5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 19, 2015 10:28 AM by nito

    Custom data fields?  I need to to add a few and get close to 100% coverage


      I need some advice on how to add a couple of custom data fields.  I need to add custom fields from a previous database, and I need to add my own custom "Function" field.  I only have the Management Suite 9.6 sp 0.  No other addons like the Inventory or Analytics.


      Custom Fields from Previous Database

      I've been given from a previous inventory system a list of computer names, serial numbers, and custom fields.  I can match it all up using serial number as a key, but  I need to add the custom data fields.  These are department and cost center.  The list is for about 6,000 computers, most of which were manually collected.  Because of the effort involved in collecting the data, I need to get these into the database, even if they aren't used much.


      Custom "Function" field

      I also found with my last large deployment that I need to classify computers based on it's function.  A custom "Function" field.  It's a hospital, so some computers are in the OR and others run a TV screen of advertisements.  They have different deployment requirements then a secretary or patient room computer.  Actually the rule list became quite complicated.  That's fine, but all I had to categorize them is OU, subnet, name, model, and installed software.  With no ability to use another query in a query, or a temporary table, my queries became very complicated and slow.  A "function" field would help a lot if it gets close to 100% coverage.


      I've got the custom field in the registry, and have inventory collecting it.  It works nice, but I won't get full coverage with it.  For example, I might not be allowed to write to a registry on some computers (ie Vendor owned that runs lab or surgery equipment).  I've tried deploying a .bat file, but didn't get 100% success, and I'm starting to think 100% of any deployment is unrealistic.


      I've played around with the custom forms.  That looks good.  It could help with future collection of department, cost center, computer function fields.  It could get some more coverage of the custom data if I have compliance from field support.


      I've seen how I can manually add a field in the Inventory window for a specific computer. But wow that'd be slow.  We have 12,000 objects in our inventory.  Even if half are old, It'd take forever to do it that way.  Having to even do 100 would be a cause for beer at lunch, I mean at 5.


      I've access to the Database and the thought of sql insert/update queries has crossed my mind.  But the database is big and would take some time to figure out.  I have a lot of other work to do so holding that off as a last resort.


      Any advice would be appreciated.  I'd rather do this within the Console because I'm trying to avoid making this too difficult for someone else to step in and do.  But if this has to be done using some programming or outside manipulation of the database then its something I definitely consider since both are very important.  I'm functional in c#, powershell, and sql.  I have a database admin who should be a sql master and a couple guys who know a bit of VB who could potentially help.  Also I might be looking at it wrong, so if there is another process that can accomplish the division of computers besides the custom field that could work too.



        • 1. Re: Custom data fields?  I need to to add a few and get close to 100% coverage

          I think the best starting point is to figure this out is how did this custom data get into the other database? Was it collected by inventory, was it manually added or maybe put in from custom data forms?

          If it was collected via inventory or custom forms we could probably reinitialize that same method on those nodes so they report it to the core server. Remember to unblock desired custom items from the configure services - inventory - unknown items tool. It may already be trying to insert into the db. If thats the case allow the ones you want and request full scans from groups of your machines until you get all your data in.


          What is the full path it is stored in inventory? This may help us answer that question of source.


          Custom SQL is an option, the level of difficulty depends on the data and where it is.




          • 2. Re: Custom data fields?  I need to to add a few and get close to 100% coverage

            Hi Brandon, thanks for the reply.  Maybe I should have seperated the questions.  They are similar though.   I have a ,csv file that's based on a query from our old ServiceNow inventory.  None of that data is in the Landesk database.  Management wants some of that information in the Landesk database.   The only thing that's in the Landesk database is what Landesk has collected itself.  What ways can I get this information into the Landesk database?

            The second set of data, I want to define the "function" that a computer has.  For example, is it the one that doctors use in the OR, or a doctor uses in his Clinic?  Is it in a patient room or exam room?  Is it a special computer that dispenses medicine or runs an EKG machine?  That is critically important in software deployment and data collection.


            For this "function" field, I've tried inserting registry entries using a Software Distribution Package for a .bat & .reg file, Scheduling a Task and deploying it.  I tuned the inventory scanner to pick up the fields from the registry.  Works great, but I wasn't getting close enough to 100% coverage.  Which is important since some of these computers are tied to expensive equipment or have direct patient care functions.  We've looked at using forms, but relies on others to enter info.  We've looked at manual entry in the Inventory window. but way too tedious and slow.  We have 12,000 computers.


            The inventory path for the registry fields that I've created is ComputerName -> Custom Data -> JC -> ComputerInfo -> name/value pair.   ComputerFunction, and I defined a list of strings that describe the function.

            • 3. Re: Custom data fields?  I need to to add a few and get close to 100% coverage

              So for question one. You would probably be best served by doing some custom SQL. First you would have to model a table so it can show up in inventory, then you would have to insert into it this data using logic that identifies which device belongs to which piece of data. I'd put this at a high difficulty level and would suggest you get professional services or consult with someone who is very good at SQL and can also understand the LANDESK schema design.


              Question 2. So a custom reg or a custom form are the two primary options which it looks like you have explored. Another creative option would be if you can identify someone's role by either their AD location / group or by specific software installed. You could then just have queries in the console that filter by those identifiers.




              • 4. Re: Custom data fields?  I need to to add a few and get close to 100% coverage

                I was hoping there would be a way without having get outside of the capabilities of the software as-is.  Oh well.  I can do basic interface and database coding.  You said "model a table so it can show up in inventory".  How is this done?


                " if you can identify someone's role by either their AD location / group or by specific software installed"  Yes that's what we did this last time.  The queries became absurd with all the conditionals.  Became almost impossible to handle errors without exporting and working with queries in the xml file.

                • 5. Re: Custom data fields?  I need to to add a few and get close to 100% coverage

                  There are 3 ways (maybe more) to achieve your goal.


                  1) You can create a database scheme extension easily and then migrate the data directly via sql. Only challenge will be to maintain the data.

                  • Create a custom database extension (it is not only creating a table)
                  • Migrate the data
                  • Write a small program that will read, edit and write to this table with a simple gui.
                  • Link the program to the data analytics console extender, so that you can bypass computer Idn to get/set data for a single computer on right click from your management suite console.


                  2) You can use LANDESK Data Analytics

                  • Migrate already existing via sql or csv (You can create import rules here)
                  • create a web form to edit the fields.
                  • Use the generated web form to maintain data

                  This requires a data analytic license for data translation services.


                  3) You can use the LANDESK addon five(9)s console 

                  • Create the custom inventory fields over the five(9)s console gui
                  • Migrate already existing data (via SQL or you can even use data analytics for it)
                  • Use the five(9)s console to easily maintain data

                  This requires a license for five(9)s console.


                  However playing with the database scheme can result in database corruption if you are not following exactly rules. So I would agree to Bd0g and strongly suggest consultant services or addons like five(9)s Console or Data Analytics which are certified and will do the job for you.


                  Hope this will help you