Optional Patterns

FlexNet Manager Suite 2022 R1 (On-Premises)

The optional patterns described here (and in the two sub-topics) apply in both cases, whether you are using the adapter or the connector to collect information from BMC Discovery.

BMC Discovery allows its data collection to be shaped by a set of optional patterns for choosing what data to collect. FlexNet Manager Suite provides five collection patterns in all. This overview may help you choose which patterns you wish to import into BMC Discovery for use in your environment.

  1. FileEvidence allows collection of file evidence for use within FlexNet Manager Suite. This evidence may be of two sub-types:
    • Executable files that form part of the application, which are gathered only for Window platforms, and may allow application recognition (particularly to the level of editions and versions)
    • Identification files including ISO tag files, which may be gathered across any platform (including Windows and UNIX-based environments).
    The next two collection patterns run both on Windows and on non-Windows devices, instructing the BMC Discovery inventory agent to gather additional data:
  2. InstallAnywhereEvidence returns the list of package titles found in the repository maintained by Flexera’s InstallAnywhere.
  3. InstallShieldMultiplatformEvidence returns the list of packages installed by InstallShield Multiplatform, an earlier installation technology developed by Flexera.

    The next collection pattern is for non-Windows devices only, and uses the FlexNet inventory agent to capture additional data elements and integrate these with the BMC Discovery inventory collected in the standard way:

  4. UnixHardwareData gets accurate hardware details to allow license metrics for capacity-based license calculations (such as for Processor, Core, IBM PVU, and other license types).
    Note: This pattern relies on the installation on UNIX-like devices of two files, ndtrack.sh and ndtrack.ini, that are available with any installation of the FlexNet Beacon or application server. Configuring this pattern requires that you identify the installation path for these files on the target UNIX-like devices (or accessible file share) – for more information, see The FlexNet inventory agent, and most especially Installing the FlexNet inventory agent.

    The last collection pattern contains instructions for the BMC Discovery inventory agent to pull additional data from the Windows Registry and WMI on Windows-based computers:

  5. WindowsLastLoggedOnUser recovers information about end-users that is required for user-based licensing (such as Named User license types).
    Note: There is no equivalent data available for UNIX-like systems.

To help you assess which of the patterns you wish to use, the following table summarizes the available collection patterns. The default state, whether the pattern is enabled or disabled, is shown in the Pattern column. The Footprint column details the additional installation impact (other than loading the pattern into BMC Discovery) required for the collection pattern (the downside of using the pattern), and the Impact column shows what will not work if you omit this pattern (the downside of not using it).

Pattern Footprint Impact of omitting pattern

Default: Functionality is controlled in two parts:

  • Gathering identity (or tag) files (all platforms) is enabled by default
  • Gathering executable evidence (Windows only) is disabled by default.

No installation required.

This pattern is configurable for paths searched (per platform), and for file name extensions used for tag files. Search times on target machines will depend on configuration and the numbers of installed applications found.

An application that

  • Is not already correctly recognized by BMC Discovery (perhaps because it is installed but not currently running), and
  • Relies exclusively on file evidence (as distinct from installer evidence) for recognition within FlexNet Manager Suite
will not be recognized for inventory collected through BMC Discovery without this pattern.

While the Application Recognition Library rarely makes use of file evidence for Windows-based applications, some publishers including IBM and Oracle make use of special identity files. Software identity (SWID) tags are also in increasing use, and these are identified using this pattern.

Likely impact of omitting this pattern in total is medium (through the loss of identity files). Likely impact of leaving executable-gathering turned off is low.

Note: Within FlexNet Manager Suite, file evidence is also required for application usage tracking; but no application usage tracking is possible through the BMC Discovery inventory tool.
InstallAnywhere Evidence

Default: Enabled

No installation required. By default, BMC Discovery does not recognize installation evidence from InstallAnywhere. Unless it recognizes the application by other means, the application will be missed without this pattern.
InstallShield MultiplatformEvidence

Default: Enabled

No installation required. By default, BMC Discovery does not recognize installation evidence from InstallShield Multiplatform. Unless it recognizes the application by other means, the application will be missed without this pattern.

Default: Enabled

Requires less than 13 MB installation (ndtrack.sh and ndtrack.ini), either on the hard disk of the target machines, or on a network share accessible to them all. Run-time is a second or so when triggered by BMC Discovery. Without this, BMC Discovery does not capture sufficient hardware attributes from servers to support license consumption calculations for license types based on hardware capacity metrics (such as Processor, Core, IBM PVU, and other license types). Assess impact based on the license types you need to support through BMC Discovery inventory (mandatory for capacity metrics).
WindowsLast LoggedOnUser

Default: Enabled

No installation required. Without this pattern, BMC Discovery does not report any end-user identification that is needed for licenses requiring identification of the individual (such as Named User license types). Note that for general user-based licensing, in the absence of end-user identities, FlexNet Manager Suite will calculate every installation of such software as usage by an unknown end-user, so that only license types depending specifically on identity will be affected. If you wish to allocate license entitlements to specific individuals, you also require this identification. Impact: medium.

The patterns are written in the BMC Discovery Pattern Language (TPL), for which documentation is available at https://docs.bmc.com/docs/discovery/213/the-pattern-language-tpl-1024739589.html.

For more information:

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2022 R1