The FlexNet Business Importer

The FlexNet Business Importer is a command-line tool, also executed by the Business Adapter Studio, that imports data from a variety of sources through customizable business adapters into the central operations databases (specifically, the compliance database) of FlexNet Manager Suite.

The Business Importer focuses on the import of business-related data, such as purchases, contracts, organizational structures, asset registers, and the like.

Excluded from 'business data' is the software and hardware inventory gathered from the computers within your enterprise. This exclusion means, for example, that inventory Evidence and linked Application objects that result from inventory imports are not accessible through the FlexNet Business Importer.
Tip: If you are seeking to import inventory details, there are other tools specific to that purposes:
  • Built-in inventory adapters that form a standard part of the FlexNet Manager Suite
  • Custom inventory adapters built through the Inventory Adapter Studio
  • Import of inventory spreadsheets, either as a one-time import through the web interface of FlexNet Manager Suite, or as scheduled imports through an inventory beacon (see the Importing Inventory Spreadsheets and CSV Files chapter in the FlexNet Manager Suite System Reference PDF, available through the title page of online help).

This part covers direct use of the FlexNet Business Importer as a command-line tool.

Note: The functionality of the FlexNet Business Importer is increased when it is executed on your central application server, where it has direct access to the compliance database. This possibility is available only for on-premises implementations of FlexNet Manager Suite, and is not available for cloud-based implementations. In both kinds of implementation, it is also operable in disconnected mode, running on an inventory beacon, where the import is saved to an intermediate file, automatically uploaded to the central application server, and imported into the compliance database.
The chapters in this part cover:
  • Prerequisites for using the Business Importer, and its command-line options for running manually or through a scheduled task.
  • The format or structure of the XML files that configure each business adapter.
  • The content of a series of default CSV templates that, together with matching XML business adapter files, provide a starting point for editing your own business adapters.
  • Tips and guidelines for working with different kinds of data sources.
  • The data model that is available to the Business Importer (and therefore the Business Adapter Studio), together with its matching entities in the central operations databases for FlexNet Manager Suite. This data model permits access to only a subset of the complete database (for all details about the structure of the central database itself, see the companion volume FlexNet Manager Suite Schema Reference).
This part of the document is for technically competent people who are possibly hand-editing business adapters (or using business adapters that have already been completed and tested) and are executing the Business Importer directly from the command line. Such expert readers are comfortable with:
  • Structured Query Language (SQL)
  • Running queries against tables and columns
  • Reading schema documentation
  • XML mark-up.
Warning: All imports modify the FlexNet Manager Suite database. Incorrect settings for the Business Importer or in business adapters may result in deleting, modifying or overwriting important data. It is mandatory to back up target databases before executing the Business Importer with changed settings or a changed business adapter. This backup enables a rollback of the database to its original state, if the incoming data is corrupted or the Business Importer misconfigured. It is also highly recommended to test any modifications to an existing business adapter, or test a new business adapter, against a preproduction environment before moving it into production.