Directory Monitor 2.0 Release Roadmap

5. January 2011

I will be decommissioning Directory Monitor version 1.x and starting the development of version 2.0 with some new features based on user requests. Please leave a comment for any requests that are not on the roadmap and I will add them.

I have recently uploaded MSI installers as well as a standalone ‘portable’ version of Directory Monitor. I will make one more update with information and links on updating to 2.0 when it’s ready.

Because supporting this will take quite a bit of my personal time I have decided to make it ‘trial’ based. I will create a poll soon to decide on a selling price while it is still in development. Version 1.x will always remain free but will not be updated any further.

Implemented Implemented
In Progress In Progress
Not Implemented Yet Not Implemented Yet

New Features

In Progress Ability to monitor directories as a Windows Service (will double as console version).
Implemented Attempt to detect which user made the changes to the files/directory using NETBIOS. Will try and support doing this across network but you will need to be an admin for the share being monitored.
In Progress Options to include/exclude file types and subdirectories from getting logged. This will allow for executing a custom application when just a directory changes and not files (e.g. exclude *.* files).
Not Implemented Yet Option to allow specifying how many log entries to be generated before performing the custom application execution.
Not Implemented Yet Trial based with web functionality to verify license keys and unlocking and piracy alerting.
Not Implemented Yet Advanced monitoring options to be specific about what entries get created for (attribute changes, security etc.)
Not Implemented Yet CHM help file for information with extending and executing custom application with examples.
Not Implemented Yet Ability to extend to UI and/or execution functionality programmatically.
Not Implemented Yet Investigate monitoring Linux and NAS directories by detecting the type and falling back on some sort of polling because Windows event hooks won’t work.

Improvements

Implemented Remove settings from the registry to avoid full trust and use the standard application configuration file.
Implemented Directories to monitor will each have their own separate settings in an XML configuration file, easier to change, export and parse. Existing export format can be used for migration.
Not Implemented Yet Use a file based memory map to read the log so that it can be shared by a UI client and also the service. This will greatly improve performance and reduce memory usage for large logs.
Implemented Remove ClickOnce for a custom updating and installing solution to avoid certificate issues and smart updates when installing using an MSI (or use them both).

Maintenance

Implemented Host project/bug tracking using either something basic like BugTracker.NET.
Implemented Push all downloads through a HTTP handler to properly track and report on usage.
In Progress Automate generating the MSI installer, uploading over FTP, PAD file, IL merging, posting release notes etc.

Phew, that’s a big list…




Software , ,

Comments (17) -

1/17/2011 10:54:17 AM #
I've tested your tool and it really does work okay except for the thing i was looking for Smile

I'm looking for a solution to monitor and log users that access a specific share. I could use Windows Auditing but that only shows the physical path that was accessed.

The problem is that I'm in the middle of a fileserver migration. On this fileserver we're going to change the shares first to DFS (Distributed File System). So for every current share, we're adding another share on the same folder. So you get:

E:\sharedmap\ -> \\servername.domain\old_share_name$ & \\servername.domain\dfs-sharename$

We want to monitor/log who or which server/application is still connecting to the old shares. So whenever a foldershare is opened we need to know how the user/app/server got to the folder via which share.

I hope i'm getting this a bit clear Smile

In windows 2008 this is already possible via: Audit file share (technet.microsoft.com/.../dd772690(WS.10).aspx)

But the current server is a widnows 2003 machine. The audit feature doesnt support the things we want.

Maybe you can figure something out with Directory Monitor as a new feature? I bet there are more company's interested in a function like this. there is already a tool like this made by Steve Miller (ShareWatch  http://www.stevemiller.net/sharewatch/) but the problem is that this tool doesn't log the activities and we don't want to sit in front of the screen whole day long.

Regards,

Dennis de Vries

PS: if you need more information, I posted a question on Microsoft social technet networkings also:
social.technet.microsoft.com/.../76e2189b-a640-4519-bb7e-070c9c014786
Arun
5/22/2011 9:23:51 AM #
Totally love it!!!

1 Issue (Only) v1.0.2.1

I have H: drive hidden in explorer (using TweakUI). Software Drive, don't use it very often. Directory Monitor does not log any changes on this drive even though it is set to monitor all changes!!

Cheers
5/22/2011 10:55:41 AM #
@Arun: Glad you like it!
As for the hidden drive problem. This used to be a special registry tweak (NoDrives) in XP and prior versions of Windows, I don't even think it works anymore in newer versions like Vista or 7 so I'll have to pull out my XP VM and give it a try.
I would guess that because the drive is hidden Windows does not report on the changes which is why DM does not pick up any events. I'll confirm and get back to you...
5/23/2011 6:22:38 PM #
Thanks for creating this great utility!  I ended up doing something customized with the Recent Items in my Windows 7.  I wanted a way to selectively delete shortcuts based on where they pointed so that my Recent Items would only show specific links.  Check out the details at www.donationcoder.com/.../index.php?topic=26826.0
Danny
6/29/2011 3:09:54 PM #
First off, thank you so much for giving us DM! It's an awesome app and it's been running flawlessly and reliably on my home server for over a year now. I wrote a little php script that takes DM's log data and creates a neat browser start page for all family members, so everyone's always up-to-date on new files. Lately though, a UAC nag started to appear everytime DM was launched (see http://www.fpsbremen.de/stuff/uac-nag.png). This prevents DM from being launched via Windows Autostart, since the machine it's running on is started remotely by a WoL command, so no one's there to click "Yes". Had this problem with 1.0.2.3 and tried loads of things to get rid of it, went through lots of web pages trying to find out why UAC is doing this all of a sudden. I couldn't figure it out. Then 1.0.2.4 was released and, luckily, UAC wasn't an issue with the new version. A few weeks later, the nag started to appear with 1.0.2.4 as well. I don't recall doing anything to provoke this, other than changing the user password. The machine is running Windows 7 Professional x64 btw. Any ideas or suggestions regarding this issue would be greatly appreciated...
6/29/2011 7:08:18 PM #
@Danny: DM version 1.0.2.5 is available with an option to bypass UAC (not recommended though but I am in the process of being able to run DM without elevated privileges).

When starting DM just pass in the argument /nouac to prevent the application from forcing a privilege elevation request. EG: C:\Program Files\DevEnterprise.NET\Directory Monitor\DirectoryMonitor.exe /nouac
KJB
8/22/2011 11:20:39 AM #
I’ve been enjoying the DM and its working wonderfully on my desktop.  However, the Command Prompt email isn’t working due to my lack of knowledge about batch files, DOS and what goes where.   Is there an example sheet of appropriate batch files that could be cut and pasted?

When should we be looking for version 2.0?  Looking forward to the poll, this bit of kit is certainly worth something to me.

I wish an Option that could specify a period of time before triggering an action.  For example:  trigger an email after 168 hours, attach the log file, sent the email, then delete the sent log and start a new one.   In effect this would create a weekly record/report of uploads over a 7 day interval preventing hourly email floods.

As Danny alluded to in his 29/06/2011 post above, it would be slick to have a script (asp, php, and asp.NET) that accesses the DM log file and opens the file list on a web page.  The websites I’ve created include a small script that displays the date and time when a user last logged on. Combining this with the DM logs could generate a neat little alert – “Since you were last here the following files were added/updated::::”  This seems like something that should be readily available but I have yet to find an example that lists the contents of a folder verses a entries in a database.

Thank you for all your work.
Pad
10/25/2011 5:04:01 PM #
Hello
Wonder if you would look into supporting 'unison', its a bi-directional file synchronisation app.  It has support for triggering Unison from an external filesystem-watching utility like yours which could lead to a very good drop box like program for windows.
There is info about unison here http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/
and here
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/unison-users/messages
the developer is Benjamin and I know he is keen to get this file watching utility up and running.
I would certainly buy your software with this utility.

thanks
Pads
Pad
10/25/2011 5:08:09 PM #
Sorry I should have added that unison looks for a text file with the paths of the changed files, something which your app already does so hopefully it may only be a slight tweak to get them working together.  There is a python script here tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/.../9146 which is supposed to work with windows.

P
Werner
10/26/2011 4:37:20 PM #
@Pad: Unison includes a command-line executable for Windows that can easily be run from a batch file using Directory Monitor. When a directory changes you have the option to execute an external application (Right-click directory -> Edit -> Execute) and details of the change will be passed in as ordered arguments.

The following is an example of the typical use of each ordered argument in a batch file:
"%~1" is the full path of the new/changed/deleted file.
%2 is the event name (new, modified, deleted, renamed)
"%~3" is the old name of a file that was renamed, not always available.

These parameters can be manipulated in various ways to extract the information you require. A full list of different options to access an argument can be found here: www.microsoft.com/.../percent.mspx

With this in mind I tested using Unison to sync a directory whenever a change was made to it. I used the following simple command in a batch file using the command-line version of Unison and execute the batch file whenever something changed:
C:\Temp\Unison.exe C:\Temp\Unison %~p1 -batch

There are so many options in Unison to allow an automatic sync so I'm not going into the details but as it stands, Directory Monitor can make use of it without any changes.

If you are looking for a text file log, which may also be useful, it can be found in the %APPDATA%\DirectoryMonitor directory. There is also an XML file with the directory settings in case you need easy access to the directory locations being monitored.
Neil
3/22/2012 1:28:52 PM #
This is a great utility, but the one thing that would really do it, is ability to run as a service.

I notice you anounced last year that you were working on version 2 which has the run as service caperbility, is this something you are still intending to develop?

thanks
Neil
Pad
3/30/2012 7:03:07 AM #
Hi Werner
Good to see some updates!
Could the 'limit log size' option be automatic instead of throwing up an alert which you have click on ok each time?

Cheers
Pads
Werner
4/8/2012 10:52:26 AM #
@Pad: In version 1.1.2.0, the alert for the log being truncated only pops up once per run and when you reach the limit again after clearing the log.
Suse
7/25/2012 12:57:08 PM #
Hi all,
this software is  wonderfull, but, I need use for monitoring a share from SLES7 and isn't working.
I tried on SLES10 and SLES11 and is working very well.
Now I do not undestand if the problem is on the version of the SLES in use or is any parameters missing.
Someone can help me?
Br.
Randy Customizer
1/8/2013 5:10:41 PM #
you are missing an important point: if "Run as a Windows service." is only available in a paid version, this should be clearly stated on the website! Every user feels cheated in front of a clever "unlock this feature" dialog if he was not informed about this before. Put a feature-matrix on your website which clearly shows differences between free and paid version and do not try to trick users - this is bad style.
Werner
1/8/2013 5:27:09 PM #
@Randy: Yeah yeah, I updated the page to stipulate that a donation is required for the feature. I was just listing it as a feature Directory Monitor I didn't think I needed to specify if it was free or not...

I'm really not trying to trick anyone into using my software. All of my competitors offer the same feature for in excess of $100 without advertising that you need to go "pro" to get it. You won't find running monitoring software as a service for free anywhere.

You are welcome to be someone else's customer if you feel cheated, not much I can do about that. I like your matrix idea though, I will be putting this on the new deventerprise.net site when it gets re-launched for Directory Monitor v2 which contains many more locked features.
Werner
1/8/2013 5:29:25 PM #
By the way, Directory Monitor v2 is currently in BETA2 and available for download here: deventerprise.net/.../...yMonitor2_BETA2_Setup.exe
It comes pre-unlocked with a trial that will last as long as the beta period.

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