This Windows command-line application can be used to connect to a WebCT 8 application server to reload the deployable components. It is useful when developing a PowerLink and can be run automatically from within a build.xml file when using Ant, for example. Information about reloading the deployable components in WebCT 8 can be found on the Blackboard EduGarage site.

System requirements

The reloadDCs application is written for use with a Windows development environment in conjunction with WebCT 8 (which need not be deployed under Windows).


No special installation is required; just place the reloadDCs.exe file into a convenient directory where users will have write permissions to allow them to update the configuration file (named reloadDCs.ini) which will be created in the same directory.

Configuration settings

The parameters requird by the reloadDCs application can either be specified on the command line, or recorded in a configuration file. (When a parameter is specified in both places the value given on the command line takes precedence.) The following usage information is displayed when calling the application with a parameter of /?:

Usage: reloadDCs.exe [/G:glcid] [/L:lcid] [/H:host] [/T:timeout] [/U:username] [/P:password] [/C:cookiename] [/S:sessionid] [/R:Yes|No] [/V] [/?]

/G: GLCID of domain
/L: LCID of domain
/H: WebCT host (e.g. http://www.webct.server)
/T: Connection timeout in seconds (default=10)
/U: WebCT ID of a user with serveradmin role (default=serveradmin)
/P: Password of user
/C: Name of session cookie
/S: Session ID
/R: Re-use any new Session ID (default=Yes)
/V Display verbose output
/? Display this usage information

User-defined defaults are read from a configuration file called "reloadDCs.ini" which should be of the following format:



Values specified in the "Settings" section will apply to all hosts but may be overridden by settings within the section for the specific host. The minimum information required is the name of the host and either the serveradmin password or a session ID - an attempt will be made to obtain any other missing details from the server. For https connections you will also need to have a copy of the OpenSSL libeay32.dll and ssleay32.dll files in the same directory or in the Windows system32 directory.

The simplest way of using the application is by storing the relevant parameter values in the configuration file although for security reasons you may choose not to store the password in this file. The configuration file consists of a section called Settings and may also contain a section for each WebCT 8 server being used. The default WebCT server is named in the Host parameter in the Settings section. All other settings may be specified either in the Settings section or within the section for the relevant WebCT server; the latter values taking precedence over the former. An initial configuration file can be created by running the following command:

reloadDCs.exe /H:http://www.webct.server.com /P:password

This will try to log into the specified WebCT server as user serveradmin using the specified password. The other parameters required will be obtained from the login page of the server and recorded in the configuration file. (Command-line parameters can be prefixed with either a / or a -.) A different username can be specified in the following way:

reloadDCs.exe -H:http://www.webct.server.com -U:adminuser -P:password

The values for each WebCT server are recorded in separate sections of the configuration file making it easy to use the application to connect to multiple servers.


This application can be used manually from the command line. However, a more efficient solution is to include a call to the application from within your development tools so that it can be automatically run whenever a PowerLink file is updated. For example, see the following extracts from a build.xml file used with Apache Ant:

  <property name="reload.exe" value="C:/apps/reloadDCs.exe" />
  <target name="reload" depends="deploy">
    <exec executable="${reload.exe}" />

This defines the location of the application and includes an action named reload which will call the application. No parameters are passed so it assumes that all the required values are available in the configuration file (C:/apps/reloadDCs.ini in this example). The action is specified as being dependent on another action named deploy which would be used to copy the new PowerLink jar file onto the WebCT application server. This action itself may be dependent on another action which builds the PowerLink, etc. Thus, calling Ant with the reload action may cause the PowerLink to be recompiled, copied to the WebCT server and the deployable components on the server to be reloaded ready for the new file to be tested.

Parameters to the application may be specified in the following way:

  <target name="reload" depends="deploy">
    <exec executable="${reload.exe}">
      <arg value="-U:username" />
      <arg value="-P:password" />


If you experience any problems using this utility try the following to trace the cause:

Version history

1.1.0111-May-2008Initial release


Creative Commons License reloadDCs by Stephen Vickers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 UK: Scotland License. Use this link to request a copy of the application. This is not an open source application; only the executable is being distributed but use this link to submit a bug or feature request.

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