How are the failover settings built for FlexNet inventory agents?

How are the failover settings built for FlexNet inventory agents?

Summary

This article describes how the failover settings are built for FlexNet inventory agents.

Synopsis

FlexNet inventory agent receives the failover settings when requesting a policy update from its preferred inventory beacon. The failover settings include things like port, autopriority, proxy, user, password, proxy, etc. and are stored as registry values under Common\DownloadSettings and Common\UploadSettings for instance, but not all of them are available in the Beacon GUI page. So how are these failover settings collected and built for FlexNet inventory agents?

Discussion

When an inventory beacon is installed and registered, its uploaded details are saved in the Beacon table (and related tables) as documented in the FNMSSchemaReferencePDF.pdf file (available through the title page of online help). This is where most failover settings come from, but not all the values. For example, proxy is not configured in this way, but must be configured manually (or using some other tools) in the registry of the affected inventory device.

One of the columns in the Beacon table is HTTPAccessData, which includes data like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?>
<HTTPEndPointStatus xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
  <DownloadPath>ManageSoftDL</DownloadPath>
  <UploadPath>ManageSoftRL</UploadPath>
  <Protocol>http</Protocol>
  <Port>81</Port>
  <SelfHosted>true</SelfHosted>
  <CredentialsRequired>false</CredentialsRequired>
  <NetworkName>MELDSKASHARIF.acresso.com</NetworkName>
</HTTPEndPointStatus>
Notice that this includes the information that credentials are not required by this inventory beacon (which means, it is using anonymous authentication).

The application server puts together the list of all inventory beacons that are reported to be using anonymous authentication. This is the master failover list which is downloaded to all inventory beacons as part of beacon policy. Each target inventory device (with the FlexNet inventory agent locally installed) requests a policy update from its preferred inventory beacon. This inventory beacon constructs the appropriate failover list for the requesting device from the master list it is holding. One possible customization of the list is as follows: if this inventory beacon uses Basic Authentication, it does not appear itself in the master failover list (as described above); but it is obvious that the requesting device already has the necessary credentials (just used to make the request), so this inventory beacon inserts itself into the failover list for the requesting device. The inventory device downloads its policy and breaks out all the members of the failover list for storage in its local registry, recording the UploadSettings and DownloadSettings in a series of separate registry values documented in the Gathering FlexNet Inventory PDF (also available through the title page of online help).
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