I was flattered this week when the customer I am working with told me they selected RightStar due to my contributions to the Communities blog from BMC (Blog Content). They have had the product installed and integrated with Footprints Service Core for 3 years now. They wanted me to work onsite and assist with knowledge transfer to a new BCM Admin.
During this time we reviewed how they currently have the system configured and the various roles and permissions. During the review, several items came to the surface. I thought I would share the simplicity BCM offers in populating various device groups by using the built-in query builder.
Let’s review at a use case scenario and look at how they may be accomplished.
- Populate a device group that only contains
- Windows 7 OS
- Located at HQ
- Running Adobe Reader X or lower
We could create a unique query that contains all three of these criteria sets or we could reuse queries we have already built.
First query is already built by BMC and is located in OOTB Queries. You can modify or copy the original and then make modifications, if desired. Please note: Queries should use Starts with, Ends with, or Equal to whenever possible to utilize the built in indexes vs. doing table scans.
The second query “Located at HQ” can be achieved in various ways. If you have location set in your Active Directory Computer object and you have synchronized that data with BCM then you can use that data. However, if you have devices that go between locations like your laptops or tablet then you may wish to use the IP address field.
Make sure that you always end the value data with the last octet period. Some enterprises use a class B per WAN site (second octet is set per site even if each building or floor may use an actual class C. This makes it easier as only one set of criteria is required. I have been to some customer sites where they may need to add up to 30 plus entries per site.
The last query required will be looking for Adobe Reader where the version is less than XI.
We now have three separate queries built. We need to assign these queries to a device group.
The beauty of this method is you can reuse all three of these queries to populate other device groups. You are not required to build a new query for each set of requirements. This will provide you faster administration time and provide you the required granularity so if you want to push out new software site by site then that is no problem for BCM. So, if the requirement is to provide the LOE to deploy per site just create a new device group for each site and add the three queries as seen above, then switch out the location query per site.
You can quickly see how many devices will get the upgrade and you can schedule accordingly (i.e., when an IT Tech will be on site to assist should any issues arise for more complicated installations).
My current customer, having had this software in place for more than three years, was not aware of this capability. They are very glad they now know the power and ease of BCM and stacking queries to populate device groups. The other big benefit is the DB works much more efficiently as it is simply rerunning same queries instead of running unique queries per device group.
As you can see from the screen shots, BCM admin(s) have no requirement to be a SQL guru. In fact, very rarely will BCM Admins ever need to actually create/modify true SQL statements. If you are a true SQL master and would like to use SQL, you are in luck! BCM does provide you the ability to run true SQL statements. However, if you do use SQL be aware that you cannot stack them to populate a device group.
This is an example of what a free query looks like in BCM:
The last point I would like to make is the “New Admin” I am working with this week has worked with SCCM, Altiris, and other client management tools and he keeps saying how great BMC Client Management is and all the power it has. That just reinforces why I enjoy my job!
Steven R. Gibbs
Sr. Systems Consultant
1951 Kidwell Drive, Suite 110
Vienna, VA 22182