Some really cool free tools, which almost every CFer can use
Note: This blog post is from 2007. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.Recently I was pointed to a useful (and free) tool from Quest (SQL Log Reader), and I noticed that I'd had a couple others already installed (Toad and Benchmark Factory). That led me to start looking into what else they had, and I was impressed with the number of free and very professional tools. It wasn't as straightforward to find them as it may seem. I thought I'd share my observations.
The range of free tools is amazing, from tools for working with databases (like Toad or Knowledge Expert for SQL Server, MySQL, or Oracle), to tools for generating load tests for databases (Benchmark Factory), to tools for managing/monitoring Windows or J2EE servers, Active Directory, and lots more.
As you review the list below, note that some of the pages show links to "evaluation" editions but I've only listed pages where I found it to say the tool was free (somewhere on the page, even if it shows an "evaluation download").
It seems some have no time limit at all (true freeware). With some, the license is time-limited and you must return for a new key (see Spotlight® on WebSphere, for instance). With others, you must uninstall and reinstall (see Object Restore for AD, for instance). I suppose it's better than a trial, in that with most trials you couldn't uninstall/reinstall. Others list a duration with no indication of whether you must uninstall (and I found one note on a forum that said you could just register for a new license key for at least one of them).
Some tools are also indicated as windows only (such as Spotlight on MySQL), but I've not paid attention here to which run on what.
The thing is, curiously, they have a page of freeware (http://www.quest.com/free-tools/) , but it doesn't list all that I've found elsewhere on the site. In fact, there's an "a-z" product page (http://www.quest.com/solutions/allproducts--atoz.asp) which indicates which are freeware, but it too does not list them all.
- Spotlight on Windows
- Benchmark Factory® for Databases (for 12 months, some limits compares to commercial)
- Comparison Suite for SQL Server (60 days, renewable?)
- Toad for SQL Server (note that this site offers the current Quest 3.0 edition as freeware, though not listed as such on Quest)
- Toad for Oracle(again, this site offers the current Quest 9.1 edition as freeware, though not listed as such on Quest)
- Toad™ Data Modeler
- Toad® for MySQL (for windows)
- Spotlight on MySQL
- Knowledge Xpert for MySQL
- Spotlight® on WebSphere
- Spotlight® for BEA WebLogic Server
- Storage Assessment Tool
- Discovery Wizard for SharePoint
- Self-Service Web Portal
- Reporter Express (on Windows infrastructure)
- Reporter (also on Windows infrastructure)
- Compliance Portal
- Object Restore for Active Directory (6 month)
- Update Utility for Outlook 2003 (for Exchange)
- Offline Folder Wizard (for Exchange)
There were also some other Quest tools that were free in the past but are no longer, but those old versions can still be found elsewhere (sites like download.com) and though perhaps a couple of years old or more may still be useful:
I'll share more about a couple of these later.
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