How To: Import Assets Using Barcode Web Forms

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    LANDESK Management Suite 9.6LANDESK Management Suite 2016.xLANDESK Endpoint Manager 2017.x

     

    Overview

     

    Data Analytics has a section called Asset Control, which can be used to store data on hardware assets. This guide goes over one of the more popular methods for importing data into Asset Control, as well as some functions that can be preformed once data is in Asset Control.

     

    The acronyms/abbreviations below will be used throughout this guide:

     

    DA - Data Analytics

    AC - Asset Control

    ERP - Executive Reports

    DTS - Data Translation Services

     

    Barcode Web Form

     

    Barcode web forms are forms that can be customized with various fields that map to certain attributes. These are best suited for when data isn't available already in a bulk format such as CSV or XLS, as users will need to input entries by hand.

     

    This guide will go over making a web form that imports the following attributes into an entry in Asset Control:

     

    Serial Number

    Asset Tag

    Date Entered

    Location

    Tech

    Type

    Description

     

    Creating the form

     

    To create the form, head to Tools > Data Analytics > Data Translation Services. Then expand All Types > Barcode Web Form > All Rules. While we have existing forms for common imports, we're going to create a new form. To do this, right click "All rules" and select "New Rule".

     

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    Name the rule and check the box "Create new device if not exist". This is necessary since we'e importing new records. Click next.

     

    On the next page, select "Asset Control". Hit next, and you'll now have a page where you can add fields to your form. Below is the screen you'll see when you click "Add", along with explanations of various sections.

     

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    • Attribute: A database attribute that the form will use as a field. Click the ellipsis (…) button to select the attribute from the attribute browser.
      • Display name: The name of the attribute as you want it to appear on the web form.
      • Save after input: Saves the field data after control passes to the next field on the form (by the end user pressing Enter, Tab, or clicking another location). You typically select this option for the last visible field on the form.
      • Link to existing device: The key field that is used to look up a device record in the database. Ordinarily, this is the first field on the form. If a record is found, the form populates with the values for that device.
    • Description: The attribute description that will appear on the web form. This option is useful if you need to give more details about an attribute, such as where to find an asset tag or how to enter a model number correctly.
    • Type: The attribute's data type, which is validated as the end user changes fields.
    • Default value: A default value that should appear in the field if no value is present in the database. For example, when creating a form for "Add IBM System," you could make the default value for the Computer.Manufacturer attribute "IBM." When adding a default value, you would also want to select the Static value check box so that end users can't edit the field.
    • Default to current date and time: If the attribute is a DATETIME data type, a time stamp is created indicating when the form was saved. This is useful for when you want to store the time the save occurred, without the field appearing on the form. (In this case, you'd also select the Don't show on form check box).
    • Static value: A field value that the end user can't change. For example, if you add a default value, you would most likely select this option as well.
    • Required: A value that the end user is required to enter for the form to be saved.
    • Don’t show on form: A field that should not appear on the form, which is useful for fields that have a Static value that you don’t want the end user to see or change.
    • Read only: A field value already stored in the database that the end user can't change.
    • Keep after save: When the form is saved, this value is not cleared. Normally after a save, all values are cleared. This option is useful for an end user who is barcode scanning many similar items at one time. If the values such as manufacturer and model are left up after the form is saved, that person can continue to rapidly scan all similar items instead of editing the form every time.

     

    Run a rule group: An option to run a rule group after saving this field, which can be useful any time you want a post-processing action to occur. For example, if you add a new Dell device to inventory, you can call a rule group to run the warranty and manufacturer parts rules that pull down information from the web about the device.You would normally run a rule group on the last field in the form. However, as long as the attributes that will be used in the group have already been saved, you can run a group on any field.

     

    Validation string: A regular expression that is used to check data entered by the end user. You must use proper regular-expression syntax. Click the Edit button to open a dialog where you can select a validation string to use.

     

    Use a list of values: Instead of allowing free-form entry of text by an end user, select this option to create a drop-down list of values.

    • Link to a table in the database: Link to a column in a database table instead of manually entering all of the values to appear in the drop-down list. For example, if you want to display all login names, you could specify the Computer table and the LoginName column.
    • Link to another field in this form: You may have multiple fields that are related and want to have different drop-down lists depending on what a user selects in another field. For example, one list may be a list of manufacturers, and the linked field may be a list of device types for those manufacturers. It's possible to use database columns in a linked field.
    • Create a list: A list of values that will appear in a drop-down list to the end user. You must manually enter these values by clicking the Add button.
    • Allow free text typing: Allows the end user the option of entering a new value instead of using the drop-down list.

     

    Below are a few examples for Serial Number, Location, Tech and Date Entered, showing some different configurations of a basic string, a fixed List, a database-backed list, and a date.

     

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    You may have noticed by Date Entered is pointed to Computer.Date entered, which isn't a normal attribute. Same for the Computer.Asset Info.Tech field. You can specify attributes that don't exist, and when saving that field, you'll be asked if you want to create this attribute. Select Yes, then Create Now.

     

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    After filling out your fields, click "Finish".

     

    Adding your form to a Web Group

     

    Before your form can be accessed, you need to add your form to a Barcode Web Group. Barcode Web Groups are comprised of a collection of forms that are launched when the group is launched. To create a new group, right click Barcode Web Group and select "New Rule". Name it, and then add your new form to the group.

     

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    To access your form(s), right click on the group and select either "Run now" to immediately launch the form, or "Copy Url" to copy the URL needed to run the group.

     

    Below is an example of a group with 2 forms. You can see you can switch between forms in a given group. Fill out the form and select "Save".

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    Inside Asset Control

     

    After filling out the form, you should now be able to view your asset inside of Asset Control. To get there, head to Tools > Data Analytics > Asset Control. Then expand Database > Assets  and select "All Assets". In this case we can see the asset I imported, a Printer. Since none of my fields specified the device name, it defaulted to the Serial Number. You can also see the custom attributes that have been created and imported.

     

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    Now What?

     

    So now you've got assets in Asset Control. Below are ways you can use that data:

     

    Executive Report Pack

     

    The Executive Report Pack contains powerful reporting abilities, as well as a plethora of useful reports pre-supplied. Below are some of the more useful reports:

     

    • Asset Control > Warranties > Asset Control Warranties expiring within x days
      • Specifically there are 3 reports. One each for warranties expiring in 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.
    • Asset Control > Asset Control Device Summary
      • This shows you all of your assets in a nice summary format.
        • Show Additional Details - This setting shows more information. By default, this report only shows the asset class.
        • Show All fields in grid - This allows you to filter results by the fields in the report. This is useful for large numbers of Assets, or when you only want information on assets of a specific class, manufacturer, etc.

     

    Queries

     

    Asset Control has its own querying engine, which allows you to write queries that use Asset Control specific fields. These can be created under Database > Queries. The process is the same as a normal LDMS query, and you can even import an existing LDMS query into Asset Control.

     

    A great guide on queries in general can be found here

     

    DTS Rules

     

    Most DTS rules can be run against data in "Management Suite" (i.e. managed devices with an agent") OR on data in Asset Control. This allows you to still use the fullest extent of your DTS rules to make Asset Control data more useful. Additionally, many of the rules Ivanti provides by default also have an equivalent counterpart for Asset Control.

     

    Additional Information

     

    • AC has its own column set configuration, configured under Database > Column Sets > All Column Sets.
    • One of the most important attributes in AC is Class. This is equivalent to "Type" and determines what the asset is.