Great Tools for Techies and Consultants – Updated!
I just finished a stint working in Mexico City for a large consulting insurance company on a critical enterprise software project. The interesting thing about working in Mexico for this company is that they do not provide any equipment or tools for the consutants to use and it fact they require each consultant to allow his laptop to be added to their domain (which takes close to two weeks after you present your physical presence onsite – thus you cannot do any work of significance for that two weeks) to be used for project work. This is a complete reversal of the rules most U.S. and European companies enforce. Those companies don’t allow you on the company network and provide systems to do the work that they have usually locked down to a degree where it is difficult to get any work done. In any case, this last stint I had to find tools that could perform several jobs and not break license restrictions so I had to find good freeware or open-source alternatives to get the job done since the client didn’t provide tools and my client wouldn’t pay for software. Here are the excellent tools that I found and used:
- Note pad++ – an open source notepad that can edit multiple files at one time and has line numbers so large property files and text files can be searched and managed – http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm
- Putty 0.60 Installer – this is a Windows installable Telnet and SSH client for accessing Unix servers – http://www.putty.org/
- Log Me In Free – Remote control software for Windows when RDP won’t work. Comes in either Free or Pro versions – https://secure.logmein.com/products/free/
- Oracle SQL Developer 2.1 Patch 1 – open source jdbc SQL tool for working with Oracle data. It is fully Unicode aware and compatible so working with non-U.S. code pages and character sets is less tricky – http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/sql_developer/index.html
- Beyond Compare 3.1.9 (not free) – a great tool for doing compares between files and file versions. Worth paying for – http://www.scootersoftware.com/
- WinMerge – a free tool for doing compares between files and file versions. http://winmerge.org/
- FileZilla FTP – excellent freeware software – http://filezilla-project.org/
- WinSCP – a free open source SFTP and FTP client based on Putty – http://winscp.net/eng/index.php
- CygWin/X – a Windows based X Server for graphical installs on Unix server – http://cygwin.com/ & http://x.cygwin.com/
- Splunk – Splunk is software that provides unique visibility across your entire IT infrastructure from one place in real time. Only Splunk enables you to search, report, monitor and analyze streaming and historical data from any source. Now troubleshoot application problems and investigate security incidents in minutes instead of hours or days, monitor to avoid service degradation or outages, deliver compliance at lower cost and gain new business insights from your IT data. http://www.splunk.com/
- Spiceworks – an excellent network monitoring software package. http://community.spiceworks.com/
These tools should get you started on your projects without having to invest too much in pricey commercial tools. On top of these I will be writing soon about open source collaboration and project management tools such as wikis, forums, ftp servers, online PM and build your own clouds.