OIT Networking & Monitoring Services

Departmental Contacts and the Host Database

Departmental Contacts are those people who have permission to change and delete existing Host Database entries, based upon the DEPARTMENT field (a Department Name) within the entries. They may also receive notification of any succesful additions, deletions, or changes to those Host Database entries.


How are Departmental Contacts Specified?

The Host Database contains a list of Departmental Contacts for each department. The Departmental Contacts for a single department consists of a list of zero or more OIT netids.

You may view the list of Departmental Contacts for all departments in the Departmental Contacts List.

The Departmental Contacts List is also where one may edit a department's Departmental Contacts list. Authorized persons can click on the name of a department in that document to display the Set Departmental Contacts Form. There they may add, change, and delete the OIT netids on the list, as well as change each netid's "Email Notifications" setting (described below).

Authorization to edit a department's Departmental Contacts is restricted to certain persons:

When the Departmental Contacts for a department are succesfully changed, notification of the change is sent to all of the Departmental Contacts (both former and new), as described above.


Who Should Be Listed as a Departmental Contact?

The primary purpose of Departmental Contacts is to authorize individuals to change and delete existing Host Database entries. Anyone (with an OIT netid) to whom a department wishes to extend such authorization may be specified by the department as a Departmental Contact.

A secondary purpose of Departmental Contacts is to provide email notification of Host Database additions, changes, and deletions based upon the value of the entry's DEPARTMENT field. Anyone (with an OIT netid) whom a department wishes to receive such mail may be specified by the department as a Departmental Contact. This email is only sent if the Departmental Contact is specified with the "Email Notifications" value set to send email.


How are Departmental Contacts Determined for a Host Database Entry?

Most Host Database entries have a DEPARTMENT field, containing an official department name. The value of this field determines the Departmental Contacts for that Host Database entry.

There are a number of common cases where no Departmental Contacts are associated with a Host Database entry:

Note that Departmental Contacts are only associated with a Host Database entry, and are not actually part of a Host Database entry. As a result, no Departmental Contacts are displayed when you view a Host Database entry; they are not actually part of the particular Host Database entry you are viewing. For the same reason, you cannot edit Departmental Contacts for a particular Host Database entry; they are only associated with the Host Database entry based upon the entry's DEPARTMENT field.

If you change a Host Database entry's DEPARTMENT field, the Departmental Contacts associated with the Host Database entry automatically change. Similarly, if the Departmental Contacts list for the department is changed, then the change automatically applies to all Host Database entries that specify that DEPARTMENT.


Authorization to Change and Delete Host Database Entries

The Departmental Contacts associated with an existing Host Database entry are authorized to change or delete that entry. This is the primary purpose of having Departmental Contacts. The information in this section is directed at these people.

When you attempt to change or delete an existing Host Database entry via the Web, you are prompted for a netid and password. Enter your OIT LDAP Directory netid and password. Assuming you are a Departmental Contacts for that entry you are trying to change or delete, you are granted permission to proceed.

Note that other people are also authorized to change or delete existing Host Database entries. Technical Contacts specified in a Host Database entry are authorized to change or delete it; these are the people responsible for the correct operation of the device described by the entry. And a small number of OIT staff are authorized to change or delete existing entries; those Host Database Trusted Parties are OIT staff members who are sometimes responsible for acting on behalf of customers.


Email Notifications of Host Database Adds, Changes, and Deletes

Each Departmental Contact for a given department may choose to receive notification via email whenever an entry mentioning that DEPARTMENT is added, changed, or deleted from the Host Database. The information in this section is directed at these people.

Whether or not a particular Departmental Contact for a particular department receives such mail is specified as part of the department's Departmental Contacts List. For each OIT netid in the list, there is an "Email Notifications" setting, determining whether this person should receive such email. This setting may be edited by the same people who are authorized to edit that department's list. It may be set either to send email or suppress email.

When sending email to a Departmental Contact, the Host Database uses the preferred email address listed in the Campus Directory for that OIT netid.


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The Office of Information Technology,
Princeton University