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How can Business Adapter change inventory device status when device has linked asset?

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I noticed my business adapter can change the status of an inventory device from Active to Ignored even though it has a linked asset.    You are not permitted to change inventory status using the GUI since Asset Status should determine the inventory status.

Should business adapters be permitted to updated inventory status to a value different than the linked asset?
Should we even be allowed to change inventory status if it has a linked asset?

1 Solution
ChrisG
Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Because business adapters are directly manipulating data in the system, much of the validation that goes on when users manipulate data in the UI is bypassed. As such, some care can be needed to avoid making inappropriate updates - you've touched on one such example here.

If you use the system in a way where you have inventory devices linked to asset records, then avoid using a business adapter to update the status of inventory device records (unless you are sure that the particular records you are updating are not linked to assets). Instead, look to update the status on asset records. The status of any linked inventory device records will be automatically updated as appropriate based on the asset status.

(Did my reply solve the question? Click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION" to help others find answers faster. Liked something? Click "KUDO". Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera.)

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7 Replies
ChrisG
Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Because business adapters are directly manipulating data in the system, much of the validation that goes on when users manipulate data in the UI is bypassed. As such, some care can be needed to avoid making inappropriate updates - you've touched on one such example here.

If you use the system in a way where you have inventory devices linked to asset records, then avoid using a business adapter to update the status of inventory device records (unless you are sure that the particular records you are updating are not linked to assets). Instead, look to update the status on asset records. The status of any linked inventory device records will be automatically updated as appropriate based on the asset status.

(Did my reply solve the question? Click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION" to help others find answers faster. Liked something? Click "KUDO". Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera.)

Hi @ChrisG , I have a follow up question here on the topic of linked inventory records and best practices.  If  there is documentation, please share.

Net, after the asset records change status, is it considered best practice to remove the linked inventories or leave them alone?

Example: asset statuses - "In Maintenance", "In Storage" or "Retired".  Since those may include custom statuses, let's keep this simple and focus on "Retired".  Is there any value to taking the next step to "unlink" the inventory record from the asset record when the asset is marked retired and the inventory moves to ignored?  If the retired asset is redeployed, I assume new inventory will attach itself to the asset.

Organizationally, I'm having some difficulties in getting across to my team that "In Storage" is not an appropriate status for any asset that has been deployed and has previously had an inventory.  I think they are trying to force "In Maintenance" and "In Storage" as asset statuses where the devices are not reporting current inventory because they are being serviced or in transit or some other excuse for why they are not really Installed/Operational but not really Retired either.

Thanks, David

Hi,

I am not aware of any documentation covering this specifically. You could

  • make your business import smarter (e.g. only covering devices without assets)
  • make it a bit more complex and cover multiple cases (e.g. one step changing asset statuses, one changing inventories without assets)
  • Change your overall process (e.g. have an asset for each inventory and completely manage the status there)

Regarding your example: I found every customer handling this differently. You should really start with your business process (Workflows, who should be doing what manually? How should this be supported by automation?). After that, pretty much anything can be modelled in business imports (usually with the exeption of FNMS default behaviour - it makes no sense working againgst that).

Best regards,

Markward

Softline Group is Europe's leading independent expert in Software Asset Management.

I've not seen anybody attempting to explicitly unlink inventory device records from asset records when the status changes. I'm not sure that there would be much gained from this - it is likely easier and simpler to just stick with the normal behavior where the inventory device will remain linked to the asset until the underlying computer data is deleted from the inventory source (at which time the inventory device will be unlinked).

When an asset's status is changed to "Retired", the status on any linked inventory device will be changed to "Ignored". However this won't happen for custom asset statuses, which is a drawback of using custom statuses.

(Did my reply solve the question? Click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION" to help others find answers faster. Liked something? Click "KUDO". Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera.)

@ChrisG  when does the FNM actually do the "linking" of an asset to an inventory device? Is it during the compliance import or is it during the business adapter run that brings in / updates Asset records? I guess what I am trying to say is that I thought if there was an Asset with Serial Number 12345 and an Inventory Device with Serial Number 12345 the Inventory Device 12345 would automatically become IGNORED when the Asset is Retired. Does that automatically happen, or do you need to update the Inventory Device in an Business Adapter? Maybe I am missing this in the documentation, I can't seem to find it.

0 Kudos

@afilla - Hardware Assets are linked to Inventory Devices by matching on Serial Number.  This can occur during the Nightly Compliance Import/Reconciliation, or you can manually link an Asset to an Inventory Device manually through the user interface.  In general, the automation requires that the Hardware Asset be created before the Inventory Device is created.

In addition to what @kclausen has described, linking of assets to inventory devices based on serial number can occur when a business adapter that creates/updates asset records is run.

In relation to inventory devices getting an "Ignored" status when a linked asset's status is set to "Retired": that happens automatically; it doesn't require a business adapter.

(Did my reply solve the question? Click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION" to help others find answers faster. Liked something? Click "KUDO". Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera.)