mode) and whether the message is
"Optional" (viewable only in Manual mode) or "Non-Optional"
(displayed in Automatic mode, based on the beginning and ending

Page 1 FYI! Network Public Message System
Copyright (c) Christopher P. Garrison - 1991
for Twisted Pair Software
=================================================================


date of the message). Supervisor mode also allows the network
supervisor to view messages as they would be viewed by normal
users both in Automatic and Manual modes.



Installation
_____________


To install FYI!, create a network directory for the FYI! program
file (FYI!.EXE), and message database (MESSAGE.DBF). This
directory will also contain the ASCII text files which will be
displayed as messages. If you are installing FYI! on a Novell
Netware 386 Network, users must be granted READ and FILE SCAN
rights in the FYI! directory. The FYI!.EXE file and MESSAGE.TXT
files should be flagged Read-Only and Shareable to prevent
accidental deletion. The LAN administrator or FYI! supervisor
must have full rights in the FYI! directory.

After installing the program files, create some ASCII text files
to be displayed as messages. Message files are limited only by
the following rules:

1. All message files must have the file extension ".TXT".

2. Message file size must be less than 64kb.

3. The first 50 characters of your message file (or all of
the characters up to the first carriage return if it is
within the first 50 characters) will be used to create
a menu listing for the message in Manual mode.

After you have created your message files and copied them to the
FYI! directory, the next step is to run FYI! in Supervisor mode
to add a record for each message file to the MESSAGE.DBF file
(For more information, see the section labeled SUPERVISOR MODE
below).

To run FYI! for some or all network users at login in Automatic
mode, edit your login.bat file, autoexec.bat file, or other
startup file to include the following line:

FYI! A



Page 2 FYI! Network Public Message System
Copyright Christopher P. Garrison - 1991
for Twisted Pair Software
=================================================================


If you want to allow access to users in Manual mode, install a
menu option on your shell/menu system of choice to run the
following command:

FYI! M



Message Files
_____________


FYI! message files are simply ASCII text files which exist in the
same directory as the FYI! program and database files. In order
for FYI! to recognize them, message files must have the file
extension ".TXT". You can use any any ASCII editor or word
processor with the ability to save ASCII or "DOS text" files to
create message files. Keep in mind when creating your message
files that the first line (up to the first carriage return) or
the first 50 characters of the ASCII file (if there is no
carriage return in the first fifty characters) will be used to
create the menu option to be displayed when FYI! is run in Manual
mode. You may want to use these characters to summarize the
message.

FYI! can display any ASCII file up to 64K; however, depending on
the available RAM on your network workstations, you may want to
limit your messages to much smaller sizes.



Running FYI! - Supervisor Mode
______________________________

To run FYI! in "Supervisor" mode, enter the following command:

FYI! S

In Supervisor mode, the System Administrator can add or delete
records in the message database, set beginning and ending dates
for messages to be displayed in Automatic mode, determine whether
or not a file will be displayed in Automatic mode, and set the
priority (display order) for Automatic messages; it also allows
the system administrator to preview the messages in both
Automatic and Manual modes.


Page 3 FYI! Network Public Message System
Copyright (c) Christopher P. Garrison - 1991
for Twisted Pair Software
=================================================================


When you start FYI! in "Supervisor" mode, you will see the FYI!
Maintenance Menu:



Maintenance Menu

Update Message Base
View Messages in Automatic Mode
View Messages in Manual Mode
Quit


Select 'Update Message Base' to enter new records. Records in
the message database contain the following fields:

Filename
Start (date)
End (date)
Priority
Optional

'Filename' is the name of the ASCII file (without extension)
to be displayed, 'Start' and 'End' are date fields which are used
to control the time span when a certain message will be displayed
in Automatic mode, 'Priority' determines the order in which the
files will be displayed in Automatic mode, and 'Optional'
determines whether or not a message will be displayed in
Automatic mode. Entering 'N' in the Optional field forces a
message to be displayed in Automatic mode. All message files
listed in the database are included in the menu in Manual mode,
regardless of 'Start' and 'End' dates, Priority, or whether or
not the message is optional.

The other two options on the Supervisor menu allow the system
administrator to view the messages in the same way a normal user
would view them in Automatic and Manual modes, and then return to
the Maintenance Menu in case further changes are necessary.









Page 4 FYI! Network Public Message System
Copyright (c) Christopher P. Garrison - 1991
for Twisted Pair Software
=================================================================


Automatic Mode
______________


Automatic mode is designed to be run each time users login to the
network. To set up Automatic mode, edit the system login script,
login batch file, or user login script to include the following
line:

FYI! A

When FYI! is run with the 'A' option, it checks the message
database to see if there are any messages which should be
displayed on the current date. Automatic messages must have
appropriate beginning and ending dates, and must have their
optional field set to 'N'. If no active messages are found,
control is returned to the calling script or batch file. If one
or more active messages are found, they are displayed in the
order determined by the system administrator in the 'Priority'
field. When the last message is displayed, control is returned
to the calling program.

You may want to display different messages to different groups of
users. There is nothing currently in FYI! which will allow you
to do this (however, watch for future updates) but you can
accomplish the same purpose under Novell Netware using the
following steps:

1. Create FYI! directories for each group.

2. At login, map a network drive to the appropriate FYI!
directory, and then run the FYI! startup command from
that drive.

I realize this is a little bit counter-productive if the object
is to save disk resources, but it is still less wasteful than
distributing the same files to each member of a group or groups.

You need only one registered copy to set FYI! up this way, as
long as it is not being done across servers. (In other words,
one registered copy per server gives you unlimited usage on that
server.)





Page 5 FYI! Network Public Message System
Copyright (c) Christopher P. Garrison - 1991
for Twisted Pair Software
=================================================================


Manual Mode
___________


To run FYI! in Manual mode, enter the following command:

FYI! M

(Manual mode also runs by default if no parameter is passed at
the command line.) In manual mode, FYI! displays a menu option
for each record in the message database. Each menu option
consists of the first line up to the first carriage return in the
ASCII message file, or the first fifty characters, if there is no
carriage return in that string. The user can select a message to
view by placing the menu light-bar on the menu option and
pressing ENTER.

After the selected message has been viewed, the user returns to
the message selection menu. Pressing ESC at the selection menu
exits the program.

Manual mode could be used to allow users to view less critical
(optional) messages, and to allow users to go back and re-read
messages displayed in Automatic mode without having to login
again.



Help mode
_________

Entering FYI! ? at a prompt will display a list of the
parameters which can be passed to FYI!, and which program option
each parameter will activate.



Function Keys - F9 (Print Message)
__________________________________


Users can print the FYI! message they are currently viewing by
pressing F9. F9 sends the ASCII text file currently being viewed
to LPT1. FYI! assumes that printing is being handled by the
Novell Netware "Capture" command, or that the printer connection


Page 6 FYI! Network Public Message System
Copyright (c) Christopher P. Garrison - 1991
for Twisted Pair Software
=================================================================

at the user's station is parallel. If there is no parallel
printer attached, and no "Capture" statement active, FYI! will
return the following message to the user:

No printer detected. Press any key....



Function Keys - F10 (Help)
__________________________

The F10 key displays a pop-up help screen with information about
cursor movement, in Automatic and in Manual mode, or about
editing the message database in Supervisor mode.



Program Information
___________________

FYI! was written in Clipper, Summer '87 version.

FYI! has been tested on a Novell Netware 386 version 3.1 network.
The code in FYI! is network generic - that is, there is nothing
in the program which is specific to any particular version of
Netware, or even to Netware itself. I currently do not have the
opportunity to test FYI! on a non-Novell network, but I would
appreciate feed-back from anyone out there who has occasion to do
so.

Future Development
__________________

The following are examples of program enhancements currently
under consideration for the next version of FYI!:

1. A pop-up menu box listing .TXT files in the current
directory, allowing the system administrator to select
filenames to be added to the message database.

2. A function allowing the system administrator to display
different automatic messages to different users based on
Novell Netware group security.





Page 7 FYI! Network Public Message System
Copyright (c) Christopher P. Garrison - 1991
for Twisted Pair Software
=================================================================


Registration
____________


This program is being distributed under the Shareware concept,
which means that you get a chance to try before you buy. If you
find this product useful, I encourage you to register a copy or
copies with me. Twisted Pair Software is currently a shoestring
operation, so registering will only get you an "official" FYI!
distribution disk and peace of mind. But if you would like to
see further development of FYI!, or if you have suggestions for
future enhancements, this is the way to let me know. Registered
users will be notified of new releases of FYI!; and if I use one
of your suggestions in a new version, you'll get that version for
free.


The registration fee is $40.00 per network file server. (One
registered copy per server.)


To register, print out the file REGISTER.DOC, and fill it out.
Mail it to me at the address listed on the form along with a
check for the appropriate amount.























Page 8 FYI! Network Public Message System
Copyright (c) Christopher P. Garrison - 1991
for Twisted Pair Software
=================================================================


Miscellaneous
_____________


This software is provided "as is", without any warranty of any
kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to,
the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a
particular purpose. The entire risk as to the quality and
performance of the software is with you. Should the software
prove defective, the user, NOT the author or Twisted Pair Software,
assumes responsibility for the entire cost of all necessary
servicing, repair or correction.


In no event shall be liable to the user for any damages, including
lost profits, lost savings or other incidental or consequential
damages arising out of the use or inability to use this software.


Novell Netware 386 is a trademark of Novell, Inc.

Clipper is a trademark of Nantucket, Inc.

























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