Currently in the middle of planning for our 7.6.x to 8.1 upgrade.
I've read the various docs around the changes in the CMDB for 'lifecycle attributes' and generally understand what's happening. What I'm missing is the big-picture understanding I like to think I have now for the end-to-end implications of these changes. Things like custom attributes, discovery integrations, normalization reconciliation etc which all have the potential to be impacted. If there is something in the 8.1 docs that covers this in an overview/summary then hopefully someone can point me there. In the apparent absence of that, here's the first set of notes of my understanding (or perhaps confusion ) and questions for the 8.1 experts out there..
- lifecycle attributes are now removed from the CMDB class forms and placed on a new form called AST Attributes. This form is joined (based on RE ID) with the relevant CMDB class form to present the complete 'asset' view in the AST:XX form.
- the list of attributes deemed 'lifecycle' that were removed are listed in the CMDB V8.1 docs
- some attributes possibly considered as 'lifecycle' were kept on the class forms for a variety of reasons, and these are also listed in the V8.1 docs
- when adding custom attributes in the new environment, we'll need to first determine whether these are 'lifecycle' type attributes or regular CMDB attributes. The latter are handled as they always were. For the former, the docs say To store lifecycle data for a CI, you must add a field on the AST:Attributes form that is installed by BMC Remedy IT Service Management version 8.0 and later. First question here - how?? Is this done via Developer Studio?? I've hunted for where this process is explained but so far no joy.
- when adding custom attributes via Class Manager, you specify a namespace. Is BMC.AM as a namespace still relevant? What happens if I add a custom attribute in that namespace?? In my test 8.1 build, if I look at BaseElement I can still see attributes belonging to BMC.AM namespace. These are the lifecycle attributes mentioned above that have remained in the CMDB class forms?? I was thinking that the BMC.AM namespace would have disappeared?
- For integration tools like AIE and AI, are there any things to look out for. Example, I have an AIE job that loads data into ComputerSystem class form. If that job currently provides a value for a 'lifecycle' attribute (for whatever reason) the job would not work now since that attribute is not on this form any more. Do i have to now have pairs of AIE jobs, one for the regular CMDB attributes in the CMDB class form and one for the attributes that now live on the AST:Attributes form? I understand the intended distinction between lifecycle attributes (not typically discoverable) and CMDB attributes, but AIE and AI can be used for many different purposes, so finding a mix of lifecycle and non-lifecycle attributes in a single AIE job, say, is a possibility.
- Normalization Engine. V8.1 allows us to define custom normalization rules (great new feature). It seems that lifecycle attributes may not be able to participate in this feature? Again, it may be that this is intended since these types of attributes would not typically need normalization.
- Reconciliation Engine. In a similar vein, do lifecycle attributes need to participate in the recon. process?? Seems not, as one of the benefits of this new approach is to remove the need for processing of these types of attributes.