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Free Tool Friday: Several free enterprise-class tools from Adventnet / ManageEngine

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 Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily.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.
Back in August I provided news of several free Enterprise-class tools that CFers could use.

AdventNet ManageEngine and other tools

Today I'd like to offer still more, from yet another vendor: AdventNet, who have a line of tools led by their ManageEngine line, including tools for:

  • Network Monitoring
  • Application Monitoring
  • Password Management
  • Help Desk Management
  • Storage Management Software
  • Network Configuration Management
  • EventLog Analyzer
  • Wifi Manager
  • and much more

Some of these are useful on just a single computer, like the EventLog Analyzer, Wifi Manager, and Bandwidth Monitoring. Also, their application monitoring tools can be a great solution for those not yet doing any monitoring of their CF and other servers (yes, of course, there are many others out there that do that).

Their password management tool is to help multiple folks share passwords to central systems, a common need for groups of folks managing CF and other servers, and naturally their help desk and service center tools, among others, can also benefit a group of CF developers/admins.

SQL tools, for multiple database engines

Beyond the ManageEngine line there are several useful looking database tools in their SwisSQL line, including tools for:

  • Compare and Synchronize SQL Server
  • SQLOne Database Search Engine
  • Table and Data Migration
  • Oracle Migration
  • SQL Server Migration
  • and more

They have tools for SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, and Sybase, and some of their tools, like the multidatabase search engine and migration tools also support MySQL, Informix, and others.

Testing Tools

They also offer software testing tools, including load testing tools, and still more that I won't elaborate here.

Finding the Free Versions

Best of all, and the point of this entry, is that they offer free versions of nearly all these (and other) tools. And just as with the Quest tools I mentioned in the previous entry, these are not trials (though they offer them) but are really freeware editions. Yes, they may be limited in some way, but usually not in ways that will affect nearly all who would try to use them for evaluation or small-scale use.

You can find a list of all the freeware editions of their products here: http://www.adventnet.com/free-softwares-download.html . (And even though the ManageEngine and SwisQL tools have branded URLs, they all lead to the same adventnet.com site, and many of them are offered as freeware on this page.)

When you take a link for any of the products (using any of the links above), look for a link on each product page at the top right labeled "free edition/trial edition", where the link to the free edition will explain its limitations.

Certainly for CF developers who work alone or on small teams, you may find that all the free versions serve your needs just fine. Yes, there may well be open source solutions to each of the problems above, and I'm not discouraging their use.

It's just nice to see yet another company who makes enterprise-class software offering small-scale freeware versions for the kind of audience that seems typical of CF developers.

Certainly, as your needs grow, or for those in larger shops, the commercial versions of these tools then scale up to serve those larger needs. That's what they hope, of course. :-)

If anyone has used any of these tools, please share your experiences. So far I've used the Eventlog Analyzer and Wifi Manager and they were easy to install and use and were quite helpful. I look forward to exploring more of their tools.

"Free Tool Friday"?

Oh, and as for why I labeled this entry "Free Tool Friday", I hope to make this a regular kind of entry. In fact, I'd like to start talking about some of the individual tools that I mention above and in the previous entry, as well as others I have used or may find. It's always tough to set up a periodic contribution like that, meeting expectations, but let's see how I do. :-) If you want to tell me about other tools of this sort that you think others would appreciate, feel free.

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I long for the day that you talk about the free version of ColdFusion in this series. I mean a REAL free version, not a crippled developer version. A version like the ones you mentioned in this article that have no restrictions (other than more advanced features, of course).

I am really curious why Adobe has free versions of almost all of their products, but somehow people think this model won't work for ColdFusion. I gave two ColdFusion presentations within the last month, one to a local group of .Net developers, and the other to a local group of PHP developers. Guess what the number one complaint was? "Why is it so expensive!?"

Yes, I've heard the cost benefit argument a million times, and yes I realize you can host your site on a shared server without paying for CF server. But it really comes down to appearance. There truly are a lot of people out there that will never use ColdFusion as long as it has this reputation of being expensive (which it is). If Adobe were to release a trully free version of ColdFusion that you could use with no restrictions, I think we'd see a huge uptake in developers. Because we all know companies are having a hard time finding ColdFusion developers these days...

Oy! Jacob, I don't want this entry to turn into a debate about that subject. :-)

Those who want to code in CFML for free certainly can, in production, with BlueDragon, Railo, and Smith, each with limitations in licensing for free use, or reduced features in free use. And as you say, you can develop for free with Adobe CF. If you want to use Adobe CF in production, you'll have to pay for it. It's as simple as that.

As for Adobe having "free versions of almost all of their products", well, all the Adobe products I know about are fully commercial with no free edition (I'm not denying there are some, just saying it's not as obvious to me and I'd think to some others reading here as well.)

I really don't want to refute your points here, though clearly one could. As you say, you've heard the responses plenty of times. I just don't think this is the place to have that debate. I'd like to ask others to steer clear of it.

Jacob, if you have a blog entry of your own where you've raised this, I'd ask instead that you offer a link here and that interested parties follow it to continue the discussion.

I'd like to reserve comment here to the discussion of these or other free enterprise-class products that can help CF developers.

No offense taken or intended. :-)
Sorry I went off track like that, Charlie. I just get so frustrated that people feel that a non-restricted free version of CF won't work, especially considering all the companies (including Adobe) that are doing it with other products, and that most non-CF developers I talk to refuse to consider using CF because of it's price tag. It seems like a no-brainer to me. If you want more developers, and developers are asking for a free version, then...sorry I'm debating again. :)

I do have a blog entry on this subject, but it's over a year old. But feel free to comment there if you want.

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