Author: Jasmine Motwani

This article discusses DS Trace Rich Client Platform (RCP) from a product and usability perspective. For the benefit of readers who are new to DS Trace feature of Novell IDM Designer, the article provides an in-depth information of the feature.

Familiarity with the RCP helps the readers appreciate this RCP application development in terms of portability, performance, branding, ease of installation, and native user experience.


  1. Introduction
  2. The DS Trace RCP
  3. Advantages of DS Trace RCP
  4. Potential Users of DS Trace RCP


Designer offers DS Trace feature to monitor the DirXML events in your Identity Manager environment. DirXML events constitute the events accessible by using the “dirXML” and “dirXML Drivers” switches in eDirectory’s DS Trace service. The DSTrace is similar to iMonitor feature of eDirectory.

The DS Trace RCP and the DS Trace of Designer offer the same functionality. However, the RCP only bundles the required feature (DS Trace in our case) and the required Eclipse plug-ins and builds it as a standalone portable product. The RCP application was built on Eclipse 3.4.

The DS Trace RCP

Click to view.

Figure 1: DS Trace RCP Application

Figure 1 shows the DS Trace RCP screen. The DS Trace RCP can be viewed as a product. A product is a collection of required Eclipse and Designer plug-ins.

For DS Trace RCP, only four plug-ins are required to build the RCP application.

As seen in the Figure 1, the DS Trace of Designer is a feature converted to a product. The unrequired Eclipse plug-ins contributing to the Eclipse menus/views are not been bundled with the DS Trace. It looks neat with the required functionality in place.

Launching the DS Trace RCP

  1. Extract the contents of the DS Trace archive file to a particular location on your file system.
  2. Navigate to the Eclipse folder in the directory. This folder contains the RCP contents.
  3. Click the executable file (for example: eclipse.exe in Windows) from the RCP folder to launch the RCP application.

Launching the DSTrace Viewer from the RCP

The DS Trace Viewer can be launched from the Tools menu of the DS Trace RCP.

DS Trace can be used in two ways:

  1. Viewing DS Trace Log File
  2. Viewing Live DirXML Trace

Viewing the DSTrace Log File

The DS Trace can be used to view the DirXML trace logs from the external files with the .log and the .rft formats.

To view the DS Trace from the log file:

  1. Click Tools Menu > DS Trace.
  2. Click the Load trace log file icon. Browse and select the DS Trace log that you want to view.

Click to view.

Figure 2: Sample DS Trace as viewed from the log file

Several fields of the log file as explained in the following table:

Field Description
Start time, End time, and Event drop-down lists To filter the trace file. Filtering narrows the display of the trace file data so that you can easily locate specific information.
Clear Filter Clears an existing filter.
Search Locates a specific string in the DS Trace log file. Clicking the Search icon opens the Find/Replace dialog box.
NOTE: The Replace option is currently not supported because the DS Trace is only for viewing.
Connect to server Displays the live DirXML trace from an existing window. It prompts you for entering the Identity Vault credentials.
Save trace Saves the log file that contains the trace contents. By default, the file is saved in a .log format.

Viewing the DirXML Trace

Use the following steps to view the DirXML Traces for any directory in your Identity Manager environment:

  1. From the DS Trace RCP toolbar, select Tools > DS Trace.
  2. In the DS Trace view, click the Connect to server icon.

    Click to view.

    Figure 3: DS Trace viewed from Live DirXML

  3. In the Login Credentials dialog box, specify the necessary fields, such as directory hostname (or IP address), username, and password to connect to the appropriate Identity Vault, then click OK.
  4. Select Secure Connection for using SSL connection to connect to the Identity Vault server.

    You can open a DS Trace session to a different Identity Vault server at any time by clicking Connect to server icon and providing the appropriate authentication credentials.
  5. Review the live DS Trace session as applicable.
  6. Use the Clear trace to clear the log in the trace window.

Color Coding in Trace files

The Trace files are displayed in different colors based on the color code format in the Live DS Trace window.

  • The Success operation is displayed in Green.
  • The Failure operation is displayed in Red.
  • The Warning messages are displayed in Yellow.
  • The default log messages are displayed in Cyan color.

Limitations of DS Trace

The DS Trace log file is displayed in black and white color, though the file can contain other colors (RTF file). Only the Live DS Trace logs are supported by color code conventions.

The Live DS Trace window displays only the latest log information in the DirXML traces at a given point of time. The older trace is not visible. If the number of lines for auto-scroll is set to ‘N’ lines and the trace log generates more than ‘N’ lines, then only the latest lines are displayed in the trace window. (N is the value set in the preference page)

Currently, the DS Trace logs only the DirXML events. An enhancement to this feature includes capturing all the eDirectory events and display them.

Advantages of DS Trace RCP

  1. Size – This application completely leverages on the RCP capability of slicing and dicing the plug-in set depending on the end user’s requirement. Because undesired Eclipse plug-ins are not bundled, the disk space occupied by the application is reduced.
  2. The DS Trace RCP application is portable across several platforms. Currently, it is compiled to work only on Windows.
  3. Overall Look and Feel – The look and feel of the DS Trace RCP application can be controlled at design time. A rich user experience is one of the strengths of this RCP application. Unrequited menus, views, and so on are not bundled with the product which offers a rich and neat UI.
  4. Branding – The DS Trace RCP application can be branded to provide a custom look to the application.
  5. Performance – Because only the required plug-ins are bundled into the product, performance improvement with smoother navigation and a richer user experience is expected.

Potential Users

The DS Trace RCP is beneficial to the following:

  1. IDM Consultants
  2. eDirectory Engineering Team and eDirectory Users
  3. IDM Pre-sales

A valid use case where DS Trace RCP can be used is to launch the Designer and the DS Trace RCP in two separate windows. Using this RCP application, the developer/consultant can work on configuring and deploying the IDM solution using the Designer and trace the DirXML events at the same time.

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Disclaimer: As with everything else at NetIQ Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by NetIQ, so Customer Support will not be able to help you if it has any adverse effect on your environment.  It just worked for at least one person, and perhaps it will be useful for you too.  Be sure to test in a non-production environment.

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By: mjasmine
Mar 3, 2009
9:24 am
Active Directory Authentication Automation Cloud Computing Cloud Security Configuration Customizing Data Breach DirXML Drivers End User Management Identity Manager Importing-Exporting / ICE/ LDIF Intelligent Workload Management IT Security Knowledge Depot LDAP Monitoring Open Enterprise Server Passwords Reporting Secure Access Supported Troubleshooting Workflow