The process of discovering applications in ZENworks Asset Management (ZAM) can be broken into two areas:
- Software Applications
These are applications that ZAM has prior knowledge about. The ZAM agent intelligently scans devices looking for known footprints of applications or suites of applications. Novell offer an monthly update to this footprint data via a Product Recognition Update (PRU) system. However, there will always be applications installed on devices that ZAM has no prior knowledge of. A good example of this is applications that have been developed in-house by your own developers. To manage these types of applications, ZAM provides a second option.
- Software Files
ZAM can be configured to scan on a purely file-by-file basis looking for files with a “.exe” extension, in-fact any extension can be specified. ZAM will read everything it can about the file, such as Vendor, Version, Size and Date/Time stamp. This information is uploaded to the ZAM database in a Files Not Identified (FNI) list. Administrators can then choose to ignore entries in the FNI list or categorise the entries as Local Products.
A quick word of warning. Setting the option to collect information about all “.exe” files on all devices at once can lead to an extremely cumbersome FNI list. I’ve seen FNI lists as big as 500,000. If you’re thinking about using FNI, this is a simple approach that should make life easier.
- Identify areas of the business where devices will have different product sets installed, for example:
- Create a separate option set to collect FNI data and apply it to a handful of devices in each of these areas
- Manage your FNI list by ignoring files and folders that are of no interest to your business
- Categorise the remaining FNI entries as Local Products
- Repeat steps 1-4 gradually expanding the target device list
Finally, if you want a specific application to be added to the next Product Recognition update, follow these steps.
Do you use FNI lists? What types of files do you track?