Enterprise Reporter: How do I collect more attributes in my discoveries?

In his previous article, Jason explained Why you would want to collect group members in discoveries other than Active Directory discoveries.  Today, we will wrap up this series of discussions on discoveries by reviewing how to expand discoveries by collecting more attributes.

One of the great features of Enterprise Reporter is ability to collect information on extra Active Directory® and WMI attributes. Companies often extend their Active Directory schema to include custom attributes. There are also many applications that extend Active Directory schema for their own use. In order to collect on those attributes, the Reporter Administrator has to extend the Enterprise Reporter schema to add the extra attributes to the data collection. Use this option wisely, as adding too many extra attributes can slow the data collection significantly.

Be sure to finish all discoveries before you extend the Enterprise Reporter schema. The changes happen immediately, so if any discoveries are running, the schema changes may cause the discovery to fail. Also check if any scheduled discoveries are set to run. You may want to cancel them before you begin changing the schema.

To extend the Enterprise Reporter schema

  1. Open the Configuration Manager.
  2. Navigate to Discovery Management | Configuration.
  3. Click Manage Attributes collected by Enterprise Reporter.

A warning message displays letting you know that running discoveries may fail due to changes made to the schema. Also note that users need to restart their consoles to use the new attributes.

4. Click Yes to continue.

There are two types of attributes we can currently extend: Active Directory and WMI. We will look at the Active Directory attributes first.

Extending Active Directory attributes

  1. Click Extend in the Active Directory area.
  2. Browse to locate the domain, and click Get Schema to retrieve the list of attributes defined for a specific object in Active Directory.

When the list of available attributes displays, you will see that some attributes are selected and cannot be changed. The checked attributes are the ones that Enterprise Reporter collects by default. You can choose to add any other attributes. Enterprise Reporter allows you to extend most of the simple type attributes.

At this point, only five Active Directory classes can be extended: User, Group, Computer, Contact, and Organizational Unit.

To show only the selected attributes in the list, select the check box.

Let's look at changing an attribute. For example, we want to collect the lastLogonTimestamp attribute, which is very similar to the lastLogon attribute.  It gets replicated across all domain controllers, so you do not have to contact each domain controller to determine the real lastLogon time.

3. Select the lastLogonTimestamp attribute and click Apply.

As soon as you click Apply, the change begins and a progress bar displays while the schema is being modified, so it is important to make sure all discoveries have finished running before you make any changes. Also, all instances of Report Manager have to be restarted to load the new attribute schema.

Now you should be able to create or edit an existing report and add the newly extended attribute — last-Logon-Timestamp (extended) — to your report

Extending WMI attributes

The WMI extension works in a similar way. You can select a computer and read its WMI schema definition. Instead of choosing and extending individual attributes as you did with Active Directory, you have to choose an entire class.

Let us look at how to extend the WMI DiskDrive class.

  1. Click Extend in the Computer area.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Browse to select the computer.
  4. Expand the CIMV2 category.
  5. Locate CIM_DiskDrive.
  6. Click Add.

7. Click OK.
8. Expand the CIM_DiskDrive class to view the properties that will now be collected in discoveries.

9. Click Apply.

As soon as you click Apply, the change begins and a progress bar displays while the schema is being modified, so it is important to make sure all discoveries have finished running before you make any changes. Also, all instances of Report Manager have to be restarted to load the new attribute schema.

The new entity name is _CIMV2_CIM_DiskDrive and appears under a ComputerWMI Extensions category.

For more information on changing the Enterprise Reporter schema, see the Configuration Manager User Guide.

Now you can add _CIMV2_CIM_DiskDrive fields and see new WMI attributes values in a generated report.

 

For more information on configuring discoveries, see the Enterprise Reporter Configuration Manager User Guide. For more information on running reports, see the Enterprise Reporter Report Manager User Guide.

In the next series of Enterprise Reporter blog posts, we'll be sharing tips and hints on running Enterprise Reporter reports - starting with an overview of the Enterprise Reporter Report Manager console.

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