NetTools Basics


NetTools has a number of common features which are used throughout the program. This post provides details on some of these features.

The toolbar is used to navigate the tests and access a number of features in NetTools.  The toolbar has both fixed button and user selected buttons.

The Back and Forward buttons allow you to move backwards and forwards between tests you have used, this is useful if you select a linked option and want to go back to the previous test.  The Connection Profiles button opens the Connection Profiles dialog, which allows you to configure profiles that defines, the LDAP server, GC server, SSL, authentication, credentials and paging properties.  For more details see Connection Profiles. The Resolver button will open the Resolve dialog, which lets you resolve different input types and provides a temporary scratch pad when investigating an issue.  For more details see Resolver.  The Help button opens the help page on the website for the selected test.  The Quick search entry field provides a quick entry method to perform a search of the AD using the User - Search option.

Where to start
The number of options in NetTools can make it confusing where to start.  The best approach is to start with the Search option under Users or use the quick search option, this allows you to search the AD, be it at the Forest or Domain level for any object in the Active Directory, from there the context menu options allows you to then interrogate the returned objects.  See User Search.

To find your favorite option quickly, NetTools includes a Pin option, which will add user defined button to the toolbar to allow you to quickly select your commonly used options.  To Pin an item, select the option, then right click on the option name and select the Pin from the context menu, you will be prompted to select an icon for the button.  To remove a Pinned item, simply right click on the button on the toolbar and select Remove.

Option Pinning

Option or test Linking
For a number of the tests the output from one can be used as the input for other tests and options, by selecting the corresponding output entry and right clicking the context menu will display these options.  The User Search option has a number of linked options that are displayed under the use with sub menu.

Context Menu

Copy and Paste
The outputs from the tests can be copied into other functions in NetTools or to external programs.  The Copy and Paste option are displayed in the right click context menus. For table views it's possible to copy the data in a single column, the line, or the entire table. When using the copy column option, mouse position when the right click is pressed, is used to define which column will be selected.  For text based output fields it's possible to copy the text as with standard copy and paste. The Copy works with a single or multiple selected items, and when copying the details from all selected items is copied. A number of keyboard shortcuts are defined, Ctrl+C will copy the the details of from the column of the select items, Ctrl+L will copy all the details of the selected items, Ctrl+T will copy the entire contents of the table, include headers. The Copy to new Window context menu option will copy the contains of the view to a new detached window, which provide additional sort and filtering options.  See Copy to new Windows

AD or Server Connections
To define the connection details for the AD or LDAP directory and credentials that will be used use the Connection Profiles.  See Connection Profiles

Server Lists
In most of the options there is a field to specify the server or domain, this field also has a dropdown list, which is used to select a user defined entry or the Connection Profiles.  From the right click context menu you can save the current name and also manage the lists.  A separate list is used based on the enter field name, i.e. Server, Domain, LDAP filters etc.  The server and domain fields are optional, if no entry is provided NetTools will either connect to the domain the machine running NetTools to joined to, or the default profile, if one has been defined.

Messages\Results pane
On most options, there is a lower pane, this pane is used to display any errors or status report from the execution.  In most cases the error messages are what is returned by the API.

Exporting Objects
There is the ability to export objects in LDIF file format, this is available from the context menus. See LDIF Export for more details.

Common Dialogs
NetTools has three common dialogs which are available from most context menus in the test and options.  These are the AD Properties, Attributes, and Meta Data dialogs, these are usually listed at the bottom of the context menus as shown below.

Context Menu
AD Properties
Meta Data

The Resolver dialog provides a scratch pad to temporary store items that you are troubleshooting or investigating. The Resolver dialog is accessed via the toolbar and items can be added to the dialog either from the context menu, pressing Ctrl+R, manual entry, or pasting a list of DN, samaccountname, email, upn or displaynames.  From the Resolver dialog the NetTools options and test can be selected from the context menu in the Resolver dialog.


NetTools saved configuration
NetTools uses a single configuration file called NetTools.ini, this is used to save any user defined configuration or lists.  NetTools will try to read the configuration from the same location as the exe from executed from.