MSAD Login is a system that connects a Mac OS X machine to a Windows server running Active Directory.
If you use your Mac in a Windows environment that has a Windows server, MSAD Login can connect to that server allowing you to mount your home drive and get notifications when passwords are about to expire.
MSAD Login's method of logging into a Windows network is very different from the specified method documented by Apple in that accounts are not tied to the server, this means that when you are not connected to the network (e.g. when you are using a PowerBook on the road) you can still log into your local account and access all your files.
Another benefit of MSAD Login is if you accidentally type in the wrong password, you will not be instantly locked out of your Windows account (and your Mac), which will help keep network administrators happy and save you the hassle of requesting your account to be unlocked.
The major benefit for network administrators, is that no changes are needed in the Active Directory schema to support the Mac account. When the MSAD Login system is installed, it can also keep the local password in sync with the server, this means that when the password is changed using another computer, you will be informed that the local password needs updating.
When the local password is changed to the same as the network password, the default keychain password is also changed, removing the need to manually set the keychain password (this was previously only available under 10.3). The system can also use accounts that do not expire, such as administrators accounts.
With the favourite shares section, the menu can be set to show only those shares which are of concern to you, or if prefered, all of the shares can be displayed in the menu. For when the shares are not shown in the menu, selecting the connection menu allows you to display a list of available shares, mount your home drive and test/update the connection.
In addition there is a menu section whch shows the recent shares that have been mounted, allowing quick access to frequent shares without the need to create favourites. As the system constantly checks the server for password expiry, if you sleep your computer you will not have your account locked out when it is woken up. When password are about to expire (usally around every 45 days), notifications are given down to the last second. The checks have the added advantage that when new shares become available the menu can reflect the changes.
No hassle mounting (e.g. as found when using Connect to server).
Another advantage of using MSAD Login is that Windows shares that have spaces in the name can still be mounted (other systems seem to fail in this area) and as the mounted shares are added to Finder, they can be ejected just like any other mounted item such as a dmg file.
The mounting system even has the ability to use CIFS if it is available so that you can use benefit from using DAVE, otherwise SMB is used.
A professional version is also available at www.pa-software.com
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