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Ghostcast Progress % using COM

Created: 03 Jul 2013 | 2 comments

Is there a way to get a ghostcast session's progress % (other than from ngserver.log) programmatically?
I'm not a COM expert, but i've figured out few COM things by trail and error (like getting is a machine is connected\disconnected , starting tasks, etc...).
I was browsing the com object and saw IMulticastServerNotify has a SessionProgress(Integer,Integer) method.
Is there a way i can call this to get the progress %? (Or is this used to set the % in the ghostcast UI).

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EdT's picture

As far as I am aware, there is no published Ghost API reference, so unless Nigel Bree (one of the former Ghost developers) happens to be interested in replying to your post, you are most likely going to have to work this out by trial and error (or even trail and error lol ) ;-)

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Nigel Bree's picture

Actually he sent me a PM around the same time he must have posted this and I'd replied to that to explain most of the mechanics of what this COM interface represents.

As far as I am aware, there is no published Ghost API reference

Yeah, there isn't, but that's largely because I'd have had to write it and what people forget was that the whole GSS management system was basically designed, written and maintained by two people - who were with it right from the initial Symantec acquisition of Binary Research right through to the doors closing (not to belittle the significant contributions of various others in our studio like the various Andrews, just to explain how little of our studio's resource was devoted to it).

Since Slawek and I were so insanely busy all the time just trying to keep our side of the product moving forward at all, nice-to-haves like external documents for this stuff were just not going to happen without serious customer demand to justify it, even if it hadn't been for the political sea-change after the PowerQuest acquisition where it became explicit that management wanted out of our whole line of business.

I did try and get a lot of technical background stuff out once (post the Veritas acquisition) we were given access to the Veritas forums, but the nature of things is that although I'd have loved to have had a customer request at the time to document what we had. At the time, I'd have been able to use a customer request to justify getting the info out, but no-one unfortunately ever asked.

To give a sense of what things were like, it was as part of the Veritas merger that Senior VP Jeremy Burton who came on board at Symantec and our group was put under his overall oversight - he uncancelled Ghost. The VP who had cancelled Ghost was still left in charge though, and had set a policy prohibiting anyone in our team from having any communication with anyone at all outside his chain of direct reports that was not explicitly approved. This policy wasn't really known to anyone including our senior VP (after all, us telling anyone about it would have violated it), so it never got lifted when our product was uncancelled - however, what Jeremy Burton had done as part of uncancelling Ghost was that we got given carte blanche to use the Veritas forums, so for some years we were in practice more free to talk to customers than to other Symantec employees! The thing was that when customer asked a question, that gave us the cover we needed to explain something and avoid having what we did used as grounds to dismiss us (which was a big part of the work environment at the time, since they really wanted to squeeze us and get us out). However, we couldn't initiate these, customers had to ask otherwise we'd have been a risk of being fired.

To give an instance of what things were like, in 2005 (or so, I don't have notes on the exact date) 64-bit Windows editions were fairly new and I'd managed to find a nasty bug in the WOW64 layer that affected my C++ garbage collector and would have also affected Hans Boehm's famous open-source one, used by lots of things like Mono. Now, one of the people at Symantec Research was doing work with Hans Boehm on the C++ standard, so I wanted to pass this along to Hans via him. So I made a request for permission to contact him and our VP said no; I wasn't permitted to reveal this to him and it would be a firable offense if I did. Happy days they were not.