How the Asset Owner association works

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Article ID: 181706

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Updated On:

Products

CMDB Solution

Issue/Introduction

 

Environment

ITMS 7.6, 8.x

Resolution

This question and answer article provides general information about how the CMDB Asset Owner association works in an asset.

Question: What is an Asset Owner?
Answer: 
The Asset Owner refers to an association (it's "Asset Owners" field) in an asset, such as a computer, that references a user or a department as who "owns" the asset. For example, the following computer edit screen excerpt shows that the Asset Owner is the user Altiris Guest:


 

By default, only one user or department may own an asset (a 1 to 1 association). However, a user or department may own any number of assets (a 1 to many association).

Qustion: What is an Asset Owner used for?
Answer: Asset Owners can be used to denote the primary user of an asset or who owns or manages an asset or both. This is primarily for reporting purposes that the customer can leverage to view this data.

Question: How are users created?
Answer: Users can be created in a number of ways. Primarily, users are imported from Active Directory. Another common way is for them to be brought in from a custom Data Connector import rule.

Once users are present in the Altiris database, they can be assigned to an asset as its Asset Owner.

Question: How are Asset Owners assigned?
Answer: There is only one out of box task that can automatically assign users as an Asset Owner, which is the CMDB task Assign Computer's Ownership to be the Primary User. A customer can also automate this by using a custom Data Connector import rule, a custom CMDB rule or less common, a custom automation policy. Manual changes when editing an asset or Asset Owner assignment via Barcode Solution can also change the Asset Owner.

Question: What is a Primary User?
Answer: A Primary User is the user who uses a computer the most over the course of a calendar month. This value is derived by Windows and is collected by the Symantec Management Agent. This should not be confused with the Asset Owner, which is a different field.

The Primary User can be seen when in Resource Manager for a computer. For example, the following Resource Manager screen excerpt shows that the Primary User (the "Primary account") is the user TEST\aguest (Altiris Guest):



Question: How does the CMDB task Assign Computer's Ownership to be the Primary User work?
Answer: This task will assign the Asset Owner to be the same user that appears as the "Primary User" of a computer. Notes: (1) This task does not set the Primary User, only the Asset Owner. (2) This task is not set to automatically run. The customer must schedule it or manually run it for it to process.

Question: What can be done to troubleshoot the Assign Computer's Ownership to be the Primary User task?
Answer: Generally this task works well, but if there are issues with the Primary User or general task processing, it may fail to set the Asset Owner. The following articles further describe how to troubleshoot this task:

CMDB task "Assign Computer's Ownership to be the Primary User" fails to work
TECH163941

CMDB task "Assign Computer's Ownership to be the Primary User" fails to work due to issues with the Primary User
KB 155445 (TECH175085)

CMDB task "Assign Computer's Ownership to be the Primary User" fails to work due to issues with the task settings
KB 155446


Question: How can I tell what assigned the Asset Owner if I'm not sure?
Answer: As there is only one out of box task that can automate this, the Assign Computer's Ownership to be the Primary User task, if this was not used, this limits how the Asset Owner could have been populated. Other ways include:
 

  • A custom Data Connector import rule.
  • A custom CMDB rule.
  • Manual asset changes to the Asset Owner.
  • Assignment of the Asset Owner via Barcode Solution.
  • Replication rules in a hierarchy (not supported).
  • Less common: a custom automation policy can run out of box or custom policies and tasks, and could be programmed to directly or indirectly alter the Asset Owner.


If it's unclear what process or user set the Asset Owner to an asset, in Resource Manager for the asset, click on the view menu > Resource Change History. Review any sections entitled "Changes to Ownership Details" or otherwise anything regarding the Asset Owners or Asset User Owners. This should show what process or user set the Asset Owner.

Question: How can I clear out or change many Asset Owners if they are incorrect?
Answer: While the Asset Owner can be cleared out or changed manually when editing an asset, this is not a preferred method when there are many to clear. Unfortunately, there are no out of box methods for being able to completely clear an Asset Owner. A custom Data Connector import rule or a custom CMDB rule can be created to set the Asset Owner, but not clear it.

To bulk remove the Asset Owner, the only way to do this would be through direct deletions in the database. A SQL script is available to do this. Please contact Symantec Technical Support to obtain this, which is an internal attachment to this article.
 
Question: Can the Clean Ownership task remove the Asset Owner?
Answer: The purpose of the Clean Ownership task is not to clear out or set the Asset Owner, but to fix discrepancies with how the data classes and association appear in SQL. The full description of this task (from the User Guide) is:

"This task resolves conflicts between the Asset User Owners resource association and the Ownership Details data class. Ownership conflicts can occur when several departments or users own the same resource. The Asset User Owners resource association associates an asset with a user resource or a department resource, and the Ownership Details data class keeps track of the ownership percentage. If the Clean Ownership task finds a conflict between the Asset User Owners resource association and the Ownership Details data class, the ownership resource association takes precedence, and the data class is updated. The recommended schedule is to run the task every 12 hours."

WARNING: Running the Clean Ownership task will automatically remove the association information for both Ownership Details and Cost Center Ownership unless the association Asset User Owner and Cost Center values are set respectively.

Question: How can I create a custom Data Connector import rule or custom CMDB rule to clear or change the Asset Owner?
Answer: Both a Data Connector import rule and a CMDB rule work similarly in accessing the Asset Owner for an asset as they must set three things: the data classes for the Ownership Details and the association for the Asset User Owners. The following screenshot shows how these appear in am import rule:



The customer would need to create a custom import or CMDB rule that either clears these out or sets them to the desired user. It may be problematic, however, to normalize the user, if it's not clear who owns what. The customer would need to decide this, especially when using a custom CMDB rule, to program in logic for the custom rule to make the correct changes.

Question: How does an Asset Owner appear in SQL?
Answer: The following is an example SQL script that can show what assets have Asset Owners:

USE Symantec_CMDB
SELECT va._ResourceGuid, vi.Name 'Asset', ISNULL(vi2.Name, '') 'Asset Owner'
FROM vAsset va
JOIN vItem vi
ON vi.Guid = va._ResourceGuid
LEFT JOIN ResourceAssociation ra -- Remove LEFT to only see Assets if they have an Asset Owner.
ON ra.ParentResourceGuid = va._ResourceGuid
AND (ra.ResourceAssociationTypeGuid = 'ED35A8D1-BF60-4771-9DDE-092C146C485A' OR ra.ResourceAssociationTypeGuid = '1466E770-4413-4517-A89D-6599B8A7F144')
LEFT JOIN vItem vi2
ON vi2.Guid = ra.ChildResourceGuid
ORDER BY 2

Ownership is also represented in the Inv_Ownership_Details table, which ties into the Asset Owner.

Related Article

Import Rule fails to set or removes Asset Owner or Cost Center
TECH170991
 

Attachments

Remove all Asset Owners.txt get_app