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Custom Inventory Attributes in ZENworks 10 Configuration Management

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Jared Jennings

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Posted: 29 Nov 2007
 

Purpose: Populate existing inventory attributes or workstation personality with custom information. Wouldn't it be nice to auto populate the department attribute or site attribute with custom information? Automating this process means that the data is consistent and provides meaningfulness to workstation inventory and reports.

Requirements: A computer and ZENworks 10 Configuration Management

We will edit the Inventory Data Form in ZENworks 10 Configuration Management 10 (ZCM 10) to collect information from the specified registry key and add the information to a workstation's personality.

Let's begin...

Configure an Inventory Data Form

  1. Launch ZCM 10, ZENworks Control Center (ZCC), this is usually https://zcm_server/zenworks
  2. Select "Configuration" from the left column.

  3. Expand the "Inventory" heading, this is not to be confused with the "Asset Inventory" tab.

  4. Select "Collection Data Form", this will open a window. You will be presented with a "Data" form, representing the default data attributes that are collected. From here, we can control how information is collected to populate these attributes. You will notice that each attribute has several headings, "Label", "Type", "Display", "Editable", "Required", "AutoFill". We care about the "AutoFill" heading, this is a link, from which we can specify what information populates this attribute.
  5. Select the "AutoFill" link for the desired attribute. In my example, I use "Site" as the attribute to be Auto-Filled.



  6. Specify the path to the registry key that holds the information that represents the "site" information. "HKLM\Software\jaredjennings.org\site", jaredjennings.org is a key that I created and "site" is a string value which holds "kansas city".


    For the record, the value can be a environment variable, like %username%, or a registry key. I like the registry key as I can create a bundle or application to distribute a registry key which holds the site or department information. This bundle could be associated based on rules, this way the site attribute would be automatically populated with the create information.

    More information on rules can be found here in Novell Documentation.

    The default setting is to display the Data Form to users when the inventory happens. This will confuse most users and we do not want this. So, at the top of the page un-check the "Invisible mode for autofill only".
  7. Click "Ok" to save settings and close the Data Form.

Now we must set the collection schedule of the "Data Form".

  1. Select "Collection Data Form Schedule", this is the link below the "Collection Data Form" that was selected in step 4.
  2. Multiple schedule options exist and in my example I set the schedule to reoccur every Monday. New machines that are registered with ZCM also run a inventory collection and at that point the same above data would be collected. This simply means that the inventory would be collected before the upcoming Monday for these new machines, while the rest of machines that are already registered will wait until the scheduled Monday. Of course a scan can be manually initiated.


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