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Support: North Ridge Reports

Network Director Extension

Originally published: Spring 1997

You can use the Network Director to ensure that a user is properly identified prior to accessing a list of authorized applications via the Application Selection Panel. For example, a user must enter a password that is approved by the local installation's security package (RACF, VM/SECURE, ACF2, etc.).

Methods for Assigning Application Selections

The Network Director offers multiple methods that allow you to further determine which selections should be placed on a user's Application Selection Panel.

  • Dynamic GROUP assignment
  • Individual APPLICATION selection controlled from within the Security Package itself
  • USER EXTENSION values. Extension values allow you to logically "extend" the userid and/or dictate the results of a logon activity. EXTENSION is as its name implies - an "extension" of the userid's characteristics. You can use the EXTENSION process to implement a complex system of menus, which provide flexibility to the data center operations staff, and ease for the end user. We'll discuss this method in the remainder of this article.

Example EXTENSION Implementation

Assume that

  • Company ABC has three processing areas (STAFF, SALES, SUPPORT), each with a unique set of APPLICATIONS.
  • Individuals within Company ABC perform duties using two or three of these functional areas, but at different times during the day.
  • The STAFF includes programmers and quality assurance departments using a set of test systems with the same operational characteristics as the SALES and SUPPORT production systems, but that operate under different VTAM APPLIDs.

To permit a user to associate with the proper processing area in the company, the Network Administrator could structure the Configuration Parameters as follows:


USER ++++++++,EXTENSION=STAFF,GROUP=DEPT1
USER ++++++++,EXTENSION=SUPPORT,GROUP=DEPT2
USER ++++++++,EXTENSION=SALES,GROUP=DEPT3
  • When the user signs onto the system, he or she must enter one of the three defined Extensions in the 'Extension: field' to complete the logon process. For example, users who enter STAFF in Extension will be automatically assigned to the DEPT1 GROUP and receive the corresponding APPLICATION selections (all Network Director Selection processing operands apply). In general, the resulting menus may appear the same as other Departmental menus, but would contain unique TARGETS (as specified by the APPLICATION definitions).
  • Furthermore, to swap menus to the SALES department, the user could change the 'Extension: value' to SALES. The Extension value stays on the Application Selection Panel (FORMAT-ID permitting) showing which functional menu (department) the user is currently connected to.

To establish a default menu for users who do not use an Extension value, the Network Administrator could simply code the following Configuration Parameters:


USER++++++++,GROUP=DEPT4
USER++++++++,EXTENSION=++++++++,GROUP=DEPT 4
  • Now, any user who does not provide a previously defined Extension would be automatically assigned to DEPT4.

The number of "departments" and how you use Extensions are only limited by your imagination!


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