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GSW Session Administrator

Send a Broadcast Message to SSH2/Telnet Sessions

The capability to send a message to either a single or all SSH2/Telnet sessions is available via the Session Administrator. This is useful in many situations when the system administrator needs to communicate information to one or all users usually regarding system status or maintenance. This saves the system administrator time because the need to make multiple phone calls or physically contacting the users is not necessary.

An example could be that the system administrator would want to notify all users to be logged off by a certain time due to system maintenance. Another example may be to send a message to a specific user requesting that they help another user.

Broadcast a message to ALL SSH2/Telnet Sessions

To send a message to all currently active SSH2/Telnet sessions either depress <ALT-B> or click the menu item Broadcast to display the drop down item Send. You may now select Send.

Figure 106: Broadcast a message to all telnet sessions

Note: In the figure above - even though a single session is highlighted the Broadcast message will go to ALL SSH2/Telnet sessions.

Upon selecting the menu item SEND you will see a screen similar to the figure below.

Figure 107: Enter broadcast message prompt.

Enter the text (up to a max of 320 characters) that you would like to send to all active SSH2/Telnet sessions.

Figure 108: Enter text of broadcast message.

Press <ENTER>

At this point you have an opportunity to abort or confirm the sending of the broadcast message.

Figure 109: Send broadcast message confirmation prompt.

Selecting <OK>  will send the broadcast message to all active SSH2/Telnet sessions. The message will be displayed on the client terminal similar to the figure below. (Selecting <CANCEL> will abort the broadcast message.)

Figure 110: Broadcast message display on client terminal.

The exact display of the broadcast message will conform to the specific terminal display characteristics in a typical manner. If the display has fewer columns, then the message will wrap at the end of each row, etc.

The broadcast message will remain on the client terminal until the message is acknowledged. The SSH2/Telnet client terminal display will return to the exact terminal display prior to the reception of the broadcast message after the broadcast message is acknowledged the message by depressing <RETURN> or <ENTER>.

If multiple broadcast messages are sent before previous messages are acknowledged, only the message acknowledged and the last broadcast message sent will be displayed to that particular SSH2/Telnet client. The intermediate messages will not be displayed to that session.

Broadcast a message to A SINGLE Telnet Session

There will be times that you will want to send a message to a specific SSH2/Telnet session rather than to all the active SSH2/Telnet sessions. To send a message to a single SSH2/Telnet session you must first select the user to send the message.

Figure 111: Select a specific user to send a message.

In the case above we are selecting the user name “doug” to send the broadcast message. Once we have selected the user then we select the Session menu either by entering or clicking the menu item Session. This will display the drop down which contains the item Send Message (See Figure 112 ).

Figure 112: Send a message to a specific user - Send Message dropdown.

Upon selecting Send Message you will see a screen similar to the figure below allowing entry of the message text. Note that the User Name (doug) of the user that will receive the broadcast message is identified in the prompt.

Figure 113: Enter broadcast message prompt destined to a specific user.

Enter the text that you would like to send to user doug and press enter when the message is complete.

Figure 114: Entering the broadcast message text to a single user.

At this point you have an opportunity to abort or confirm the sending of the broadcast message.

Figure 115: Send broadcast message to a specific user confirmation prompt.

Selecting <OK> will send the broadcast message to SSH2/Telnet user doug. Selecting <Cancel> will abort the broadcast message. The message will be displayed on the client terminal similar to the figure below.

Schedule a Broadcast Message

You can schedule a broadcast message using Georgia SoftWorks Broadcast command line utility and your favorite scheduling program.

The GSW Broadcast utility allows you to send a message to ALL active SSH2/Telnet sessions or to a specific session. You can identify the specific SSH2/Telnet session by User Name and/or IP Address. The text of the message that is sent is specified in an ASCII text file.

GS_BCast [-iip_address] [-uuser_name] <file_path>

Command: GS_BCast

Description: Command line utility that Broadcasts (sends) a text message to one or all active SSH2/Telnet sessions.

Syntax: GS_BCast [-iip_address] [-uuser_name] <file path>

Arguments: There are 2 optional arguments and 1 required argument.

1. [-iip_address] The –i parameter is followed by the IP address corresponding to the SSH2/Telnet session (or sessions) to send the broadcast message. (Optional)
2. [-uuser_name] The –u parameter is followed by the user name corresponding to the SSH2/Telnet session (or sessions) to send the broadcast message. (Optional)
3. the <file_path> path to the ASCII text file that contains the broadcast message. (Required)

If the –i and –u arguments are omitted then the broadcast will be sent to all active SSH2/Telnet sessions. These argument may be combined (as a Logical “OR” condition) to provide more flexibility in choosing the destinations for the broadcast message.
Example – the GSW Broadcast Utility (Schedule a Broadcast Message)

Send the broadcast message contained in the ASCII text file “systemdown.txt:” which resides in the directory “C:\mybroadcastmessages\systemdown.txt” to all telnet sessions.

GS_BCast C:\mybroadcastmessages\systemdown.txt

Example – the GSW Broadcast Utility – to a Single User

Send the broadcast message contained in the ASCII text file “givemeacall.txt:” which resides in the directory “C:\mybroadcastmessages\givemeacall.txt” to user “doug”
GS_BCast -udoug C:\mybroadcastmessages\givemeacall.txt
The real power of the GSW Broadcast utility is that you can use your favorite scheduling program to schedule execution of the GSW Broadcast utility at a later time.
Georgia SoftWorks does not support nor endorse any scheduling programs. The ones mentioned below are listed as examples of scheduling utilities or programs that can be used to launch the GSW Broadcast utility. Most any scheduling program can be used to schedule the execution of the GSW Broadcast utility.

AT command – Native on Windows
The “AT” scheduling utility is available on Windows NT/2000/XP from the command shell. The syntax of the AT command as described in the “Help AT” on Windows XP:

The AT command schedules commands and programs to run on a computer at a specified time and date. The Schedule service must be running to use the AT command.

AT [\\computername] [ [id] [/DELETE] | /DELETE [/YES]]
AT [\\computername] time [/INTERACTIVE] [ /EVERY:date[,...] | /NEXT:date[,...]] "command"

\\computername Specifies a remote computer.

Commands are scheduled on the local computer if this parameter is omitted.

id Is an identification number assigned to a scheduled command.

/delete Cancels a scheduled command. If id is omitted, all the scheduled commands on the computer are canceled.

/yes Used with cancel all jobs command when no further confirmation is desired.

time Specifies the time when command is to run.

/interactive Allows the job to interact with the desktop of the user who is logged on at the time the job runs.

/every:date[,...] Runs the command on each specified day(s) of the week or month. If date is omitted, the current day of the month is assumed.

/next:date[,...] Runs the specified command on the next occurrence of the day (for example, next Thursday). If date is omitted, the current day of the month is assumed.

"command" Is the Windows NT command, or batch program to be run.

Graphical Utility for Windows 2000

Windows 2000 provides a graphical scheduling Wizard that gives you the options of scheduling tasks to run one time only, daily, weekly, or monthly either when your computer boots up or whenever you log on. The Wizard also gives you the option of setting a time for the program to start. To run the Windows 2000 scheduling Wizard:

Step 1. Click on Start, Settings and then Control Panel.
Step 2. Double-click on Scheduled Tasks.
Step 3. Double-click on Add Scheduled Task to add a new task.
Step 4. Windows 2000 will run the Scheduled Task Wizard.

The Wizard will walk you through scheduling a program to run.
Note 1: Go to the Advanced Properties to specify the command line arguments.
Note 2: This utility also exists on Windows XP. The path to open the Wizard is slightly different. Table 37 - GSW Broadcast Command Utility - Example Scheduling Programs
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