Register an Inventory Beacon

FlexNet Manager Suite 2021 R1 (On-Premises)

Registering the beacon sets up its communications to FlexNet Manager Suite.

Complete this process after installing the inventory beacon software.
Note: If you are installing a hierarchy of inventory beacons, so that some 'child' beacons report to 'parent' beacons rather than to the central application server(s), you must register them top down through the hierarchy. Parent beacons must be registered before their children. As well, for a parent inventory beacon, you must choose between:
  • Using an IIS web server, or the built-in simplified web server, to manage communications with downstream devices (whether inventory devices or child inventory beacons)
  • Using Windows authentication, anonymous authentication, or a local account on the parent inventory beacon to run the web service managing those communications.
You may implement your choice of web server only after you have registered this inventory beacon.

To register an inventory beacon:

  1. Run the inventory beacon interface (for example, Start > FlexNet Beacon).
    Tip: Remember that running the inventory beacon requires an account with administrator privileges.
    By default, the interface should first display the Parent connection page (linked from the Beacon configuration group in the navigation bar). Ensure that this page displays.
  2. Ensure the Enable parent connection check box is selected.
    This enables the controls in this page.
  3. Click Download configuration.
    A new window opens in your web browser, pre-populated with the unique identification (GUID) of this inventory beacon in the Unique ID field. (This means that each inventory beacon must download its own configuration file, and you cannot share configuration files between inventory beacons.)
    Tip: The URL used by the web browser is the one registered as part of the installation of the inventory beacon.
  4. Does this inventory beacon connect directly to the central application server(s), or does it report to another inventory beacon in your hierarchy?
    • If this beacon reports to the central application server(s), skip the Parent beacon field, ensuring that it is empty.
    • If this beacon reports to another inventory beacon in your hierarchy, identify that higher beacon in the Parent beacon field:
    1. If you already know its name, enter (part of) the name in the field; but if you are not sure, leave the field blank.
    2. Click Search.
      A fly-down lists the available inventory beacons (matching your text entry, if you used one).
    3. Ensure that the appropriate parent beacon is selected (with the check box on its left end), and click Select.
      The beacon name appears in the Parent beacon control.
  5. In the Name field, add a friendly name by which you would like to identify this new beacon in future lists in FlexNet Manager Suite.
  6. Choose an Upgrade mode for this beacon. You can manage the future upgrade behavior of each inventory beacon individually by choosing from:
    • Always use the latest version (currently versionNumber)Future upgrades (after 2014 R2) to the central application server(s) also deliver updated inventory beacon software to match. With this option, that updated FlexNet Beacon software is automatically deployed to this beacon (wherever it may be in the hierarchy), and it will automatically update itself at that time. (Notice that this setting overrides any global limit, for which see the next option.)
    • Always use the approved version (currently versionNumber) — A global limit to the version of the inventory beacons for production use can be set in the web interface at Discovery & Inventory > Settings, in the Beacon settings section, by choosing an option for Beacon version approved for use. (Notice that this global preference can also be set to Always use the latest version (currently versionNumber). When that is selected in the web interface, on inventory beacons, the first two of these choices are identical in effect.)
    • Do not upgrade automatically — This inventory beacon will sit at its current installed version until you return to this page and change this option.
    • Choose a specific version — When you select this, an additional Specific version control appears. Use this to choose from the versions available on the central application server.
  7. For Configuration status, select Enabled for normal operation.
    Tip: With this control, selecting Disabled stops the inventory beacon executing the centrally-determined rules for discovery and inventory gathering by remote execution or with installed FlexNet inventory agents. Other beacon functionality, such as downloading updated rules and settings, collecting and uploading third-party inventory, Active Directory data, or business information (in short, any connections defined on the inventory beacon itself), continue unchanged.
  8. Click Download configuration.
  9. Use the web browser dialogs to save the configuration file to a convenient directory on the inventory beacon computer (such as C:\temp or the installation folder for the inventory beacon software).
  10. Switch to the inventory beacon interface, and in the same tab, click Import configuration.
  11. Browse to the file you saved in step 9 , and click Open.
    The configuration file is loaded, and populates the connection details in the Parent connection page.
  12. Does this inventory beacon connect directly to the central application server (in which case, the Current parent drop-down shows Application server), or does it report to another inventory beacon in your hierarchy?
    • For a child inventory beacon reporting to another inventory beacon, you must enter the User Name and Password credentials for the account you created on the parent that runs the web service managing uploads/downloads.
    • For a top-level inventory beacon that connects directly to the central application server, the User Name and Password credentials have been automatically populated from the configuration file. Do not under any circumstances modify these values (or any others in this dialog). Should the values become corrupted, you can repeat this process, being certain to import the new configuration file (which will contain a different password for the application server).
  13. When the configuration details are changed, the inventory beacon runs a background check on the connection, and displays the results on the page. If there are problems listed, you can address these and (if required) click Test connection to retry.
    This testing validates the downloaded credentials and the communication channel. When the connection test displays success, your beacon is registered and this process is completed. See concluding comments below about next steps.
  14. If there are errors:
    1. Check that your web browser on the inventory beacon server can still access your central application server, to validate that the network has not gone down.
    2. If the network connection is still good, repeat the Test connection in the inventory beacon interface. If the error persists, we have established that it was not a momentary intermittent problem.
    3. Validate that you did not edit the GUID in steps 2-3, and that the inventory beacon name you created contains only alphanumeric characters. If either of these problems is possible, repeat this process from step 2 to create a different configuration file, with new credentials.
    4. Have a system administrator review the beacon log file located in C:\ProgramData\Flexera Software\Compliance\Logging to look for further information about the failure. Ask the system administrator whether there are any network settings (such as proxies) that prevent a web service accessing a website that a browser is allowed to access.
    5. If the problem is still not resolved, contact Support at Flexera.
    Tip: After this registration process, your inventory beacon knows how to "phone home". To make it operational, you must now:
    • Add the downstream connections from which data is to be collected (as described in the following topics)
    • Ensure that it remains enabled. Operation of each inventory beacon can be enabled/disabled both from the beacon itself, and from the web interface for FlexNet Manager Suite. By default it is enabled at both ends.
This individual inventory beacon is now configured for its upstream communications. However, if this inventory beacon is typical, and either:
  • Is a 'parent' inventory beacon through which others are to upload, or
  • Is to collect inventory uploaded by installed instances of FlexNet inventory agent, or by the zero footprint inventory collection method (as defined in Gathering FlexNet Inventory, available through the title page of online help)
you must now choose the kind of web server to use on this inventory beacon, the kind of authentication, and the account credentials to use (if necessary). These details must be in place before you can repeat the configuration process for any child inventory beacons that are to connect here; and before any inventory files can be uploaded. For more details, see Configuring Inventory Collection.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2021 R1