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Creating a Generic Inventory data collector workflow

How to create the data collector workflow

You can create a data collecting workflow from the Generic inventory provider data collector - WF Template template. The data collector workflow needs to be configured to connect to the source system and fetch devices and their inventory from it.

To create a workflow from the template, you need to use Workflow Studio.

The general approach to using workflows to import data into Matrix42 Enterprise Service Management is described in Integration Framework.

When you create a workflow from Generic inventory provider data collector - WF Template, you will need to set up the data collecting process in the TryCreatePackage > Create Package > Flowchart part of the workflow.


Hints on creating a data collector workflow:

  • Set up a source of data. For example, this can be running a PowerShell script.
  • Transform and map the obtained data to to the attributes of data definitions. For example, you can use an array of JSON objects for obtained assets. See What kind of data can be imported for computers for details on what attributes can be imported.
  • Use the Add Connector Package Item activity to create an XML file that will be used by the Generic inventory provider workflow to import assets into the system.

Refer to this article to download a sample workflow and see how it is arranged.

What kind of data can be imported for computers

The Generic inventory provider workflow uses the new Import Assets activity that imports devices into Matrix42 Enterprise Service Management. Any attribute of the Computer configuration item can be updated this way. All attributes are updated with each next import.

General rules for the successful import of attributes

  1. If you import an attribute whose value is a relation to another entity, the value must be provided as a GUID. Only hosts, users, and domains are matched by a name as specified below.
  2. When importing values for attributes that refer to other entities (tables), make sure that these values are present in the database. Otherwise, the import will fail.
  3. Always check the expected data type for imported values.

Mandatory data definitions of the Computer configuration item that can be updated with imported attributes

  • SPSAssetClassBase 
  • SPSAssetClassMobile
  • SPSCommonClassBase
  • SPSCommonClassLdap 
  • SPSComputerClassAD 

Relation to domain is saved as GUID in the database, but a domain name must be used as source data. The workflow will match it to existing domains.

  • SPSComputerClassBase

Relation to host is saved as GUID in the database, but a host name must be used as source data. The workflow will match it to existing computers.

  • SPSComputerClassOS
  • SPSInventoryClassBase
  • SPSInventoryClassNetSupport

Relation to SKU

The SPSStockKeepingUnitClassBase data definition can also be updated although it is not a part of the Computer configuration item.

You can import an SKU value for a computer. The matching is made by ManufacturerName in SPSAssetClassBase and Model in SPSStockKeepingUnitClassBase. If no match is found, a new stock keeping unit is created.

Multifragments of the Computer CI that can also be updated

  • ASMDatacenterClassInventoryResult 
  • SPSAssetClassScanLog 
  • SPSComputerClassApplicationUsage

After importing data into this data definition, the system will create local application usage tracking records if the local application usage tracking has been configured for specific devices.

The following attributes are required for the successful import of the application usage tracking records: ApplicationName, ApplicationVersion, LastUsageDate and UserName.

  • SPSComputerClassDiskPartition
  • SPSComputerClassGraphicCard
  • SPSComputerClassHardDisk
  • SPSComputerClassHostHistory
  • SPSComputerClassLogon

Relation to LoggedAccountName is saved as GUID in the database, but a login account must be used as source data. The workflow will match it to accounts. The User Logins grid is never overwritten and only new records are added to it.

  • SPSComputerClassMemoryModule
  • SPSComputerClassModem
  • SPSComputerClassNetworkCard
  • SPSComputerClassOpticalDrive
  • SPSComputerClassProcessor
  • SPSComputerClassSoundCard
  • SPSConnectorManagementTypeClassBase 
  • SPSInventoryClassApplication

Matching to existing fingerprints is done by Name, Manufacturer and Version. If such a fingerprint is not found, a new record is created. The Installed Applications grid is never overwritten and only new records are added to it.

If OS name, version and manufacturer have been imported into the SPSComputerClassOS data definition, the data provider will also create a fingerprint for the OS.

Except for Installed Applications and User Logins, all records that belong to the multifragment data definitions are overwritten with each next import.

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