Appendix B: Components for Oracle Inventory Collection

FlexNet Manager Suite 2022 R1 (On-Premises)

Each of the different inventory collection methods described in this chapter may involve different software components within FlexNet Manager Suite. The number and types of software components involved in Oracle inventory collection depends on the selected inventory collection method. This section provides a brief overview of each of the software components involved in inventory collection.

FlexNet inventory agent

A software agent that may be installed on different kinds of computers to collect software and hardware inventory information for the device on which it is installed. Its core components are also installed on each inventory beacon, allowing Zero-footprint collection of inventory. The essential component, called the tracker, is a 32-bit executable that transforms the inventory information into an XML formatted (.ndi) file and uploads it to an inventory beacon. All locally-installed FlexNet inventory agents collect inventory according to the global agent inventory collection schedule defined in the web interface for FlexNet Manager Suite (navigate to Discovery & Inventory > Settings).

Where the FlexNet inventory agent has been locally installed on the target device, it collects discovery information, hardware and general software inventory along with specifically Oracle inventory, and uploads collected data to an inventory beacon. However, it is significant to note that the FlexNet inventory agent is autonomous, and may make its own choice of inventory beacon to which it uploads, which may not be the same one assigned to manage the subnet containing the inventory device (for example, if another inventory beacon responds faster, or based on other logic).

FlexNet Inventory Scanner

The FlexNet Inventory Scanner provides an alternative to the full FlexNet inventory agent that is somewhat lighter to deploy and manage. It includes only the FlexNet inventory core components, so that it lacks functionality such as usage tracking, or upload retries after transient network failures. However, it packages these components as self-extracting executables, known as:
  • On Microsoft Windows, FlexeraInventoryScanner.exe
  • On UNIX-like platforms,
As part of the functionality available in this case, the operational executables are removed after each execution, although the FlexNet Inventory Scanner package itself is not automatically removed.

In this configuration, and given appropriate command lines, the FlexNet inventory core components are capable of collecting hardware and software inventory from a target device, and uploading it to a location specified in the command line. For more details about the FlexNet Inventory Scanner, see the Gathering FlexNet Inventory PDF, available through the title page of online help.

FlexNet Beacon

You can install FlexNet Beacon on supported versions of Microsoft Windows Server to make it operate as an inventory beacon, where it acts as a collection point for inventory and business information within the enterprise (the supported versions of Windows Server are listed in the FlexNet Manager Suite System Requirements and Compatibility PDF for each version of FlexNet Manager Suite). One or more network subnets are assigned to an inventory beacon, and the inventory beacon applies rules (potentially including device adoption) within the assigned subnets. The rules may include collect data remotely through Zero-footprint inventory gathering. When the inventory beacon collects Zero-footprint inventory, it follows the schedule set in the applicable rule (in contrast to the locally-installed FlexNet inventory agent, which, as described above, does not).

Any inventory beacon also accepts uploads from any installed instance of FlexNet inventory agent or FlexNet Inventory Scanner that contacts it. Uploads are not filtered by the assigned subnets.

Each inventory beacon then uploads collected data to its parent in a hierarchy. The parent may be another inventory beacon acting as a concentrator, or it may be the central application server, where all uploads eventually arrive. Here it is processed to update the database records representing the assets, both software and hardware, located within the enterprise's computing environment. For more information about inventory beacons, see What is an Inventory Beacon? in the online help.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Adapter

The Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) adapter is a software component that provides an alternative or additional method of discovering Oracle databases in your computing estate. FlexNet Manager Suite requires discovery information before collecting inventory. Discovery (for Oracle databases) includes the collection of connection details to allow inventory gathering. The OEM adapter gathers the database connection details for all the databases managed by an instance of Oracle Enterprise Manager and formats them into a standard tnsnames.ora file. Each installation of OEM adapter can connect to only one instance of Oracle Enterprise Manager, saving the resulting tnsnames.ora file to a fixed location on the inventory beacon ($(CommonAppDataFolder)\Flexera Software\Repository\TNSNames). Therefore, you need an inventory beacon and one installation of the OEM adapter for each instance of Oracle Enterprise Manager.

The tnsnames.ora file generated by the OEM adapter is used by the FlexNet Beacon engine as one possible discovery method for use with direct inventory gathering method to collect Oracle Database inventory. If you decide to use direct inventory gathering but not to deploy the OEM adapter, you can also copy the standard tnsnames.ora manually from the Oracle server to the TNSNames repository on the appropriate inventory beacon.


The tnsnames.ora file is an Oracle-standard configuration file that contains connection descriptors for the services running on an Oracle Database. The connection descriptors contain the host name, protocol, service name, and port for each of the services running on an Oracle Database. The tnsnames.ora file may be created in at least two ways:
  • By default, each time the services configuration is updated, Oracle automatically saves updated connection information in a tnsnames.ora file stored on the Oracle server. If this file is copied to the appropriate inventory beacon and saved in $(CommonAppDataFolder)\Flexera Software\Repository\TNSNames, the inventory beacon can use this standard Oracle file as its discovery process before taking direct inventory of the Oracle database instances identified in the file.
  • A separate tnsnames.ora file may be generated by the OEM adapter, as described above, for use in direct inventory gathering.

Use of one or more tnsnames.ora files must be configured in a discovery and inventory rule in the web interface of FlexNet Manager Suite (for details, see Using tnsnames Discovery with Direct Inventory).

Discovery and Inventory Rules

You can use a discovery and inventory rule to configure discovery and inventory processes that you choose to run from an inventory beacon. You also need a rule if you choose to install FlexNet inventory agent automatically on each of the discovered Oracle servers (called "adoption" of the device). A rule is a combination of one or more targets, an action, and a schedule. The action properties determine the actions to perform and the targets' properties determine the devices on which to perform the action. The target adoption settings can be used to adopt the identified devices (that is, to install FlexNet inventory agent locally on the devices). When a discovery and inventory rule executes, it identifies devices based on the target definition(s) and performs the action specified in the rule on those devices. For more information about discovery and inventory rules, see Discovery and Inventory Rules in the online help.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2022 R1