Track-It! Inventory 101 - Common Terminology

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    The Inventory module seems to be the most misunderstood module in Track-It!  I've put together a few Community posts to try to help people understand it, but I think the terminology may itself be confusing.

     

     

     

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    In order to help make sure we're all on the same page, I've put together a list of common terms, and what they mean in the Inventory module.  If you know of any others that you'd like to see here, or if any of my definitions aren't clear, let me know and I can amend this.



     

     

     

    Asset Reconciliation

    When Discovery runs, it places all of its findings in reconciliation window.  It tries to match each discovered item to an existing item in the Inventory module, if possible.  If it doesn’t find what it feels to be a match, it may suggest adding that item as a new asset record.  However, due to the limited amount of information available to the Discovery, it’s critical that you double check its findings before you select “Save”.

     

    Asset Record

    A top level record in the Inventory module.  When you open the Inventory module, you see a grid full of asset records.

     

    Audit

    The process used to gather detailed information from a computer.  The Audit collects information from the file system, the Registry, and through WMI calls on the computer.  It places its findings into an XML file.  That XML file will then be transferred to a Data folder that's in the same location as the Audit executable.  That XML must be merged into the database in order to update the Inventory module and be visible in Track-It!.  This Community post talks more about various methods for running an audit:  https://communities.bmc.com/docs/DOC-26016

     

    Audit Agent

    Also known as the Workstation Manager.  A small software program that gets installed on a computer so that Track-It! can communicate to initiate an Audit.  This software is normally pushed to the computer the first time you try to Audit this computer from within Track-It!.  This software listens on port 10597.  This Community post talks more about the Audit Agent:  https://communities.bmc.com/docs/DOC-26014

     

    Audit On Demand

    Right clicking an asset record in the Inventory Module and selecting Audit Now initiates an Audit On Demand of that computer. The Track-It! server tries to communicate with the Audit Agent on the computer.  If successful, the server has the Audit Agent run an audit of that computer.

     

    Auditcfg.ini

    The file that controls the behavior of the audit. It is normally not necessary to edit this file.  The normal way to change the audit’s behavior is by making changes in the Admin Console. Those changes are pushed into this file. This file should be located in the same file location as the audit executable, or the executable will not find it, and will run in a “default” mode.

     

    Barcode Module

    An optional module that allows you to use a handheld barcode scanner to supplement information in your Inventory module.  The barcode module allows you to scan in an asset record (the manufacturer’s serial number, and/or any unique asset tracking number assigned by your company). It then allows you to select the User, Department, Location, and Asset Type from drop down lists.  When the handheld device is synched up with your Tech Client, the data from the handheld goes into a reconciliation module similar to Discovery’s Asset Reconciliation window, so that you can make sure each barcoded record links up properly with your asset records.

     

    Discovery

    A process that can be used to quickly locate assets on your network.  Once found, these discovered assets can be transferred into the Inventory module as new assets, or the information that Discovery found can be used to update existing asset records.  Discovery will create only a skeleton record.  The audit is normally used to fill in the details, though you could manually do so if you wish.  Discovery requires a bit of manual intervention to ensure accurate results. This Community post goes into more detail on what Discovery can do, and how it does it:  https://communities.bmc.com/docs/DOC-25916

     

    Manual Audit Restrictions

    Configured in Admin Console > Configuration > Inventory > Manual Audit Restrictions.  When an audit is attempted through any manual method (user double clicks the audit executable, login script or GPO directs the audit to run, etc.) the audit checks the restrictions listed here to determine if anything should be done.  Automatic audits initiated by the Track-It! server ignore these settings.

     

    Merge

    The process that reads an audit XML from the Track-It! server’s Data folder, and processes that XML data into the database.  When the Track-It! server initiates an audit, the server will also initiate the merge so that the information from the audit is automatically updated and immediately available.  However, if an audit is initiated outside of Track-It! (for example, manually or via a login script or GPO), the server is not aware that the XML has shown up, and therefore does not automatically initiate a merge.  In this case the merge can be run manually, or a scheduled merge can be established in the Admin Console (Admin Console > Configuration > Inventory > Merging > Schedule).  This Community post talks a little more about the merge:  https://communities.bmc.com/docs/DOC-25917

     

    Scheduled Audit

    When enabled in Admin Console > Configuration > Auditing > Scheduled Audits, this process will queue up all of your Inventory items that are Asset Type = Computer, or a subtype under Computer.  It places them into the Current Queue (Admin Console > Configuration > Inventory > Auditing > Queue), and goes down the list attempting to audit them.  This process can take up to 3 minutes per computer to complete.

     

    TIAgentAudit.exe

    An alternative to Audit.exe.  Audit.exe is the normal executable used when running an audit manually.  However, when running the audit through a login script or similar, and it’s desired that the user of the machine not see or be able to interact with the audit, it may be preferred to use TIAgentAudit.exe instead of Audit.exe.  The two collect the same information (as of Track-It! 11.3) and run the same way; however, TIAgentAudit.exe does not have a GUI.  In some environments, attempting to run Audit.exe completely hidden through a login script may still result in a visible window that the user can interact with; TIAgentAudit.exe will eliminate this possibility.

     

    Tracked Items

    Inside of each asset record is a Tracked Items tab.  This tab may have some tracked items automatically added by the audit. You can also manually populate it.  A tracked item can be opened to reveal additional fields (when this item was purchased, when the warranty is up, etc.).  Think of this as the equipment that this user is responsible for.  When you delete the asset record, you have the option of transferring all of the Tracked Items to the Unassigned Equipment asset record, so that they can be re-allocated to other users.

     

    TrackitAudit.id

    A file that gets placed onto a computer when the computer is audited.  This is a hidden file.  In versions of Track-It! prior to 10.5 with SP1, this file contained a unique value that was generated at the very first audit.  This value was stamped into the audit XML, and used by the merge process to match that XML to an existing asset record.  However, this presented problems; if a machine had a TrackitAudit.id and was used as the basis for a Ghost or similar image, then every machine that had that image would update the same record after each audit.  As of Track-It! 10.5 with SP1, this value is no longer used by the merge process to match an Audit XML with an asset record.

     

    Unassigned Equipment

    This is a special asset record that ships with Track-It!.  Think of this as the equipment room, or where all of your spare equipment is kept.  When you double click to open this record, you should see all of your equipment that’s waiting to be assigned, sitting here as Tracked Items.

     

     

     

     

     

    -Keith