Can Data Connector be used to import/migrate software inventory or Software Product data?

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Article ID: 181432

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Question: Can Data Connector be used to import/migrate data from AddRemoveProgram (Core) and InstalledSoftware (Inventory Solution) tables from an old Notification Server to a new one, or to bring new data into the current Notification Server? For example, can this be used to migrate data from Notification Server 6 to Symantec Management Platform 7.1?

Answer: While using Data Connector to import/migrate Inventory data into the AddRemoveProgram and InstalledSoftware tables is possible, it is strongly not recommended and may not be supported.

Using Data Connector to migrate old data from an an old Notification Server version to a newer Notification Server version

  • It is not supported to use Data Connector to migrate old Inventory data from an old Notification Server version, such as 6.0, to a newer Notification Server version, such as 7.1. While potions of this can work, this is strongly not recommended because of the differences in database schemas between the old and new Notification Server versions. Instead, it is strongly recommended to use the Data Migration Wizard to perform the migration.
  • Other options to access old Inventory data on an old Notification Sever version on a new Notification Server version include:

    * Upgrade the Altiris Agents and Inventory Plug-ins on the old Notification Server's clients with current versions from the new Notification Server. Then,  Inventory data will automatically be populated for these in the new Notification Server.
    * In SQL, for the database that is used by the new Notification Server, create a linked server object to the old Notification Server. Then, create a custom report that accesses the old Notification Server to report on Inventory data.


Using Data Connector to import new data into the current Notification Server

  • It is supported to use Data Connector to import new Inventory data into the current Notification Server being used. While this can work, this is not recommended as it can result in conflicts with existing data that is normally brought in by the Altiris Agent and Inventory plug-ins on the clients. When trying to use an import rule to do this, Data Connector warns the user about this:



    Instead, it is recommended to install Altiris Agents and Inventory plug-ins on the clients, which will then automatically populate Inventory data. Note: If Altiris Agents cannot be installed on some clients, consider using agentless inventory, which can manually gather Inventory data from a client.
     

Additional limitations and concerns
 

  • Both AddRemoveProgram and InstalledSoftware data classes use foreign keys, such as Software Component. The values for the foreign keys must already exist before the import rule brings in Software Products. If not, the associations are not made, resulting in a partially failed import. Information about how to correctly do this can be found here:

    Data Connector Import Rule fails to create foreign keys or association mappings
    http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH191367
     
  • A major concern is causing data discrepancies. If similar Software Products already exist or may later be brought in normally by agent data, this may result in duplicate Software Products or cause other unforeseen issues.
  • If the import includes GUIDs, this may result in duplicate GUIDs. This is strongly not recommended due to the critial issues it can cause by duplicating GUIDs in the database.
     

How to configure an import rule to import data into the AddRemoveProgram and InstalledSoftware data classes

Note: These instructions are provided as a courtesy to help the user get started with setting up an import rule, but are not all inclusive to all steps necessary and assume that the user is familiar with using Data Connector. As previously mentioned, above, using Data Connector to import Inventory data is strongly not recommended and may not be supported.
 

  1. Import in any necessary Software Components and Users (foreign keys) using one or two data sources/import rules for this purpose.
  2. Create a new data source to import computers.
  3. Create a new import rule to import computers.
  4. In the import rule, in the "Data class mappings" section, click on its "Select data classes" link.
  5. Click on the Available Items Group drop-down list and select Data Classes > Software Management.
  6. Click to select AddRemoveProgram and/or InstalledSoftware.
  7. Click on the ">" button to add the selected items to the Selected items box.
  8. Click on the OK button.
  9. Ensure that the AddRemoveProgram and/or InstalledSoftware section's data classes are mapped to the correct data source columns. Note: As previously mentioned, foreign keys must already exist in the database. This will affect the Software Component and User data classes.
  10. When finished, click on the "Save changes" button.
  11. Click on the "Test rule" button. If this appears successful, click on the "Run now" button to execute the import. If this was not successful, troubleshoot the import rule by reviewing the above steps and also the instructions from the following article:

    How to troubleshoot import issues when using a Data Connector Import Rule
    http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH195835
     

Related Articles

How to import data using a Data Connector Import Rule
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=HOWTO79380

How to import Software Purchases and Software Licenses using a Data Connector Import Rule
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=HOWTO79379

Can Data Connector be used to migrate data or perform a database restore?
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=HOWTO77183

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