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Setting up ZENworks 2 Reporting

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Scott Blake

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Posted: 30 Jun 1999
 

Does this sound familiar? You distributed a patch for a well-used software package in your organization last week. The patch fixed a problem that many of your users have encountered in the past. Now you have a user on the phone who is describing the same problem that the patch was supposed to fix. Didn't you just rollout this fix? "Is this the only user who did not receive the patch, or were there others?" you wonder. With the release of ZENworks 2, determining the success/failure rate of application launches and distributions is now much simpler. ZENworks 2 ships with a wide array of application management reports, which will allow you to see not only which workstations had problems, but also what those problems were.

Here's what you need to know to set up and configure reporting, so you can use this powerful tool to keep track of application deployment in your system.

Setting up reporting

To configure reporting successfully, you first need to install ZENworks 2 on the server. The installation process will create and configure all the necessary reporting files in the "<server name>\sys\public\win32\reporting" directory. The database will be used to store information required by the application management reports, as well as information for other ZEN reports such as hardware and software inventory.

Once ZENworks 2 is installed on the server, the administrator must configure the machine to retrieve information from the database. This is accomplished by executing the application object that is created in the ZENworks Default Apps OU, which should reside off of the root of the tree. If you look at the application object's macros page, you'll notice that a handful of files are copied to a subdirectory of the "<windisk>:\program files\sybase" directory.

Configuring applications for reporting

Once you have successfully executed the ZEN reporting application object, you're ready to begin configuring application objects for reporting. Application management reports can be generated in two ways.

Method One: comma-delimited file

The first method is to report information to a comma-delimited file. Many 3rd-party tools can define custom reports using this information. The log file's schema is:

  • Event Type (Launch Success/Fail, Distribution Success/Fail, Filter Show/Hide)
  • Date and Time
  • User's Distinguished Name/Tree
  • Workstation's Distinguished Name/Tree
  • Workstation's Address (IPX , IP)
  • Application's Distinguished Name/Tree
  • Application's GUID
  • Application's Version String
  • Event Code Major (Used for error action attempting i.e. D01A)
  • Event Code Minor (Used for error code returned from action)
  • Event String1 (Used for error string)
  • Event String2 (Used for error string)
  • Event String3 (Used for error string)
  • Event String4 (Used for error string)
  • Event String5 (Used for error string)
  • Application's Flags (Application Object Bitmask)

Method Two: SNMP traps

The second method is to report application successes and failures to the ZENworks database on the server via SNMP traps. When choosing the second method, you must define a way for the SNMP alerts to be handled by the server. Do this by enabling an SNMP Trap Target Policy in the Container Policy Package associated with the container where the application resides, or in a parent container that can be found through the container's search policy. Remember that the SNMP Trap Target Policy is valid only in Container Packages. You will need to enter the IP or IPX address of the server into the Trap Target page of the policy object. The format for an IPX address is: Internal Net:000000000001. The IPX format is ###.###.###.###.

Once this is done you can choose what applications you wish to report information on. You can also choose what type of information will be reported. Simply go to the reporting page of the application object and select the "Log events to a file" checkbox (don't forget the log file path), or the "Log events via SNMP Traps" checkbox. Then choose any or all of the following six options:

  • Launch Success
  • Launch Failure
  • Distribution Success
  • Distribution Failure
  • Filtering (Icon Hidden)
  • Filtering (Icon Shown)

As any of these events are triggered, appropriate information is written to the SNMP trap database or comma-delimited file. This information can later be queried to generate reports. ZENworks application management comes with twelve predefined reports. These reports are generated from information that exists in the SNMP database. Note that there is no predefined report for filtering. If you need to see filtering information, it does exist in the database, and in the log file. The twelve available reports are:

  1. Application Launch Success by Application
  2. Application Launch Success by User
  3. Application Launch Success by Workstation
  4. Application Launch Failure by Application
  5. Application Launch Failure by User
  6. Application Launch Failure by Workstation
  7. Application Distribution Success by Application
  8. Application Distribution Success by User
  9. Application Distribution Success by Workstation
  10. Application Distribution Failure by Application
  11. Application Distribution Failure by User
  12. Application Distribution Failure by Workstation

The reports are generated by selecting the Tools->ZENworks Reporting->Application Management menu option from NWAdmin.

Summary

With ZENworks 2 reporting, many of the challenges faced by network administrators are now simplified. There is no more guesswork about who received applications, and who did not. Need to know how many of the workstation associated applications were successfully distributed last night? It used to take time, energy, and persistence to figure it out. Now it's as simple as this: Generate a report. Here's hoping this helps make your life easier.

Editor's Note: As with everything else in ZENworks, we are always we are on the lookout for ways to improve. Please let us know if you think of enhancements you'd like to see in this feature, and we'll see what we can do. Just send your suggestions via the Cool Solutions Talk to Us page, and we'll hand deliver them to Scott and his App Launcher Pals. Don't be shy. These guys intend to make this thing perfect, and they need you to tell them what perfect looks like to you.

About the Author

Scott Blake is a software engineer who holds a BS in computer science from Brigham Young University. He has worked on the ZEN works Application Launcher product since December, 1998, focusing his attention on App Launcher reporting, snAppShot and the NWAdmin snapin.


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