What do I need to know about the 6.5 release of Altiris® Connector Solution™ software?
Altiris® Connector Solution™ 6.5
Connector Solution lets you transfer data between numerous external data sources and the Notification Database. This lets you leverage data that already exists in other applications, so you do not need to re-create it. The scheduling capabilities of Connector Solution let you regularly and automatically re-transfer data, so data in the Notification Database and external data sources can easily be kept current.
Connector Solution imports data into data classes that are defined by Altiris® CMDB Solution™ software.
- Altiris Notification Server 6.0 Service Pack 3
- Altiris Task Server 6.0
- Altiris Asset Management Solution 6.5
- Altiris CMDB Solution 6.5
Connector Solution comes with a 7-day trial license that is installed by default. You can register and obtain a 30-day evaluation license through our Web site at www.altiris.com or purchase full product licenses. For details on registering your solution, see the Altiris Getting Started Guide.
Connector Solution only requires a single server license for all users. Individual licenses are not required.
Where to Download
You can download released versions of Altiris products from http://www.altiris.com/Download.aspx.
When an existing installation of Connector is upgraded to version 6.5 the old version of Connector still appears in Add/Remove programs
We recommend that you uninstall any previous version of Connector Solution in Add/Remove Programs before installing Connector 6.5 to ensure that any Data Sources, Rules, and so on that you created in the previous version of Connector will not be deleted and will be correctly upgraded.
Old Connector information still appears after upgrade
When an existing installation of Connector Solution is upgraded to version 6.5, the old version still appears in Add\Remove Programs and the Data Replication folder still appears in the Altiris Console under Configuration > Server Settings > Notification Server Settings Infrastructure.
Connector Solution 6.5 will upgrade from all previous versions. We recommend you uninstall previous versions of Connector Solution prior to installing version 6.5.
Improvements for this release include the following new features.
The Altiris Connector Solution Event Component and the UI Connector Component were not changed for the 6.5 release.
1.1 New fields and their functions
1.1.1 Edit data from the Altiris Console before importing
Enable import data pre-processing function has been added to the data source configuration pages. Designed for advanced technical users, this feature lets you write expressions to alter data in a data source before importing it.
1.1.2 Import multiple resource types
Multiple resource type import has been added to Import/Export Rule Configuration pages. Selecting the field exposes the “Resource Type” field under Column Mappings. “Resource Type” lets you specify what type of resources you are importing so they import directly into the correct resource type category.
1.1.3 Set the speed for data importing
Import processing rate has been added to Import/Export Rule Configuration pages. You can choose to import your data at a fast, medium, or slow pace. This helps with importing large amounts of data over a period of time.
1.1.4 Add new values or comments to data while creating an Import/Export Rule
Comment has been added under Data Class Mappings on the Import/Export Rule Configuration pages. This lets you add a value or comment to data as you are creating an Import/Export rule, in case there is something missing that you want to add values to. Adding a comment adds a new column to the data source.
1.1.5 Data Class picker for Export
1.2 New Web Service
A web service has been created that lets you create and integrate third-party data and applications with Altiris infrastructure.
1.3 Scriptable Fields for modifying Import/Export Rules
When creating Import/Export rules, you can control and modify the behavior of field mappings and filters, and manipulate incoming and outgoing data with scripts.
1.4 All Inventory Data Classes are exposed in Import/Export Rules
When creating a rule you can now use non-editable as well as editable data classes. This is useful when importing data from a third-party agent type application to populate non-editable data classes. A warning will appear when you are about to import data into non-editable data classes, as these data classes are also populated by other Altiris solutions and may be overwritten.
1.5 Improved verbose logs
Logging has been improved for testing and importing data. The logs now show how many resources have been created, their names, and all resources that were updated. Use the logs when testing rules to fix any problems before putting the rule into production.
1.6 New Log File Purge Policy
This policy is found under Configuration > Solutions Settings > Connectors and lets you automate the deletion and management of Connector Solution log files.
1.7 Multiple Rule Execution integrated with Altiris Task Server
In some cases you will need to execute several rules in order. Example: Importing Software Licenses and Software Purchases that depend on each other. A new Multiple Rule Execution Task can be accessed from Altiris Task Server.
1.8 New Bulk Resource Export Rule
A new Bulk Resource Export Rule has been added to the right-click task menu for Import/Export Rules so you can export multiple resources from a collection or report to a Notification Server Event. This allows for an unlimited number of resources to be exported in one process.
1.9 Large number of Columns warning before import
When you select more than twenty columns to be imported, a warning appears advising you to split the data into multiple imports. This is not compulsory, but it is recommended. Data sources with more than twenty columns will still be imported, one data class at a time.
1.10 Export data based on Collections
A new type of rule lets you create export rules based on collections. Previously, you could only create these rules based on reports. Under the export filter that appears when creating an export rule, you can choose resources based on collections.
1.11 Expression column in Column mappings when creating an import/export rule
Choose <Expression> in the Source column of the Column Mappings page to combine data from several columns into the one destination column. The product documentation provides a list of different commands that you can use.
1.12 Interface for creating Keys
User defined resource lookup keys can now be created on any of the fields within a data class. Connector can then use these lookup keys to uniquely identify resources on import.
1.13 Connector processes are recorded in Data Class History
Each time a rule is run, the data class histories record Connector Solution as the source of the rule, the name of the rule, and the time of execution.
1.14 Features being moved from Connector to CMDB Solution
- Editable item actions
1.15 Delete Resources from Collections with Collection Import Rules
A new option (Remove resources from collection(s) membership) has been added to the Rule Type field of the Collection Import Rule Configuration page. This lets you remove any type of resource from a collection in a simple process.
1.16 Testing Enhancements
Previously, the Test Rule function only tested the first 200 rows of data in a data source. Test Rule now tests all data in data source and logs specific errors that tell you which resources or conditions are creating any problems.
1.17 Connector pages in the Configuration tab have been moved
Connector pages in the Configuration tab of the Altiris Console have been moved to the Configuration > Solutions Settings > Connectors folder.
1.18 Reverse Associations can now be imported and exported
Import/Export rules now let you import and export child to parent resource associations.
The following are issues that have been resolved with Service Pack 1.
Boolean attribute expressions in CMDB rules return opposite results
In CMDB rules, expressions on boolean (bit) attributes return opposite results to what is intended. Example: If you create a CMDB rule based on a Logic Expression that asks for results to be returned on an operator condition that 'Is False', the actual results returned will be those where the condition 'Is True'. And vice versa.
Column expressions with repeated column names in CMDB rules return errors
When a column name is used more than once in a column expression in a CMDB rule, the error 'Failed to apply expression string' is generated, even though the expression is valid.
Example: A company uses the expression "Substring[Global User General Details.Email], 1, Len([Global User General Details.Email])-17) + 'company.com'" to change it's email domain name from email.company.com to company.com. This would result in an error stating "Unable to show sample data. Failed to apply expression string. A column named 'Global User General Details.Email' already belongs to this DataTable."
Testing a column mapping expression does not work when using columns not included in the data source
When creating an expression to map columns in a CMDB rule, if you include a data class column that is not in the data source, the Test button (in the edit expression dialog) will not correctly evaluate the expression.
The attribute selector in CMDB rules does not work.
When setting a data class attribute in a logic expression within a CMDB rule, the Attributes Selector dialog resets without registering your specified setting.
The following issues were resolved in this release.
Resource Types are resolved with Resource Associations when importing data
Previously, when resource associations were being resolved during an import, if two resources with different resource types had the same name, an error would be generated. Example: When importing a Cost Center and a printer, both named “Sales”, an error would occur. This has been fixed so the different resource types are recognized.
The following are unresolved issues in this release. For additional information regarding a known issue, click the Article ID link.
Incorrect Ownership details after importing data through Connector Solution
If you add information to a single asset from Altiris Connector Solution for two owner resource associations without specifying ownership percentages, the asset will appear to be 50% owned by each user. However, the cost model calculations will be calculating the users based on 0% ownership. To ensure your ownership information is correct, you must import the ownership resource associations, resource foreign keys, and the percentage ownership data stored in the ownership details data class. After importing the data you should then run the Clean Ownership task in CMDB Solution (found in the Configuration tab under Configuration > Solutions Settings > CMDB Solution > Clean Ownership Task).
Resource Lookup Key Configuration page does not refresh Data Class table
When you change the Target Resource Type field on a Resource Lookup Key Configuration page (Configuration > Solutions Settings > Connectors > Resource Lookup Keys) , the Select data class table does not refresh with the data classes contained in the new target resource type.
Altiris Services may need to be restarted after installing Connector Solution
If you experience errors when exporting data after installing Connector Solution, restart Altiris services by running Restart Services.bat files to fix the problem.
Altiris product documentation is available in Microsoft* HTML Help (.CHM) and Adobe Acrobat* (.PDF) formats. To view Altiris product documentation in .PDF format, use Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html).
Documentation files are installed in the following directory on the Altiris® Notification Server™ computer:
C:\Program Files\Altiris\Notification Server\NSCap\Help.
The following documentation is provided:
Connector Solution 6.5 Help Guide
Altiris Information Resources
|Source||What Information it Includes||Location|
|Altiris Documentation||Information about new features, update instructions, and known issues for each release. Includes Altiris formal documentation such as release notes, help, reference guides, best practice articles, and technical reference articles.||http://www.altiris.com/support/documentation|
|Altiris Knowledgebase||Comprehensive collection of articles, incidents, and issues for Altiris solutions.||http://kb.altiris.com/|
an online magazine for Altiris users
|Best practices, tips and tricks, and articles for users of Altiris solutions.||http://www.altiris.com/juice|
|Online Forums||Forums for Altiris solutions and suites.||http://forums.altiris.com/|
|05/25/2007||Copy edit was completed.|
|01/11/2007||Beta draft was completed.|