9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 2, 2020 11:21 AM by Bob Anderson

    How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.

    Ettiene Nel
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      Here is a bit more about my question.


      I have a TPL that maps the host, Printer, Network Device and Storage System based on the machines location. So what i want to do now is instead of manually going and grouping the hosts, printers, network devices and storage systems to a manual group. I would like to let the TPL do that manual grouping for me. So for instance if a device (Host) is picked up in location X then it also auto map it to a Manual Group Called Location X - Hosts.


      When i then Manage the Manual Groups and Generate a PDF for the location it is auto updated every time a scan runs and picks up more hosts in that location.


      At the moment how i do this is let the TPL map the device to a location, open the location, report on all elements in the location. In the report on elements in the location it would show say 10 hosts in the location. I then click the 10 Hosts to show me the details of the 10 hosts. Say i have done this before and 8 are already manually grouped i have to then select the ones that are not grouped and manually group them. I would like to automate this whole process by letting the TPL do this and when Management want reports on the groups I could rather prebuild a report and make it available to them so that they can just click it and the PDF gets generated. Trying to explain to a manager that this needs to manually done every time and trying to let them do it, is just a huge no-no. They will break something.... LOL.


      Am i approaching it wrongly or is there a way that i can get the TPL to perform that mapping for me automatically?

        • 1. Re: How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.
          Andrew Waters

          Manual groups are intended for manual creation in the UI. Do not abuse them by writing patterns to generate them.


          Why put them in manual groups in the first place? What is wrong with just using the Create Host Profiles action?

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          • 2. Re: How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.
            Ettiene Nel

            i completely understand why to do it manually, but there must be a way to get it done using the patterns. Going once a while to create a manual group is ok, but if the management want this data regularly it does become a tedious thing to go into the location and adding the newly discovered hosts, printers etc to the manual groups to run a group report. the main reason they like the group report is it has all the assets in that location in a single document.

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            • 3. Re: How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.
              Edward Dickinson

              I think you are missing an easier way to accomplish your goal.  Why don't you create a custom report that uses the queries you would use to manually group the desired targets. The custom report can then be used in a custom dash board for management. The benefits of doing this will be the ability to deplay your results in charts to management.

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              • 4. Re: How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.
                Bob Anderson



                Is it a requirement that you have PDF reports for your management?  If not then follow Edward Dickinson's suggestion and build some custom reports on a custom dashboard page.  They could select a report, download all to CSV file.  This way they could apply their own filters while playing with the spreadsheet data.


                If PDF reports are 'required',  can you explain why you are preferring the 'Group Reports' format over the suggestion by Andrew to use 'Create Hosts Profile' Action for a given list of nodes?


                I'm just guessing here, but I think I understand WHY you are using the 'Group Reports' vs the 'Create Hosts Profile'.  The level of detail in the 'Profile' report generates too much information for the managers to look through. 

                In my 2 host testing, the 'Group' report for 'medium' level details had 3 pages: 1 title, 1 toc and 1 page for the 'medium' level details for both hosts. 

                The 'Group' report for 'high' level details had 6 pages: 1 title, 1 toc, then 2 pages for the 'high' level details for the first host and 2 pages for the 'high' level details for the second host.

                The 'Profile' report had 11 pages, 1 title, 1 toc, 4 pages for the first host, and 5 pages for the second host.


                Andrew Waters: Is there an 'OPTIONS' setting that alters the level of detail included in the 'Profile' reports?


                As Andrew points out, creating 'manual' groups with patterns is abusing the original purpose of the manual groups.  Also, if you generate lots and lots of these manual groups, you will very significantly and negatively impact the performance of the display of the 'Manual Groups' page.  This is from past experience where I have abused this feature by having thousands of manual groups.





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                • 5. Re: How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.
                  Ettiene Nel

                  Hi Bob Anderson,


                  You guessed it on the money. the group reports compiles a bunch of host profiles Network device profiles and Printer Profiles, dependent on what you want to display in the groups. In my case i went with grouping the Hosts, Network Devices, Printers, Locations, Storage Devices and SNMP Devices to a single group for each of the 6 organizational structures.


                  My Manuel Groups is about 250 in total.


                  The Management does not like the option of pulling multiple reports to be handed in as a single report, they prefer the group report as it is a single report for each org structure and they have all the data in a single report.


                  I am still trying to give it a bash to get it working. If i do, i will gladly share it with you guys. I will also give it some proper testing and give you my opinion.

                  • 6. Re: How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.
                    Bob Anderson



                    I want to push back just a bit here, steering away from creating Groups with TPL.


                    What is gained from the 'Group' report PDFs that cannot be gained from a report list with the same attributes (or other custom list of attributes) downloaded as a CSV file.  Either way, the report requester needs to download something. 


                    The report could be structured to present a dropdown list of 'Locations' which then produces a list of ALL the things at that location, with appropriate attributes.


                    There may be a bit of a hesitency factor here if you have not done a custom report before, so I'll be glad to assist with creating a custom report, as this is the preferred way to go rather than using manual groups.




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                    • 7. Re: How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.
                      Ettiene Nel

                      Hi Bob,


                      With regards to the what is gained from the group report. Well in the group i add what i want seen in the report. Printers, Networking devices, Hosts, SNMP Managed Devices and Storage Systems. So when the report is generated it generates a single document with each of the components to it. The thing is if you do not use the group report you will have to generate a report for each component separately.


                      There is no hesitancy with regards to the custom report as i have tried to create a custom query to get me the results as the Group report, however adding the drop down to the report i have never been able to do that and would appreciate all the assistance i can get.


                      I have done some Custom reports, but i am no expert on that.


                      I would really appreciate it if you can assist me with such a report and I can learn a few tricks from you.


                      Do you have a sort of template that you can share with me and then i can try to change it to suit the needs of the management team that wants the said report?



                      • 8. Re: How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.
                        Brice-Emmanuel Loiseaux

                        No there is no option for Profiles PDF report.

                        • 9. Re: How can you create a Manual Group using TPL.
                          Bob Anderson



                          I've attached a custom report as an example.  This works in my environment, but I have a 3-tiered location setup, so I've used 'type' as a hierachical value, so I filter on the type value of 'Site'.  My data does not include multiple kinds, so I'm not demonstrating that in the subsequent screen shots.


                          The ke to getting multiple kinds (host, printer, networkdevice, etc.) in the report is to use the flag no_segment.  This means the different kinds will be intermingled in the results, so I added the function kind(#), to show which nodekind was represented by the row.


                          I've added some key_expressions to show related attributes as an example of how to show conditional results in your output


                          Please modify the filtering as well as the displayed attributes as needed in your environment. 

                          Note: not all attributes are available or make sense on the various node kinds which is why I've added the conditional output examples.


                          standard report file development/testing process:

                               create a query that will produce the select list to be used in the 'parameters' block.

                               create a query that will produce the desired report, based on one of the things in the select list.

                               upload/edit the report file in the /usr/tideway/data/custom/reports folder; in a cluster, this must be done on the coordinator node

                                    Note - custom report files are loaded in alpha-numberic order of the filename. so order of processing may be important.

                               in a 'non-clustered' environment, the appserver (at a minimum) must be restarted to use the report 

                               in a clustered environment, ALL the cluster services must be restarted to use the report

                             while restarting the appserer, check the appserver log file to make sure there are no errors in loading your report file.

                          In a clustered environment, you will need to restart services across the cluster, using either the GUI or the CLI (tw_cluster_control --cluster-stop-services, tw_cluster_control --cluster-start-services)


                          When services are restarted, log back into the appliance, add the report channel to a dashboard page and check out the report.

                          hope that help



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