How computer data is populated on the create/edit page

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Article ID: 178345

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CMDB Solution

Issue/Introduction

This white paper article provides information on how computer data is populated on the create/edit page. Note: While this is specifically referring to a computer asset, much of this information is also applicable to other asset types, such as monitors, network printers, etc.

Cause

This white paper article provides information on how computer data is populated on the create/edit page. Note: While this is specifically referring to a computer asset, much of this information is also applicable to other asset types, such as monitors, network printers, etc.

Resolution


About the computer's create/edit page

With CMDB Solution installed, computers can be created or edited from most computer reports, such as Home > Service and Asset Management > Manage Configuration Items > Computers and Peripherals > Computer. This opens the create/edit page, where many computer data classes and associations are available for editing can be found at. These are generally all from either CMDB Solution (unmanaged computer data) or Asset Management Solution (contracts or procurement data), but can also include information derived from Inventory Solution. Note: A user may also be interested in how to populate these areas when using a Workflow or ServiceDesk project, which this article does not discuss. For information about how to do this, please contact the Workflow or ServiceDesk Technical Support team for how to customize a project to do this, of which they can offer basic information about.

Out of box data classes

A data class, in general, refers here to a single field of editable data. Out of box data classes include:

  • The computer's name
  • Barcode
  • Last Barcode Scan
  • Comment
  • System Number  (which can be derived from Inventory Solution)
  • Manufacturer (which can be derived from Inventory Solution)
  • Model (which can be derived from Inventory Solution)
  • Serial Number  (which can be derived from Inventory Solution)


Out of box associations

An association, in general, refers here to a reference to another asset type that is separate from the computer's native type and/or to multiple lines of editable data. Out of box associations include:

  • Asset's Status
  • Purchase or Lease (and its related data classes)
  • Associated Assets
  • Computer Type
  • Cost Center Ownership
  • Cost Items
  • Location
  • Asset Owners
  • Provided Services


How data can be manually populated

Because a computer has many different CMDB Solution and Asset Management Solution data classes and associations, it varies greatly on how these can be generally populated. The create/edit page is designed to enable a user to manually edit any of its data. However, some of these areas can also be populated by other means, including automated ways. The following provides some ways on how these can be populated.

  • Manual editing the computer. A user can manually edit any data on the create/edit page, with the exception of a managed computer's name. If the name is gray and disabled, then the only way to change this would be to change it directly on the computer itself. The next time its Symantec Management Agent checks in, this will update the name here. Or, the user can change the Status to Retired, then change the name. But if the computer is managed, the Agent will still revert the name back, however. For more information about renaming computers, refer to the following articles:

    Why am I unable to edit the name of certain computer resources?
    HOWTO7675

    How to determine what process or user renamed a computer name
    HOWTO101514
     
  • Bulk editing the computer. Some data classes can be bulk changed by using the right click menu on multiple selected computers > CMDB Functions > Bulk Edit. Also, some additional functions are available this way too, such as being able to set the Status for multiple computers simultaneously (CMDB Functions > Set Asset Status).
     
  • Receiving the computer from an Asset Management purchase order. Computer data can be populated if the computer is received from a purchase order, especially the cost center and ownership details. Purchase orders must be configured first at Home > Service and Asset Management > Procurement, including catalogs and catalog items, however, but once ready, can help bring in and populate computer data. For more information about using purchase orders, refer to the following article:

    Symantec™ Asset Management Suite 8.5 powered by Altiris™ technology User Guide
    AMS 8.5 User Guide pdf
     
  • Syncing the computer from a Barcoder handheld device. Computer data can be populated if the computer is created or edited using Barcoder on a handheld device. The user can set any data class or association here, and when the computer is later synced to the Symantec Management Platform, will receive any new data. For more information about using Barcoder, refer to the following article:

    Symantec™ Barcode Solution 7.5 powered by Altiris™ technology User Guide
    http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=DOC5682
     
  • Importing the computer from a Data Connector import rule. Computer data can be populated by a Data Connector import rule (and similarly, by a CMDB rule). Import rules are common in most Symantec Management Platform servers. These are found at Settings > All Settings > Notification Server > Connector. For more information about using Data Connector, refer to the following article:

    Symantec IT Management Suite 8.5 powered by Altiris technology Administration Guide
    ITMS 8.5 Admin Guide pdf
     

How specific data classes and associations can be automatically populated by out of box processes.

Specific data classes and associations can be automatically populated by out of box processes. The following provides some ways on how these can be automatically populated.

  • The computer's name. As previously discussed, the Symantec Management Agent will automatically provide the name for a managed computer.
  • Status. The Symantec Management Agent will change this automatically to Active when it checks in, and Purging Maintenance can be set to change this automatically to Retired if the Agent hasn't checked in for a certain amount of days. Because the Status may change unexpectedly, this is often seen by users as an "issue", whereas it's really working as designed. For more information about unexpected Status changes, refer to the following articles:

    Computer Status unexpectedly changes to Retired
    TECH201295

    Computer Status unexpectedly changes to Active
    TECH160029
     
  • Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and System Number. These can be automatically derived from Inventory Solution if a hardware policy has been ran on the computer and the Inventory to Asset Synchronization task is ran. For more information about using this task, refer to the following article:

    How does the CMDB task "Inventory to Asset Synchronization" work?
    HOWTO94989
     
  • Location. Locations can be automatically populated if subnets are configured and the Update Network Resource Location task is ran. For more information about using this task and for the automatic population of locations (and other similar associations, such as departments), refer to the following articles:

    How to use the CMDB task Update Network Resource Location to automatically assign locations to computers based on the computer's subnet
    HOWTO64412

    How to create locations and automatically assign them to computers or users
    HOWTO85119
     
  • Asset Owner. The Asset Owner can be automatically populated by the computer's Primary User if the Assign Computer's Ownership to be the Primary User task is ran. For more information about using this task, refer to the following article:

    Altiris™ CMDB Solution 8.5 from Symantec™ User Guide
    CMDB 8.5 User Guide pdf
     

Custom data classes and associations

Custom data classes and associations generally are required to be populated manually (or by other semi-automated ways, such as a Data Connector import rule) by the user and do not have any way to be automatically populated by out of box processes. For more information about using custom data classes, refer to the following articles:

How to create custom data classes
HOWTO83473

How to import data into a custom resource or custom data class using a Data Connector Import Rule
HOWTO83495

Client data

Client data can come from the Symantec Management Agent and Inventory Solution plug-in (and other plug-ins), such as IP Address, MAC Address, Windows version, BIOS, hard drive size, RAM amount, etc. These are not generally displayed on the create/edit page, but are found in Resource Manager, such as in the View > Inventory section. As this article is primarily for CMDB Solution and Asset Management Solution data, instructions for using this data is not otherwise covered in here.