Bulk AD Users – Results/Rollback

Bulk AD Users displays a result dialog box after performing a bulk update using Bulk Modify, CSV Update or Edit In Excel.  The results dialog (pictured below) allows you to view the success of the update and it also allows you to rollback the update, returning user attributes back to their original values.

Bulk AD Users - Results Summary

The summary screen above allows you to see the success of your update.  In this case the update was performed on 1495 users with 1428 successful updates, 1 failed updates and 66 users where no change was made because the existing value already matches the updated value.  In this case, the total number of updates is equal to the number of users that have been updated indicating that a single attribute was updated. 

Clicking the “Detail” tab allows us to view the failed updates in detail.  If you navigate down to the attribute level as shown in the dialog below, you can see the detail of the failed update.  In this case the error is “The object already exists” and this is caused because we were updating the common-name (cn) format to “surname, firstname” and this attribute must be unique within the parent container (OU).  Note: When updating the common-name attribute, there is also an option for “conflict resolution”.  If conflict resolution is enabled, the common name will be appended with a unique number allowing the update to succeed and the success status of the update will be “Warning” when conflict resolution is used.

Bulk AD Users - Results Detail

The filters apply to the overall result for the user. If multiple modifications are made the user result is the most negative result.  For example if two modification were made where one succeeded and one failed, the user overall result would be failure.

Logging and Rollback

The result dialog provides an easy way of viewing the results of your bulk update, but the results are actually stored in an XML Log file.  By default the XML log files are stored in a “WiseSoftBulkModifyLogs” folder inside your “My Documents” folder.  It’s possible to view the log files in any text/XML Editor: NotePad, Internet Explorer, XML Spy etc.  You can also load the results back into the results dialog after it has been closed.  From the “Update” menu in the main Bulk AD Users dialog, select the “Rollback Modifications” menu item.  Click the “Open Log File” and choose the log file that you want to open.

If you view the log file you will notice that extensive information is recorded about the update, including the old attribute values.  Sufficient information is recorded to allow the application to rollback the update, returning the properties back to their original values.  This provides an additional level of protection when you use Bulk AD Users to perform your updates as you can undo the update at the click of a button. 

The rollback option provides an additional level of security when making bulk modifications to Active Directory but it is NOT guaranteed to be foolproof. 
An example of a situation that might cause a problem is a power-cut that occurs while the application is recording modifications to the log file.  In this case the XML log file will be incomplete and the application might have problems reading the file.  In this case, you could try to edit the log file manually, adding the closing XML tags where required to ensure a well formed XML file.  Other problems could also occur that haven’t been anticipated so it’s also advisable to have a recent backup of your directory before making any bulk modifications. 

To rollback a batch of updates, simply click the “Rollback” button in the results dialog.  A progress bar is shown to indicate the rollback progress.  Once the rollback is complete, a second results dialog is displayed for the rollback operation and the changes are also logged in an XML log file in the same way as the original update.