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Question regarding Scripting

I'm seeing individuals talking about writing scripts to get software asset management information.

On average, how many SAMs out there that are using a Flexera product are writing scripts to collect information for their SAM program?

On average, for those individuals using scripting to collect information. How often are you writing/using scripts?

Thanks,
Jim

8 Replies
ChrisG
Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

I've seen this done from time to time, but not very frequently. The challenges involved in doing this (such as developing and providing ongoing support for robust scripts, deploying and running them, gathering the data, and then importing/making use of the data) tend to make doing this sort of thing relatively difficult to the point where it only makes sense where there is a clear cost/benefit payoff.

(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.)

Chris,

Thank you for the feedback!

Just hearing more and more discussions about SAMs using scripts to collect data.

From observations:
- SAMs usually don't have permissions for a server.
- SAMs usually don't have the skillsets to write scripts. 
- Instead of passing scripts around, if it something beneficial for FlexNet/Flexera One and a SAM program. Then it should go through the "Idea" process to possibly be incorporated into FlexNet/Flexera One as an out-of-the-box function.

Thanks for the time!

Respectfully,
Jim

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Could it also be that these SAMs are exporting the results of some Flexera report to .csv or .xlsx, and then writing scripts against that report?  For example, someone writing an Excel macro to get data or maybe a script run against a CSV file?

mfeinman,

That is a good questions, that I cannot answer.

I have exported data from FlexNet/Flexera One and manipulated it to meet my business needs. However, that process should only be an "one-off" or rare situation and not a regular or continuous business practice. That would defeat the purpose of the tool.

The way I noticed scripting being discussed lately would hint at it being in that "Regular or Continuous business practice" category.

If it something that is not provide by the tool, and has to be accomplished outside of the tool, that happens on a reoccurring basis. Then that process or practice should be an "Idea" recommendation to Flexera to recommend it being incorporated into the tool.

 

Respectfully,
Jim

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Hi Jim,

I was just thinking about this the other day.  We have an abundance of regularly executed scripts that are used in support of and surrounding FNMS (on-prem).  For example, there are scripts used to extract, transform, and load our PO/Invoice and HR related data from those source systems into a format that FNMS can consume.  We have several scripts and macro's that query our FNMS system for device properties, compare that data with data pulled from other systems (AWS, CMDB, etc.), and update those device properties in FNMS where needed (using Macros, SQL, & business importers).  We also use an RPA tool to automate the retirement and disposal process of assets within FNMS through the UI.  We use scripts to identify and troubleshoot issues with FNMS gathering inventory from our many vCenters.  Also, because we are not currently allowed to take advantage of the auto-updating agent feature, we use scripts during the deployment the agents (shell scripts, ansible playbooks, etc.).  Since there is no thorough API available to get at all of the FNMS data, we write SQL scripts that help us share the data with other parts of the organization via custom views.  We even use a script to collect and extract NDI's from our replication folders to our local machines for review when we are troubleshooting issues with a list of devices.  

I'd have to say I am doing some sort of scripting at least weekly.  It's all done in an effort to minimize the amount of human effort required maintain a solution with the broadest coverage and highest level of data accuracy as possible.

For us, there is no possible way we can operate FNMS without the surrounding scripting.  The "idea" portal recommendations are good, but business needs usually require a faster turnaround so we make due with what is available "today".  

Best Regards,

Darren

Darren,

Good read and you have your hands full.

I understand the scripting on the backend to get metadata into FlexNet and I'm 100% in agreement with those functions. Typically an individual in a SAM role wouldn't do this function unless they have the right permissions and are a super genius.

I also understand the "on-off" of pulling data from FlexNet and using some scripting on it to get certain data points.

My confusion is with having to pulling that data from FlexNet and scripting on a repeatable basis or continuous process. Those standardized scripts or repeated scripts on the customer data in FlexNet is my speed bump. If someone is pulling the same customer data from FlexNet and run some scripting against it on a reoccurring basis, that process should be built into FlexNet.

There are SAMs out in the world that don't have access to run scripts on the backend and also not have the technical knowledge to run scripts on exported data from FlexNet.

Thoughts?

 


Respectfully,

Jim

I agree with you that most SAMs wouldn't typically have direct access to run scripts on the backend.  This is where I'd like to see more collaboration to determine the best way to collect and share the exact information needed.  

As an example, we are not allowed to install an agent on some of our servers.  Today the information is manually collected (by SAMs working with IT admins) and tracked in spreadsheets on an ongoing basis.  I'd rather see us use a zero-footprint inventory method and upload the data into FNMS.  We would need to agree on the approach, develop the automation/script(s) needed, and possibly enhance the method that would allow the SAMs to execute an Inventory task against their defined set of servers at whatever frequency they require.  

I also agree that the reason SAMs need to extract FNMS data on a regular basis needs to be well defined and then perhaps submitted on the Ideas page.  If enough companies upvote the idea, it would (theoretically) get included into the product.  If the process company specific, then perhaps not.   What do they do with the extracted data in your case?

Also, on more than one occasion we have found that FNMS has not reported consumption accurately so auditing the reports and updating allocations/exemptions is also a regular occurrence.  I don't think you can include an FNMS auditing process into FNMS but I do think that automation can help here.  I also think there is an opportunity to improve the visibility and management of VMware affinity rules to minimize consumption.  Today these are highly manual processes.  We have recently added a bit of automation to help with setting allocations/exemptions using a business adapter.  I hope to collaborate even further to ensure the most effective use of software across our enterprise.

 

We stood up a SQL Server Reporting Server and have written hundreds of scripts that our SAM team can use to view data.  We also have a section that is open to any of employees / staff.

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