How computer filters work

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Article ID: 181470

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Updated On:

Products

Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server) Asset Management Solution CMDB Solution

Issue/Introduction

 

Resolution

The following information describes basics on how filters work with computers. For further information on using filters, refer to the Symantec Management Platform User Guide:

Symantec Management Platform 7.1 SP2 User Guide
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=DOC4730

What is a filter?

Computer filters are designed to enable Altiris administrators to push policies, updates, patches, images, etc., to computers that have a Status of "Active", are on the network and have an Altiris Agent (managed computers) and any applicable plug-in agent such as for Patch Management, Deployment Solution or Inventory Solution. Notes: (1) Filters will not display computers with non-Active Status types, including "active" types such as In Stock, etc. This is why looking at a filter such as "All Computers" may appear to not include "all" computers, which it isn't expected to. (2) Filters can include unmanaged computers (those that do not have an Altiris Agent); however, the use of this filter will be severely limited in that nothing can be pushed out to these without the Altiris Agent first being there.
Some filters, such as All Computers, also have other criteria that must be matched by the computer to be eligible to appear in the filter. For example, IsManaged (determines if the computer has an Altiris Agent or not) is also required to be set (1 = has an agent) for computers for this filter.

Where are filters located at?

The core Notification Server comes pre-installed with many default filters, such as All Computers, found in Manage > Filters > Computer Filters. Other products install their own filters as well, more specific to their needs.

The All Computers filter is a good choice of a filter to start with. This filter includes all computers that have a Status of Active, including both servers and workstations. The user may wish to use, however, specific filters for servers only or workstations only. These are located in other folders inside of the Computer Filters main folder.

What are the differences between filters and reports?

A filter should not be confused with a report. A report shows a list of assets, which can have any Status type. Reports therefore have a greater flexibility to show the user desired data.

How do I create filters?

There are several ways to create filters. Before doing so, however, it is recommended to ensure that a filter of the type that you want does not already exist in the Computer Filters folder. If not, here are some suggestions on making your own custom filter:
 

  • If there is an existing filter close to what you want, clone this and then edit it to modify it further to suit your needs.
  • Create a new filter (right click on a filter folder > New > Filter). Set the Filter Definition to be Query Mode: Raw SQL, then enter in a SQL script to perform the filter. For example:

    SELECT *
    FROM vComputer
    WHERE Name = 'computer name'

    This filter's SQL script will display just the specified computer, assuming it is in the database and its Status is Active.
     
  • On any report, click on the Save As button > Static Filter.
  • Once finished making a new filter, click on the "Update membership" button to update its list.


The filter doesn't update, what's wrong?

Filters do not automatically update when accessed. These update once per hour, or when the user manually updates them by clicking on the "Update membership" button.

Filters can also be set to dynamically update by using a task. The following article describes how to do this:

How to create a new Update Filter Membership task to update a filter's membership
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=HOWTO60948