The industry offers many good scripting languages for NT. Table A summarizes some available scripting languages for the NT platform. How do you decide which language to use? These questions will help you narrow the field:

• Does the scripting language match the task?

• Does the language target the systems administrator? A good language helps reduce labor-intensive administrative tasks (e.g., managing users, servers, files, printers, shares, and security).

• Is the language easy to use, with a minimal learning curve?

• Is the language robust: Can you use it over a network? Can it provide access to key system objects (event logs, Registry, the SAM database)? Can it produce detailed reports? Is it extensible? Can it support complementary technologies such as BackOffice and Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)?

Table A: Sample NT Scripting Languages

Vendor/Web Address Scripting Language Description
ActiveState Tool (formerly ActiveWare Internet) http://www.activestate.com Perl for Win32 5.003, Build 310 A port of most of the functionality in Perl, with extensive support for Win32; an excellent tool for gluing together small utility programs, redirecting I/O, managing logs, and creating reports. Distributed free under the GNU Artistic License; no official support.
  Perl for ISAPI (PerlIS) ISAPI DLL that runs Perl scripts on Win32 platforms
  PerlScript ActiveX scripting component; runs under the Microsoft Windows Scripting Host.
Advanced Systems Concepts http://www.advsyscon.com XLNT 1.1 The eXtended Language for NT, based on Digital Equipment's DCL command language; facilitates enhanced logon scripts and remote systems management.
Ataman Software http://www.ataman.com Regina Rexx for Win32 (included in the NT Server resource kit) Restructured Extended Executor; supports OLE automation, Registry, and event log functions; NetRexx and ObjectRexx for NT also available (http://www2.hursley.ibm.com).
FastLane Technologies http://www.fastlanetech.com Final For Windows NT Server 6.01 FastLane Integrated Network Application Language; Pascal-like scripting language with comprehensive support for Win32; includes Exchange and ODBC components as product add-ons. The Exchange functions let you create, manage, and delete Exchange users and folders using Final scripts. The ODBC functions provide database connectivity.
Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com/ ntserver/info/adsi/htm Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) Not a scripting language; an enabling technology that lets systems administrators create administration tools using a variety of technologies: Visual Basic, VBA, VBScript, C, C++, Java.
http://www.microsoft.com/ management Windows Scripting Host Language-independent script environment for 32-bit Windows platforms; provides enhanced logon and administrative scripting capabilities.
http://www.microsoft.com/ jscript Java Script ActiveX scripting component; runs under the Windows Scripting Host.
http://www.microsoft.com/vbscript Visual Basic Script ActiveX scripting component; runs under the Windows Scripting Host.
http://netnet.net/~swilson/kix KIXtart 95 3.20 (included in the NT Server resource kit); developed by RuudVan Velsen of Microsoft Benelux Freeware logon script processor and enhanced batch language; version 3.36 available.
Sun Microsystems http://sunscript.sun.com Tcl/Tk, (Tcl 7.6 and Tk 4.2) Tool Command Language/Tool Kit, (pronounced tickle); main advantage over Perl for Win32 is GUI support; current support for Win32 not as extensive as Perl; Christopher Sedore's NT Extensions to TCL also available (http://zazu.maxwell.syr.edu/nt-tcl/index.html)
Wilson WindowWare http://www.windowware.com WinBatch 97 32I-97b Enhanced batch language capabilities with support for GUI components, keystroke automation, DDE, and Registry.