Every time I work on ZENworks Asset Management (ZAM), one of the first things that is requested is "How can I get more meaningful information about my business into the system?" Out-of-the-box reports can be grouped by items such as Domain, Default Gateway and Inventory Type, but customers normally want to see their Sites and Departments in reports.
Well, one option is to enter the data manually into the database using the ZAM Manager. This is not a popular approach for obvious reasons. :D
Another approach is to use the Collection Editor to display during a scan and ask the user to provide the information. Again this method is not popular as administrators tend to avoid using pop-ups on their users and users aren't generally trusted enough to provide accurate data. So how can we automate this with ZENworks?
The Collection Editor can be configured to run silently to populate database fields with registry values stored on the device being scanned. In the example below, I am using two registry keys to populate the Site and Department fields.
Another important point to note; if you set the "Run Collection Editor" option to "Never" as shown below, the Collection Editor will still run silently to collect the values.
Now all I need to do is ensure that the registry keys exist on each and every device I want to scan. If your eDirectory is structured geographically and you are running ZENworks Desktop Management, you can create simple Application Objects to deploy the registry keys. If a workstation object moves to a new site, the local application will run and ZAM will update itself during the next scan.
I was at a customer last week that stores department, site and owner in the registry for every device as part of their standard build process. ZAM was able to pick up these values automatically allowing the customer to group reports exactly how they wanted to.
Do you run site based reports? How do you maintain your fields in your ZAM database?
Written at: Frankfurt, Germany