10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 2, 2008 2:41 PM by tsmith

    Starting to work with Customer Forms...

    Apprentice

      I've just created my first custom form.  Nothing complicated, for the moment it's just for the Department & Location.

       

      What I had in mind was just us here in IT using it, say when we prepare a PC for delivery.  Before we take it out, we add it to the LD db.  I was thinking that after we get it into the LD db, we could crank up the form.  I would prefer...to not have to have the end user be bothered answering any questions.  But if I read the manual correctly, it doesn't appear that this is possible.  So...

       

      Can someone please tell me if this is possible, and if so, how I'd go about setting it up?  If it is not possible, any suggestions for some sort of work-around?

       

      Thanks in advance,

       

      Tom

        • 1. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
          Jared Barneck SupportEmployee

          Well, the only way to get Custom Data without user intervention is to scan for it.

           

          Usually, Custom Data cannot be scanned for, which is why the questions are created to pop-up and query the end user.

           

          If you answer the questions at the moment of imaging, then of course the end user isn't bothered.   If not, how is the data going to get there?

           

          So the only way to get the data without user intervention is to make the data scannable. 

           

          I have one idea to do this.  You have to deploy a custom registry key with the data to the machine, then configure the LDAPPL3.template to scan for those registry keys.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
            Apprentice

            Gosh, where do I begin?

             

            Let me get this out of the way first.  "Customer" Forms, should have been "Custom" Forms.  I guess my fingers were way ahead of my brain yesterday when I was typing, and I didn't catch it until after I "posted" it.  Sorry.

             

            Now...

             

            So what exactly is "Custom Data"?  When I created my Custom Form I chose only what was available.  Are they registry keys?  Or AD attributes?  If I can't use Custom Forms without getting..."exotic", how about one or more scripts?  It/they could create the value(s) I want to track, then LanDesk could find it in its scans, no? (  I don't want exotic, and I don't want end user intervention. )

             

            In the console window, when I select "All Devices" in the upper left pane, the upper right pane shows me all devices.  But of the following fields:

             

            Model

            System Model

            System Serial Number

            Department

            Designation

            Location

            Domain

             

            only about 4 machines out of approx 250 have anything in any of the first 3 fields.  And NO machines have ANYTHING in the remainder of these fields.  For the moment, to get started with LD, I thought that I'd try to use the Department & Locations fields.  Why can't I ( okay, "we" ) set these when we prepare a machine?  Why do I have to bother an end user?  If I COULD "set" these fields to the values I want, would not LD find the values when it performs a scan?  How DO I/we set these keys/attributes?

             

            Sorry to to be so...UNinformed about this, but we've never had a class.  All we had was a few hours of being able to ask questions of the person who installed LD.  And just a week or so before the forum was "improved", I had tried asking about this.  Unfortunately I only had one response which wasn't particularly helpful.  Basically it was to "look elsewhere".  I've also downloaded the LD manuals, but the section on Custom Forms doesn't seem to be detailed enough to answer my questions.  The LD website mentions web courses, yet I was unable to find any at all.  So this is how I wound up here, asking for help.  I don't suppose you know of any other source?  Some book perhaps?  Or multimedia course?  Or just keep asking here?  ( I don't like imposing on others, but I don't know what else to do. )

             

            I just took a quick Google search for books, and came across a previous forum entry which mentioned the "official LANDesk training kit".  Any idea what this is?

             

            Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
              Jared Barneck SupportEmployee

              Custom Data is a way to get data by request to the end user that cannot be scanned for.  Through the GUI, a Custom Data Form can be created.  It can then be added to an Agent Configuration.  The end user then answers the Custom Data Form.  The information answered is stored in a Text file in the c:\program files\landesk\ldclient folder.  The file is named LDCUSTOM.DAT or something close to that.

               

              So basically, you make the questions, the end user fills out the answer and it is written to that file and as long as that file has every question answered, the end user will never be bothered again.

               

              Now if you logged on first and answered the questions, then the end user would not be prompted to.

               

              It sounds like it is not Custom Data you are worried about, but instead data that should be there but you cannot find.

               

              Model

              System Model

              System Serial Number

              Department

              Designation

              Location

              Domain

               

              The first three Fields are SMBIOS data.  We search the type 2 field for this data as it is supposed to be there by default.  There are a ton of windows SMBIOS tools that will show you your SMBIOS data.  Do a google search for them.  I have found that one works for some machines, then fails with others, so I get another tool and it works with other platforms.  Here is one. http://www.codeguru.com/dbfiles/get_file/SMBIOS.zip?id=12347&lbl=SMBIOS_ZIP&ds=20060801

               

              The reason you would download these tools is because maybe the fields in the BIOS are empty, so we would scan that emptiness and see no value.  Maybe the data is in the wrong location?  Such a manually SMBIOS viewer would help you diagnose that.  If the data is there in the proper location and we are not scanning it there maybe a way to fix that and we can ask around.  

               

              Department, Designation, Location, are examples of things that you probably cannot scan for. So that data has to be populated in some other way.  Make a custom data form and answer it before it goes out and you will be ok. If you delete the data, which I think it is deleted on an agent re-install, then the end user may be prompted. 

               

              So you could add this information to the Registry.  Then on the Core Server, edit the LDAPPL3.template file (which is a text file that you can modify and it is found in LDLOGON).  Find the registry section (analyze how other registry entries are entered, it is pretty basic and a quick analization should make it clear) then add those registry entries.  Now you would not need a custom data form, because the data is scannable in the registry.  This article will definitely help:

              http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-1089

               

              For Domain, I assume you mean the Active Directory domain.  We store that as Domain Name.  Is that what you mean.  I have never seen a machine that is joined to the domain not populate that field.  For that, I would recommend running the LDISCN32.EXE tool with /DEBUG and see if there is an error.  The log is in the ldclient directory as ldiscn32.log.

               

              c:\program files\landesk\ldclient\LDISCN32.EXE /O=c:\myscan.txt /DEBUG /F

               

              As for training, you can only get the training material if you pay for training.

              http://www.landesk.com/SolutionServices/product.aspx?id=2337

               

              However, LANDesk has the LDMS Deploy Guide, LDMS Users Guide, and the Help file.  All of which are extremely informative. We also have some documents called Best Known Methods which you can see if you look at the top of the web page and put your cursor over "Support and Downloads".

              • 4. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
                Apprentice

                Thanks so much.  You've been VERY informative.

                 

                -


                 

                I understand about the training.  I was just hoping that there might have been something, like a book, which I could afford, which would help.  Especially since I don't believe there is much hope of attending an actual LD training class, I mean...

                • 5. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
                  Apprentice

                   

                   

                   

                  For Domain, I assume you mean the Active Directory domain. We store that as Domain Name. Is that what you mean. I have never seen a machine that is joined to the domain not populate that field. For that, I would recommend running the LDISCN32.EXE tool with /DEBUG and see if there is an error. The log is in the ldclient directory as ldiscn32.log.

                   

                  c:\program files\landesk\ldclient\LDISCN32.EXE /O=c:\myscan.txt /DEBUG /F

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Yes, I mean the Active Directory Domain. I didn't say "Domain Name", because the column heading of the column in the upper right pane of the console window only says "Domain". But I am assuming that the Active Directory Domain is what was meant.

                   

                   

                  The ldiscn32.log file has 7 entries at the end dealing with the firewall and networking. Nothing appears to be a problem.

                   

                   

                  The myscan.txt file has a couple entries, both of which appear to be correct:

                   

                   

                  Domain Name = EASTPOINTCITY

                   

                   

                  Computer Location = EastPointCity.org/Computers

                  LDAP Location = CN=<ComputerName>,CN=Computers,DC=EastPointCity,DC=org

                   

                   

                  So if "Domain" in the console pane is really "Domain Name", why don't all of our machines have an entry in the "Domain" column? ( We're running 8.70.0.190 with no patches/updates. )

                   

                   

                  There's also an entry of:

                   

                   

                  Computer Location = EastPointCity.org/Computers

                   

                   

                  none of which shows up in the "Location" column in the upper right pane. But I suspect the Location above isn't the same Location I think of when I'm looking at the listing in the upper right pane. ( I am thinking of physical location, such as a street address, building, room, etc. )

                   

                   

                  Is it possible we need a patch/update to fix this? Or am I just not "getting" it yet?

                   

                   

                  Thanks.

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  • 6. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
                    Jared Barneck SupportEmployee

                    ...because the column heading of the column in the upper right pane of the console window only says "Domain"...

                     

                    ...So if "Domain" in the console pane is really "Domain Name", why don't

                    all of our machines have an entry in the "Domain" column? ( We're

                    running 8.70.0.190 with no patches/updates. ) ...

                     

                    Actually, that is not there by default. By default you only have three columns: Device Name, Type, OS Name.

                     

                     

                     

                    In the Console, go to Tools | Administration | Column Set Configuration.  Once you create a column set, you drag it to the whitespace of All Device or if there is no whitespace, drag it to the empty space of the Scroll bar.  The column set will apply.

                     

                     

                     

                    What Column Set are you using? If you do not know, create one that looks for Domain Name.

                     

                     

                    • 7. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
                      Apprentice

                      It appears to be mine.  I guess I created it back in the early summer, when we first started using LD.  It had been so long, I had forgotten.

                       

                      Let's see...

                       

                      Department, Designation & Location are coming from "Computer"."Asset Info".

                       

                      Domain is coming from "Computer"."Network"."TCPIP".

                       

                      And then, under "Computer"."Location", we have 10 more items deidcated to just physical location, none of which I've used...yet.  Wow...

                      • 8. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
                        Apprentice

                        I assume that the data items under "Computer"."Location", are unique to the LD db.  If I create a form to utilize one or more of these, several questions come to mind:

                         

                        1.)  When we in IT set up the PC, when we add it to the LD db, will we get the form popping up then, for us to fill out?

                         

                        2.)  What happens when we move the computer?  Since the computer wouldn't know, how do we tell LD that we WANT to fill out the form, in order to make any change(s)?

                         

                        3.)  When we have employee turnover,  how does the computer know that someone new is logging on?  If we can and/or have to create the form such that it knows, would this mean that every time we log on as an admin to work on it, that we'd get the form to pop up?  Just because we're a different user?

                         

                        4.)  Any way I can test a form for a particular PC, such as probably mine, without having to let anyone else have access to it?

                         

                        Thanks a lot,  I appreciate your help.

                         

                        Tom

                        • 9. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
                          LegoGuy SupportEmployee

                          1) You will most probably want to set up the clients for a manual update of the custom data form.  This way they will only run the form when you push it out to them.  You also want to set the custom data form program to run from the start menu.  All of these options are in your agent configuration.  WIth these two options enabled you can then push out the data form to the computers that you want.  At first it would be everyone but over time it would just be the newly added computers.

                           

                          2.) When you change computers you can just push out the form again and have one of the admins fill it out again.

                           

                          3.) You can configure the form to run every time someone logs in but that can be annoying to your users.  I would suggest having it run manually and notify the new user, or the local administrator that they would need to run the data form program.  Currently it doesn't have a running when the primary user changes.

                           

                          4) To test the form you would want to open a console and right click on the custom data form.  Choose the option to deploy it and then drag your test computer to the newly created scheduled task.  Next run the custom data form program from the start menu of that computer.  After all of this is done you'll need to run an inventory scan to get the new data up to the core server.

                          • 10. Re: Starting to work with Customer Forms...
                            Apprentice

                            Thanks a lot,

                             

                            Tom